Audit: Former Pueblo Pintado AMS misspent $144,000

Published May 27, 2019

By Rima Krisst and Cindy Yurth
Navajo Times

CHURCH ROCK, N.M. — An audit of Pueblo Pintado Chapter’s finances last June revealed the former accounts maintenance specialist, Pauline Joe, blew through $144,000 in chapter monies over five years on unnecessary office supplies.

The Budget and Finance Committee Tuesday approved the chapter’s Corrective Action Plan, with an added directive to the Division of Community Development to assist the chapter in carrying it out.

“That happened because there was really no oversight over her work and the functions she was doing at the chapter,” said Navajo Nation auditor Helen Brown, who is delegated by Speaker Seth Damon.

A 2017 inventory of the chapter’s office supplies included 1,008 ballpoint pens, 216 Sharpie markers and 159 print toners, although sources say there might be more supplies stashed in a locked hogan somewhere at the chapter. In return, Joe received at least $1,650 in “promotional rebate checks” from the vendors, otherwise known as kickbacks, that were used “for her own personal benefit,” the audit states.

“The more she would buy, the more she would get in rebates,” said B&F Vice Chairman Raymond Smith.

Joe, reached at her new job at Tse’ Yi Gai High School, said, “It was the companies that got me in trouble.”

Editor’s Note: This article was first published by the Navajo Times. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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