Walker contract extended with BISD

Walker contract extended with BISD

Calvin Walker is a lousy bookkeeper.

That was the sentiment shared by Beaumont Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Carrol Thomas on Thursday night, July 26, after the Board of Trustees voted 4-2 to extend the district’s electrical contract with the 51-year-old Walker for another year.

A deeply divided audience reacted with both astonishment and pleasure at the decision when the votes were shown on the large projection screen behind the trustees. More than half a dozen private citizens addressed the board prior to its vote, and all but one of them spoke against extending the contract.

Many of the complaints against Walker surrounded around the fact he admitted as part of his plea deal with the U.S. government last week that he altered an invoice he sent to BISD.

The public sentiment included Beaumont City Councilman Mike Getz telling the board it would be “racist” to extend Walker’s contract simply because he’s black. "It takes a racist to identify a racist," District 2 Trustee Zenobia Bush would later exclaim from her seat on the dais.

Walker was under indictment on 37 counts of fraud and other charges alleging he over-billed taxpayers by submitting falsified invoices to the Beaumont Independent School District for electrical work. He was tried in December 2011 but jurors were deadlocked, failing to reach a verdict, and U.S. Judge Ron Clark declared a mistrial in the case. Clark reset the case for July.

Walker admitted as part of his plea earlier this month that, included in the wholesale invoices, was an invoice in the amount of $382,975.32 that had been altered to reflect it was an invoice when in fact the document was a quote and not an actual purchase. Walker’s check payable to that wholesaler in the amount of $382,975.32 was never presented to the wholesaler or negotiated. Records from BISD also contained similar altered documents purportedly from the same electrical supplier matching invoices submitted by Walker for materials in other projects.

Walker could face up to one year in federal prison; however, that’s unlikely since the prosecution is not suggesting jail time at sentencing, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Hobbs.

Trustee Mike Neil questioned Thomas on the BISD administration’s stance on Walker’s court case.

“We have no – not any reason at all – to feel that Calvin Walker has done anything illegal, inappropriate, whatever,” said Thomas at the board meeting, eliciting howls of disbelief from the room.  When challenged by Neil about Walker's submission of the altered invoice to BISD, Thomas responded, “No one said Mr. Walker is the best at bookkeeping.”

After the vote, the board of trustees also decided against ordering more information from the US Attorney’s Office in relation to Walker’s case. Trustee President Woodrow Reece said there are “three criteria” the board has to look at before it can go after what is left of the $3.2 million Walker forfeited as part of his plea.

Reece declined to comment on what those criteria are before being ushered away by fellow trustee Terry Williams.

Walker, surrounded by family and friends at the meeting and appearing upbeat after the vote, said he couldn’t comment about his case and declined comment on his contract being extended with BISD.

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Comments

BISD

The word "Racism" has been used to death. How about a new word that starts with the same "R". How about "RECALL"? These 4 members have been way over the fence and across the great divide on every thing that has come up. It's time for some common sense on the board. You now have 3 members with this common sense. It looks sooooo good. You need 4 more with common sense. The 4 that's there clearly have none. Hence the word "RECALL". Think about it. Move on it.

I'm glad we agree Zenobia Bush is a racist

Mr. Williams: "The Walker case was less about dishonesty and more about race."

Conversely that is true for Zenobia Bush's vote as well. So by your own words you think that Zenobia voted as she did because of race. Doesn't that make her a RACIST?

Now that I've probably pissed you off, I agree with you that blacks have been held down by the white good ol' boy establishment and that it was corrupt. So why is the black community imitating them rather than being above it?

It has been established that Calvin Walker, by his own admission in federal court stole almost $400,000 dollars from BISD with a fraudulent invoice for supplies that he never bought. You can see how at that rate it would not take long to steal 3.7 million dollars.

I don't care if Calvin Walker is black, white, Hispanic or tacky Marti Gras purple, green and gold.

I don't care if BISD wants to give this contract to someone based on the color of his skin but is Calvin walker the only black electrical contractor in town?

