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Charter School Operators Agree to Pay $180K to State

The operators of Phoenix-area charter schools have agreed to pay $180,000 to the state following a probe that found more than $300,000 in questionable spending.

The Arizona Republic reports state Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced the settlement Thursday with Kristofer and Rita Sippel, owners of San Tan Montessori School Inc.

The attorney general's office says the Sippels engaged in unlawful disbursements of public funds by buying tickets to professional sporting events and paying for other personal expenses.

The newspaper could not reach the Sippels for comment.

Their attorney, Jim Belanger, says the state investigation was flawed, and the couple settled to avoid additional costs.

The Sippels will make payments to the state over three years.

Their nonprofit company operates San Tan Charter School in Gilbert.

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