Former Parlier school superintendent embezzled public funds, district attorney charges

Fresno County Sheriff's Office

A former superintendent of Parlier Unified School District has been charged with embezzlement and misappropriation of funds from the school district,

Gerardo G. Alvarez of Fresno was arrested at his home Friday and was being processed into Fresno County Jail, according to a news release from the Fresno County District Attorney’s office.

The arrest comes after almost two years of investigation from the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office’s Public Integrity Unit, following up on a 2015 grand jury report and a 2016 audit requested by the Fresno County Office of Education.

Parlier Unified School District superintendent Gerardo Alvarez was placed on paid administrative leave by the district’s board after a grand jury report in 2015. ERIC PAUL ZAMORA Fresno Bee file

That grand jury report accused Alvarez of, among other things, hiring, promoting or giving raises to his and trustees’ friends and family members and holding meetings at restaurants instead of district offices. It led to Alvarez being put on administrative leave in 2015.

This criminal complaint alleges Alvarez embezzled and misappropriated funds from the district’s “Sunshine Club” account between July 1, 2013 and July 31, 2014. He was the district’s superintendent at the time.

Bail in the case was set at $15,000, which Alvarez was in the process of posting as of Friday afternoon. An arraignment date was set for Jan. 18. If convicted, Alvarez faces could face up to four years in custody.

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