As the day came to a close Dec. 9 in the trial alleging Calvin Walker of Walker’s Electric Company defrauded taxpayers and BISD of millions of dollars, Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office financial analysis investigator Les Wardon was under direct questioning pertaining to a Capital One account utilized by Walker's Electric Company. According to Wardon, documents he reviewed were not as they appeared. He will continue to answer questions from attorneys Monday, Dec. 12.
Prior to Wardon taking the stand, jurors heard from multiple witnesses Friday afternoon, including multiple BISD employees, a competitor of Walker’s Electric, and a fraud investigator named Daniel Johnson who was essential in prosecuting Walker in 2002 for altering documents similar to those under review in the current federal case.
Johnson testified that during the course of his 2002 investigation, Walker was alleged to have altered documentation including changing the dates and payees on checks and photocopying his mother’s medical bills as though they were his own for the purpose of obtaining a fraudulent insurance claim from Johnson’s company, Progressive Insurance. Walker entered into a plea agreement regarding the 2002 fraud case and was sentenced to community court supervision and to pay a fine.
Federal prosecutors continued calling witnesses to the stand Dec. 9 as the trial alleging Calvin Walker of Walker’s Electric Company defrauded taxpayers and BISD of millions of dollars.
The majority of the morning focused on testimony given by BISD chief business officer Robert Zinglemann. In a brief filed by prosecution prior to his testimony, Zinglemann was expected to testify, “he negotiated with the defendant for the South Park Lighting project (counts 9 and 30) and that it was to be done under the electrical maintenance contract. Mr. Zinglemann will also testify and introduce documents establishing that BISD receives approximately $36,000,000 of federal funds each fiscal year during the period alleged in the indictment, establishing the jurisdictional element of the 18 USC 666 counts of the indictment.”
Zinglemann told jurors he was a member of a four-man team that inspected South Park to see if all the materials Calvin Walker billed for were used on the site, and according to him, “we were unable to show that it was there.”
As for the up-charges on the materials used for electrical projects performed by Walker that have been proved inflated, Zinglemann said he “would not have authorized those payments, if he knew those numbers were inaccurate.”
Defense attorney Dick DeGuerin focused most of his cross-examination of the witness on the idea that federal funds were not used to pay Walker for the projects in question.