It's been more than one year and two months since former superintendent for Poway Unified School District John Collins was placed on administrative leave over accusations that he collected $345,263 in vacation pay over the course of three years and still no criminal charges have been filed.
In a July 24 email, a spokesperson for the District Attorney's Office confirmed that no charges have been filed.
In January of this year a civil lawsuit filed by the school district was placed on hold until a potential criminal investigation could be conducted.
Attorneys for Poway Unified and Collins will meet on July 28 for a case management conference with Superior Court judge Richard Strauss, which could mean the civil case will move forward. Attorneys for each side did not respond to calls and messages requesting information.
According to the complaint filed by Poway Unified in July 2016, from 2013 on Collins, who at the time of his suspension was the second-highest-paid schools chief in California, directed staff to issue him checks for vacation time. The district claims that Collins had several substantial withdrawals from the revolving cash fund to pay for, among other items, his internet and cable bills.
At the time, according to text messages recovered on Collins' district-issued iPad, Collins and his wife had been experiencing financial problems.
The district placed Collins on administrative leave in May 2016 after discovering the missing funds and after requests from Collins to get the district buy him out of his contract. In July 2016 the district fired Collins and less than a week later filed a civil suit looking to recover the $354,263.
Collins has denied any wrongdoing. He and his attorney, Paul Pfingst, have called the financial reports used against Collins "replete with errors, both legal and substantive, including privacy violations of Dr. Collins and others....Dr. Collins will vigorously defend against these charges, and expects to take affirmative and decisive action in response to the district’s actions."
While the case was placed on hold in January 2017 due to a potential criminal investigation, no determination has yet been made. The district attorney's spokesperson was only able to confirm that no charges have yet been filed.