SEC probes California's West Contra Costa Unified School Distict

Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:20pm EDT

Aug 15 (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is reviewing bonds issued by West Contra Costa Unified School District in California.

The federal agency requested information regarding general obligation bonds issued by school district between 2009 and 2013 and about proposed refunding of the district's debt, according to a supplement filed on August 7 that accompanied the official statement of $77.46 million of general obligation refunding bonds.

The SEC's letter said that the investigation was "a non-public, fact-finding inquiry" to "determine whether there have been any violations of the federal securities law." It did not disclose the nature or scope of the probe, the district noted.

Superintendent Bruce Harter said in a prepared statement on Wednesday that "much is unknown about the nature of this inquiry."

"We are announcing the receipt of this subpoena in order to ensure that our community is informed," Harter wrote.

The district's Board President Charles Ramsey also received an SEC subpoena, along with certain members of its financing team and some of its consultants and advisors, according to the disclosure.

Ramsey's attorneys Amy Craig and Ismail Ramsey said on Friday that the SEC has issued a request for records, and there was no indication of wrongdoing.

The board had agreed to pay for legal representation for its president, district spokesperson Marcus Walton confirmed.

West Contra Costa Unified School District is located roughly 15 miles northeast of San Francisco, where over 28,000 students attend from the cities of Richmond, El Cerrito, Hercules, Pinole, and San Pablo, along with several unincorporated areas. (Reporting by Robin Respaut; editing by Andrew Hay)

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