Finance consultant on European vacation as school district addresses fiscal woes

Finance consultant on European vacation as school district addresses fiscal woes
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A list of all the proposed RIF positions, as well as a current list of BISD central administration office employees and their salaries, can be found in the attached gallery. ***

Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent with Beaumont Independent School District financial consultant WCL Enterprises, headed by William Lenhart, but with an annual budget due and hundreds of job cuts pending, the finance guru has elected to take off the next six weeks for a European vacation. BISD administrative assistants tell The Examiner that no one is in the office in his place, and no one is expected for the next several weeks.

Georgetown ISD Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Karen Dooley, who was recruited by Lenhart to assist BISD with its pending Reduction in Force (RIF), said she is not in town, either, instead working at her own school district throughout the workweek and attending to BISD matters on the weekend.

“I took personal time to be there last week, but I’m back at my job working now,” Dooley said in a phone interview Wednesday, June 11. “I’m not sure how much time I will be spending there (in Beaumont). I’ve got a job to do here.”

Dooley’s job in Beaumont required her to accumulate a list of expendable educators who would be dropped from the BISD payroll for the coming 2014-15 school year.

“Mr. Lenhart asked me to come and assist because I have no connection to anyone or anything in Beaumont,” Dooley said of her work at BISD. “I think everybody is scrutinizing everybody and everything there, and they needed someone from the outside to do this.

“You’ve got a district in crisis, and you have a lot of concerned community members – and rightfully so.”

Wednesday, June 11, it was also revealed that Dooley is not the only WCL employee to come up with a list of expendable personnel. According to an e-mail sent by Texas Education Agency monitor/conservator Fred Shafer to BISD Superintendent Timothy Chargois and the Board of Trustees, Lenhart compiled a list of BISD central office administrators who should be part of the RIF – although it was a list that Chargois failed to share with the governing Board of Trustees.

••• For the complete story, pick up a copy of this week's Examiner, available on newstands Thursday, June 12, or call (409) 832-1400 to subscribe. ***