The Examiner first reported on BISD Director of Finance Devin McCraney in July of this year, when it was revealed that the BISD money man had made hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of improvements to his home, paying cash to an unknown contractor for the work performed while, at the same time, skirting city of Beaumont building codes. He was subsequently forced to tear down a large portion of his newly renovated home and ordered to pay fines by the city of Beaumont.
According to records from the Jefferson County Appraisal District (JCAD) and the city of Beaumont, McCraney failed to file for a single construction permit to account for adding more than 2,000 square feet (not including an in-ground pool, steel fencing, multiple garages, and lighted pool awning) to his home since the time he purchased the home valued at $125,000 at the end of 2010, thereby dodging the additional property taxes that accompany additional property. JCAD Chief Appraiser Roland Bieber said the construction, if reported, would have roughly doubled the school administrator’s tax bill, the lion’s share of which is school taxes that pay McCraney’s public servant salary. Bieber explained that appraisers had not re-evaluated McCraney’s home since it was purchased without any mortgage in 2010 due to there being no record of change to the noted residence. Since The Examiner first contacted JCAD, the agency has since re-evaluated the home, resulting in additional property taxes invoiced due to the county. Additionally, city of Beaumont officials forced McCraney to tear down portions of his home constructed without permit; the BISD finance director, currently on administrative leave while the focus of an FBI probe, is in the process of reconstructing the new construction.
Beiber said that according to JCAD records, McCraney’s Avie Lane home was appraised at $125,690, taxed at $2,932 in 2012. However, prior to the end of 2012, McCraney’s home had expanded by square footage to hold a value of over $200,000 based on size alone, to be taxed at roughly $4,800. Other improvements have been made since Jan. 1 of this year to reach a square-foot-based value of the home of more than $210,000, taxed in an excess of $5,000.
With a reported annual salary of $75,500, since December 2010, McCraney not only paid outright for a $125,000 home but doubled the size of his home and also paid off his wife’s $79,000 Travis Street home. Just months prior to the land acquisition, McCraney let a separate home in Louisiana that was mortgaged to the fullest extent go into foreclosure. Also in the last couple of years, McCraney and wife, Traci, acquired several new model vehicles, most of which were purchased without any lien holder and a couple of which hold personalized license plates such as “SPOYLD” and “DA MRS.”
Vehicles registered to the McCraney couple include a 2011 GMC Denali valued at $56,315 purchased in June 2011 with no lien-holder; a 2011 King Ranch truck valued at $30,155 purchased in October 2011; a 2011 Chrysler 200 valued at $31,940 purchased without a lien in July 2012; a 2011 Nissan Murano convertible valued at $46,390 purchased in July 2012; and a 2006 Cadillac purchased for $41,990 with no lien in August 2012.