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Valley Educator Busted For Selling Forged Prom Tickets Now Costing District Thousands

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Some people just don't know how to bow out gracefully.

A guidance counselor with the Phoenix Union High School admittedly forged tickets to the schools prom and then sold them to students, pocketing the money.

Sure, teachers are underpaid, but come on?!

Tim Berra admitted to the district's governing board that he forged the tickets back in May and has since been sitting at home on paid administrative leave.

Berra did not return phone calls from New Times, but the district sure did.

District spokesman Craig Pletenik accuses Berra of dragging out the process and costing the school money.

"Unfortunately this is the way things work with school districts," Pletenik says. "We think that given what he did, he should not be on a school campus, but he deserves due process."

So far, Pletenik says, Berra has cost the district anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.

Pletenik says Berra had the option to simply resign after admitting to the allegations but is opting to drag out the process while still collecting a paycheck.

"We would have loved to have sorted this out before the summer recess, but [Berra] kept having problems with his representation, which delayed it and held up the process," Pletenik says.

In a letter distributed to Valley publications today, someone who claims to be "Mike Roskin" -- who gives himself the title of "Government Watchdog" and provides no phone number -- contends it is outrageous for the district to continue going after the teacher over his "$100 to $200" profit.

Mr. "Roskin," it could be 25 cents, and it would still be worth giving this guy like this the boot. The fact is, Berra apparently violated the trust of the district, parents, and students.

George Costanza did something like this in an episode of Seinfeld, but even he wouldn't be sleazy enough to essentially take from kids he was entrusted to help. 

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