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Each year, as the time comes to conduct the annual performance review of Beaumont Independent School District Superintendent Carrol Thomas, there are rumors it will be his last year in the district. But this year the rumors are much louder, and there’s a twist – Thomas is supposedly shopping a $1 million contract buyout.

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After a lengthy jury selection process, 10 women and two men were seated to hear the case against Calvin Walker, of Walker's Electric Company, where the Bob Rawls with the U.S. Attorney Office for the Eastern District of Texas will try to convince them that Walker defrauded taxpayers by falsifying invoices and requests for payment submitted to the district for payment.

"This case is about greed," Rawls told the jury. "It is a violation of the public trust and theft of public funds."

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Beaumont Independent School District Superintendent Carrol Thomas had to leave a parents luncheon early Thursday in order too make a flight that would bring him to Washington D.C. where he was a guest of the White House as it announced major changes to the current No Child Left Behind Act.

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The agenda for Thursday's Beaumont Independent School District Board of Trustees regular meeting is listed inside and the attachments, which a majority of trustees voted to keep secret from the public, have been provided. The Examiner obtained copies of the attachments that BISD officials wanted to keep from the public and has placed them above the meeting agenda.

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Calvin Walker, left, shown here with his daughter

UPDATE:

After spending more than an hour behind closed doors discussing the contract between Walker's Electric and the Beaumont Independent School District, trustees voted to allow the school attorney, Melody Chappell, review invoices and other documents - tabling the issue of whether or not to suspend the relationship between the company and BISD.

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Although the municipal elections in Beaumont included mayoral and city council candidates the most watched issue on the ballot Saturday, May 14 had to do with the Beaumont Independent School District and a movement to change the representative system from seven single-member districts to five single-member districts with two at-large positions - a plan similar to what is in place with the Beaumont City Council.

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Former Beaumont City Councilwoman Bobbie J. Patterson is now spearheading a drive she calls “Operation One Vote,” which is an outreach mission encouraging citizens to register to vote and to actually go to the polls and cast a ballot in coming elections.

In conjunction with a host of other entities, the group is sponsoring a “Meet-the-Candidates Forum & Voter Registration Drive,” which is scheduled for Thursday, April 7, at 7 p.m. at Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Hall located at 3390 Sarah Street in Beaumont.

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Continuing its ongoing investigation into allegations of wrongdoing related to a $388.6 million bond initiative passed by voters in 2007, two agents with the FBI and a prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice for the Eastern District of Texas were at the Beaumont Independent School District administration building this week to retrieve a computer for FBI analysis, The Examiner has confirmed. Additionally, several staff members have been questioned by federal authorities.

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A number of local law enforcement agencies are currently assisting the Federal Bureau of Investigations in the execution of search warrants of Calvin Walker of Walker's Electric located in Beaumont.

The Examiner first broke the news of the FBI's investigation into Walker over a year ago.

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