Higley School Board Candidate Greg Wojtovich: Conflict Of Interest?

Mr. Greg Wojtovich, candidate for the Higley School board, hasn't hidden the fact that his daughter, Ms. Stephanie Wojtovich, is an art teacher at Coronado Elementary. Click HERE regarding Ms. Wojtovich's status as an employee of the Higley School District.  

As recently reported by Denine Driggs, "At a forum held by the Higley Education Association on Sept 17, Mr. Wojtovich stated that he wants to provide the teachers with the latest innovations and compensate teachers who go the extra mile."  

Mr. Wojtovich doesn't seem to care or be bothered by this possible Conflict of Interest. He could, if he chose, willingly recuse himself from any discussion and/or vote in which his daughter has a "substantial interest."   This places a burden on the shoulders of the other board members whose decisions frequently require much time, thought, discussion, and effort.  There could be a 2-2 tie vote.
 

It appears that the HUSD policy B-0800 BCB is written in a way that is open to some interpretation as to whether Mr. Wojtovich would be required to recuse himself from these types of discussions/votes, or not. The policy references that board members have a Conflict Of Interest if they "vote on a specific item that concerns the appointment, employment, or remuneration of such member or any person related to such member as a dependent as defined in the Internal Revenue Code."  

Unfortunately, the policy does not reference which part of the IRC. The lack of specificity regarding which portion of IRC 152 leaves room for debate. IRC 152(a)(1) references "qualifying child" and 152(c)(1)(A) and 152(c)(2)(A) explain that the qualifying child can be the child of a taxpayer or a dependent of such a child. 

The HUSD policy referenced above does not stipulate that the "dependent" be claimed as an exemption by the Board member so, barring this stipulation, it would appear that any child of a board member who has a substantial interest in the outcome of a decision would create a Conflict Of Interest for said Board member. 

"...it shall be unlawful for a member to vote on a specific item that concerns the appointment, employment, or remuneration of such member or any person related to such member as a dependent as defined in the Internal Revenue Code."

Thus, it would seem that any vote substantially impacting Mr. Wojtovich's daughter would create a Conflict Of Interest as defined by district policy. 

See Also:

ARS 43-1001

Internal Revenue Code

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