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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on January 24th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 46 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 13, Issue 46

TurnKey hearings are in full swing in Santa Barbara


A settlement conference for three former executives of a construction firm suspected of embezzling money from the Santa Maria-Bonita School District is set for Jan. 29 in Santa Barbara.

Cynthia Clark, former district assistant superintendent for business services, will also be in court. She allegedly oversaw fraudulent invoices and payments made to the construction firm, TurnKey Schools of America.

TurnKey began more than a dozen construction projects with the district, worth approximately $62 million, from 2000 to 2005, but stopped after the firm failed to meet its financial obligations to subcontractors. The company later filed for bankruptcy, leaving the district with numerous unfinished projects.

In 2008, former TurnKey CEO Harold Lee Clark III, Chief Operating Officer Michael Bannan, Vice President David Irwin, and Cynthia Clark were indicted on dozens of felony counts, as well as several special allegations, contending they misappropriated funds from the school district.

All three former TurnKey officials pleaded no contest to their charges. Clark failed to reach a plea deal and will be taking her case to trial.

An attorney for the defense couldn’t be reached as of press time.