BISD adds new CFO and internal auditor

CFO Willie "Ann" Westbrooks (left) and Auditor Dan Hernandez

The Beaumont ISD trustees added a new CFO, Willie “Ann” Westbrooks, to the staff to replace two former finance officials currently facing federal prosecution for embezzling more than $4 million from the district’s coffers over a three-year period. Superintendent Timothy Chargois said the selection was made “after a long and arduous task” wherein Westbrooks was “selected to be a burden bearer with us.”

According to Westbrooks, “I followed the story from the beginning of what’s been happening in BISD,” adding that the district’s past failures were a challenge she was up to tackling. When addressing the BISD Board of Trustees, Westbrooks said she understood that it would take time for her to earn the community’s trust and restore financial stability and confidence in the district.

“I don’t expect you to trust me here today,” she said. “I plan to start from Day 1 on earning your trust; that’s what it will take to turn this district around. I hope to have your trust at some point — and your support from the beginning.”

There has been some controversy about the new CFO, however, and Trustee Tom Neild has vowed to get to the bottom of the matter. According to district information, Westbrooks did not submit an application for employment until after Chargois announced he had made a selection for the position.

“That’s just something I need to inquire into,” Neild said. “Our administration just can’t seem to do things the right way. They make up their own rules as they go.”

Also added to the BISD team this week was a new interim internal auditor. According to Chargois, Dan Hernandez will fill that position but not actually perform any internal auditing. According to the superintendent, Hernandez’s duties will be “to educate, support and develop a framework for what does an internal auditor do.” According to Chargois, Hernandez will be with the district for at least the next two months.