SUSD investigates wrongdoings of longtime HR director

Dr. Pam Sitton (file photo)

A fourth senior administrator has been placed on leave due to allegations of unprofessional conduct stemming from ongoing investigations, Scottsdale Unified School District officials say.

On Wednesday, April 18, SUSD Public Information Officer Erin Helm confirmed that Assistant Superintendent of Personnel and Specialized Services Dr. Pam Sitton had been placed on paid administrative leave.

“I can confirm Dr. Pam Sitton has been placed on paid administrative leave. While I can’t share details of a personnel matter, I can tell you the leave is part of ongoing internal investigations being conducted with the assistance of outside legal counsel,” Ms. Helm said in an email to the Independent.

According to Scottsdale Unified School District’s website, Dr. Sitton has been with the district for 10 years as the executive director for elementary schools. She spent 10 years as a classroom teacher and 10 years as a building administrator prior to joining SUSD, the website states.

Most recently, Dr. Sitton was a part of the Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board’s Friday, April 13 meeting, where the elected leaders discussed amending language to employment contracts.

Three other senior administrators — former Chief Operation Officer Laura Smith, Chief Business Operations Officer Louis Hartwell and Superintendent Dr. Denise Birdwell — were placed on paid administrative leave this year before ultimately resigning or agreeing to leave.

In a SUSD administrator administrative leave rights and obligations form, Dr. Sitton signed at 7 a.m., April 17, that she understood she was being placed on leave due to allegations of unprofessional conduct.

The form states that the longtime employee is on leave while the district has the opportunity to investigate the allegations, and will remain on leave until notified.

Published news reports link Dr. Sitton’s leave to the uncovering of payment discrepancies to three employees.

Northeast Valley News Editor Melissa Rosequist can be e-mailed at or can be followed on Twitter at

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