TEA releases preliminary finance investigation results

TEA releases preliminary finance investigation results

Texas Education Agency representatives reported the results of a financial investigation into the Beaumont Independent School District to Superintendent Timothy Chargois on Friday, March 7, according to TEA spokesperson DeEtta Culbertson. BISD officials will have 10 business days to respond to the TEA's findings. The final report will be released to the school district and the public by the TEA after agency investigators review BISD's response to the preliminary report and amend the report where needed.

Culbertson said that, despite the fact that the investigation team working on the BISD multi-pronged investigation has lost one critical member with one more expected to depart in the near future, the case is still very active. 

"Just because somebody left the agency doesn't stop the investigations they were working on," Culbertson said, referring to the departure of lead investigator Emi Johnson, who has been working on the BISD investigation since its genesis. Also set to relinquish their post at the TEA is newly-added special teams investigation leader Margie Johnson, who Culbertson said "determined that the job is really not a good fit for her."

Culbertson assured that whistleblowers and informants would still be afforded the same confidentiality previously offered under the guidelines of TEA regulations, although some information previously kept under wraps could become public once the TEA investigation is complete.

"We'll follow the rules according to the agency's regulations - confidentiality is not just one person's rule," she said. "Now, once the investigation is complete, that's a different story. Some things that weren't public could become public later on."

According to the TEA spokesperson, preliminary reports on investigations of BISD's governance and testing procedures are pending and expected any day now.

"Everything is going according to the process," she said. "We're working to get things wrapped up as soon as possible."