UPDATE: Testimony resumes in Walker trial
Three more witnesses have taken the stand to testify in the federal prosecution of Calvin Walker since the jury returned from a lunch break on the fourth day of testimony in the proceedings. One was an employee for a subcontractor listed by Walker in documents submitted to various entities including a bonding company.
She testified that her company billed Walker $99,000 for foundation lighting work performed on BISD's Ozen softball and baseball fields. Checks cashed by the company paid by Walker supported her claim and were entered into evidence. Prosecutors also provided documentation showing BISD was charged for work he attributed to the company at more than $300,000. He sent similar documentation to the bonding company.
A second witness was a former employee of Summit Electrical Supply Company, the supplier listed by Walker to BISD for supplying materials for contracts he had with the school district. His name, Toby Trahan, had been mentioned in prior testimony as the person responsible for altering quotes for Walker while employed at Summit. When Trahan was relieved of his job at Summit on June 22, 2009, he went to work for Walker, he said.
According to him, before he left Summit, Walker brought in a list of materials and the prices he wanted quoted on each – prices that were grossly inflated according to Trahan’s former boss, Chris Rybacki, who testified earlier in the week.
“I didn’t think anything of it,” Trahan said of the exchange with Walker wherein he altered the quote.
Less than a week after leaving Summit, Trahan testified, “after putting in numerous applications and sending resumes,” he was added to Walker’s payroll. Trahan testified he worked for Walker until August of the same year – or approximately less than 10 weeks. However, records showed that Walker billed BISD for 1,072 hours of work for Trahan on one job alone for that time, or more than 100 hours a week. Trahan additionally testified that he spent more than 40 percent of his workweek, which was no more than 50 hours per week, at other jobs. To be able to achieve that, he would have needed to work more than 150 hours per week.
A third witness, Darryl Ellerbe, was also a name familiar to the jury. Ellerbe is the former BISD maintenance supervisor who signed off on many of Walker’s invoices. Ellerbe testified that at least once he signed off on the invoice even before the materials were at the BISD campuses they were supposed to be. According to him, the alteration in protocol was at Walker’s request, so he could have his payment ready from BISD when the materials shipped.
Ellerbe left BISD in 2009, then he, too, went to work for Walker.