The Tempe Police Department is investigating possible fraud at the McClintock High School bookstore.
Concerns arose when Tempe Union High School District officials conducted a routine audit of their schools' bookstores and found irregularities at the McClintock site, said district spokeswoman Linda Littell.
The district then asked police to investigate, and the department has hired outside auditors to begin their own detailed audit process and work with detectives.
"The identified personnel have been removed from the site until the investigation is completed, at which time a decision will be made as far as charges, et cetera," Littell said.
Each high school in the district has a bookstore, which is run by a manager who has gone through a background check and has been bonded, she said.
School bookstores sell from books, school supplies and school spirit merchandise.
Officer Brandon Banks, Tempe police spokesman, would not say how much money is missing, other than to indicate that it was a "significant" amount.
"If we find that something did occur, we would be looking at a felony charge," he said.
The incident couldn't come at a worse time, Littell said, as the district is asking voters in November to approve overrides to its budgets for maintenance, operations and capital outlay, worth nearly $80 million over seven years, plus a $30 million bond issue.
That's why it is imperative, Littell said, that the district quickly get to the bottom of the accounting irregularities.
Police began their investigation Aug. 1, and Banks said they are still interviewing people.