UPDATE: Day 2 of Walker Trial
12:51 P.M. UPDATE:
Rounding out the morning's testimony in the federal prosecution of Calvin Walker was the questioning of BISD purchasing agent Naomi Lawrence-Lee.
Walker's defense attorney, Dick DeGuerin, cross examined Lee, who is the prosecution's second witness. Lee was asked questions related to BISD's maintenance contract with Walker and how the electrician was paid for services.
According to Lee, the scope of work under question was not part of the BISD board-approved contract, and it was her opinion that the work performed was new construction, not maintenance. She also admitted that this scope of work should have gone through the bidding process.
Additionally, Lee stated that Walker's contract with BISD stipulates he be paid from the approved budget of the maintenance department, and the work submissions under question were all paid from insurance proceeds related to Hurricane Ike.
Defense council addressed invoices and statements from Walker to BISD and asserted that money billed to the district was approved, at no fault of his client's, even if the amount seemed excessive to onlookers.
Read more this afternoon as the trial continues, beginning at 1:15 today.
From earlier today...
As Day 2 commenced in the Beaumont federal court case against Calvin Walker of Walker's Electric, the prosecution continued the questioning of Beaumont Independent School District purchasing agent Naomi Lawrence-Lee.
Walker is accused of bilking the school district by altering invoices and overcharging for materials and services. Lee was asked pointed questions referring to multiple invoices submitted to BISD for payment that reflected materials used for different temporary campus projects that coincidentally totaled the same amount. In each of the invoices, Walker added a 10 percent mark-up of more than $50,000.
Although the mark-up alone exceeds the amount at which BISD seeks bids, according to Lee, she said the district elected not to do so in this case.
"I believe the district operated under the belief it had satisfied state law," she said.
However, the Texas Education Agency found that BISD had violated state law in the way it handled payments and contracts awarded to Walker's Electric - a fact Lawrence-Lee later admitted to under questioning by prosecutor Bob Rawls.
Testimony will continue throughout the week. The Examiner will post updates on the courtroom deliberations throughout the entirety of the trial. Check back today for more.