What I do care about, and what you should care about Mr. Williams, is that this man Calvin Walker, STOLE MONEY FROM THE CHILDREN OF THIS SCHOOL DISTRICT. HE STOLE MONEY FROM THE TAXPAYERS OF BEAUMONT. HE STOLE MONEY FROM YOU. HE STOLE MONEY FROM ME. AND HE WAS GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO STEAL MORE BY THE BLACK TRUSTEES OF THIS SCHOOL DISTRICT. You can't tell me you don't care about that, Mr. William, that it doesn't bother an intelligent man like yourself.

When our black trustees make decisions based on skin color they are hurting our district just like those all white trustees did thirty years ago.

When is it going to end?

S.

www.thes-pit.blogspot.com

Check never presented nor negotiated

Mike Getz is mad because the BISD has blk power, that he has proved to be inferior to, so he desperately called the Board members racist. Z Bush said it takes one to know one. Walker was unfairly targeted because white contractors were mad that a black contractor was hired over their long standing "good ol boy system."

The check for $382,975.32 was payable to a supplier, not to Mr Walker personally.(THE CHECK WAS MADE OUT TO THE ELECTRIC SUPPLIER) And the check was never presented nor negotiated. Which means the district never lost any money at all from this transaction.(THE CHECK WAS NEVER CASHED NOR DID HE TRY TO) Our thoughts on whether it was a mistake or not will not change those facts stated by the US attorney.

In the case of Walker, 37 counts only produced a plea deal for 1 misdemeanor. A jury was not able to convict on any! A black man unfairly targeted and picked apart is my opinion. What was found was a contractor who doesn't keep great books!

Maybe all the black board members know how it feels to be unfairly targeted in Beaumont TX because of ones skin color. I know I do! But then again, maybe if some whites would stop doing it we wouldn't have to be so sensitive to these matters and defend ourselves.
But they also knew that Walker did more good than bad. Yes millions of dollars of work passed inspections. So that our children can have a better place to learn....And BISD states that they got services they paid for. So they extended Walker because he was good working electrical contractor, despite his bookkeeping issues. Im sure he has already started projects that will at least take that long to finish. Or should we pay someone else to redo it all? Lets not let the racial drama get in the way of good business sense.

Despite the skin color of any contractor, billing errors do happen with extensive work involving several projects spread out over a large area. The bigger the project, the bigger the error$ can be. Anyone who has run a business would understand this. Constructive criticism for BISD : a better system of checks and balances for the books will help.

Mr. Williams where did you

Mr. Williams where did you get your information about the check? If you can tell me I'd like to know.

S.

Zenobia Bush Shows Us the Face of Racism

Zenobia Bush was mad.

"They (the people that filled out the forms to speak before the Board of Trustees and exercising their right to free speech)seem to think that theirs is the only community in this city. MY constituents don't feel the way that some of you came up here and spoke. I get calls saying "Yea, Calvin Walker, yea because you get sick and tired of people trying to prove you guilty of something you have not done."

For the entire :01:19 video go here:

http://thes-pit.blogspot.com/2012/07/zenobia-bushs-racism-rant.html?show...

Ms. Bush represents District 2, an area which includes the east side of the North End, almost all of Old Town, and part of the Avenues neighborhood of College St.

Ms. Bush is apparently unaware that HER CONSTITUENTS include white people like me that live in the North End and Old Town, the "community of Hispanics" that live in the southern most part of her district and that are moving into the neighborhoods of the North End.

I can absolutely assure you Ms. Bush that I did not support the extending of Calvin Walker's contract after he admitted that he defrauded the district of over $300,000 in federal court. Unlike you, dear madam who thought it was a matter of "race", I thought it was a matter of a dishonest man who stole from his employer and admitted it in a court of law.

Now, I could assume that all of the other white people that live in my district feel likewise because they are, well, white like me. Does that expose a mindset that views the world through a prism of skin color of my fellow man? Would that make me a racist or just a bigot?

S.

www.thes-pit.blogspot.com

Race is a issue in Bmt......Z Bush stated the fact of the matter

I am a black resident in District 2 and I think that Z Bush represented the district well. The Walker case was less about dishonesty and more about race. So Z Bush called it like we all see it....yes even you. The long standing "good ol boy system " was disrupted, and white contractors had to sit on the sideline for a change while a black contractor made big money. So they targeted him(not uncommon for blks)and after all was said and done they expected BISD to immediately discard him. But BISD by majority held their own(Walker). Beaumont is largely populated by Blks that will not sit back and allow our people, or minorities of any color, to be unfairly targeted and discarded.

So, it's ok for a black man

So, it's ok for a black man to make big money even if a great part of it comes from his dishonest actions? And the money he gained from his dishonest actions came out of the pockets of the BISD taxpayers. How is this racist? Only because the Bush lady thinks it will smooth over and hide the dishonesty. Is it possible that Walker made a deal with some of the board members and some of the school administration that he would be quiet about certain things if they would keep paying him with taxpayer money to keep on keeping on? Maybe, but it sure is possible.

All of these comments about

All of these comments about race should be totally disregarded. This case is about misuse of money. The public's money that is supposed to educated our children. These people allowed him to do work for an inflated amount knowing it could have been done cheaper therefore taking money away from our children. I am a BISD teacher and I am forced to pay for many classroom supplies out of my own pocket because the district claims we don't have the funds. The funds would be there if the people at the top weren't mismanaging OUR money! Educating our children are what is the most important thing. I think this board has forgotten that!

I have supported Dr. Carrol Thomas

Mr. Williams, I have supported Dr. Carrol Thomas until recently. I cannot support him any longer.

I have fought the racists who made disgusting comments about Dr. Thomas, people in his administration, and Beaumont and it's citizens on the Beaumont Enterprise comment boards and THE BAYOU. I have attempted to shame the Enterprise on cleaning up that cesspool, and it is better.

I do not judge people by skin color.

But I can tell you that I am disappointed that for whatever reason, be it having to fight so hard over the years, frustration, bad judgment, in the decisions Dr. Carrol Thomas and the BISD Board has made lately.

I think it is a crying shame that Dr. Thomas's and the board's crowning achievement, passing that bond issue and building all of those brand new schools is being tainted by the final months of his tenure as superintendent of BISD.

But all of that being said, I am hopeful as Dr. Chargois seems like an intelligent and thoughtful person who is in this for the right reasons--the education of our children--and I think he will make an excellent superintendent for our district. He has my full and complete support.

S.

Far more good done for our students

So your willing to stop supporting someone who has done more good than bad? Well I say No man is perfect. The achievements that have been made over 16 years under the leadership of Dr Carol Thomas can be seen today and will be carried with our children of this District long after they graduate high school. To dismiss it would suggest that the hard work of the teachers and staff was all done in vain. I think not!
He represented them all. And I would like to also think that he has made far more good and impactful decisions than bad. And all the last minute controversy is just an attempt to sabotage that ideal. Well I for one am not blinded by the smoke...I am very proud of the overall performance of Dr Carol Thomas, Staff, and teachers over the past 16 years. You should be too.

What do yhou think about this, Mr. Williams?

This is from the US Courts.

Page 2, 4b: Records from the BISD reflect that on or about August 29, 2009 the defendant submitted an invoice for labor, materials, and rental equipment in the amount of 1592839.10 for wiring of two temporary campuses. On or about 9/9/92009 the BISD issued a chec in the amount 1592839.10 for payment of such materials as well for labor and equipment rental charges...Records of the BISD contained copies of bills of materials from third party electrical wholesale companies along with copies of unnegotiated checks drawn on defendant's bank account in the same amounts, payable to said wholesalers. Included in the wholesale invoices was an invoice in the amount of $382,975.32 which had been altered to reflect it was an invoice when in fact the document as a quote and not an actual purchase. The defendant's check payable to that wholesaler n the amount of 382975.32 was never presented to the wholesaler or negotiated. Records of the BISD also contained similar altered documents purportedly from the same electrical supplier matching invoices submitted by the defendant for materials in other projects.
__________

Do you think you are being played by your own leaders in the black community?

S.

Smoke

I have an idea you were blinded long before this started smoking. I would truly be ashamed to not be able to see what's been going on. And the racist talk has been started by the racists on the school board. It's really strange, but for some reason, if a white person complains about a black person doing wrong, then the white person is racist. That's not the way I see it. But it's seen that way by some on the school board. Sad, ain't it?

Walker contract extended with BISD | The Examiner

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