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CFO Willie "Ann" Westbrooks (left) and Auditor Dan Hernandez

The Beaumont ISD trustees added a new CFO, Willie “Ann” Westbrooks, to the staff to replace two former finance officials currently facing federal prosecution for embezzling more than $4 million from the district’s coffers over a three-year period.

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Beaumonters haven’t heard the last in the fight for $3.2 million taken from BISD contract electrician Calvin Walker by the U.S. Department of Justice, money seized when Walker faced federal prosecution for submitting doctored invoices to the local school district for payment in 2012.

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Fifteen community members have been selected to serve on the newly formed Beaumont Independent School District Special Accreditation Committee, although not all of those named have yet decided whether to participate in any endeavor solicited in the name of the current school district leadership.

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AUSTIN – The Texas Education Agency announced today that Commissioner of Education Michael Williams will host a tele-town hall on Thursday, April 10, to hear specifically from community members about issues surrounding the Beaumont Independent School District.

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State Representative Joe Deshotel said Wednesday morning that he believes a TEA takeover of B.I.S.D. may be the only way for the district to regain the trust of the community so that it can continue its duty of educating children. He believes we must move forward with the TEA staff's recommendation in order to be assured that no misdeeds or malfeasance at the administrative levels be allowed to negatively impact the district's accreditation.

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State Rep. Joe Deshotel

State Rep. Joe Deshotel said Wednesday morning, April 9, 2014, that he believes a Texas Education Agency takeover of Beaumont Independent School District may be the only way for the district to regain the trust of the community so it can continue its duty of educating children.

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FBI agents raided the homes of Naomi Lawrence-Lee and William "Bo" Kelley early this morning. 

Agents would not comment as they exited Lawrence-Lee's home, but loaded numerous boxes into a sedan before leaving. 

Lee is BISD's assistant director of finance/purchasing.

Agents were inside Lawrence-Lee's home from about 8:30 a.m. until about 11:30 a.m.

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Keeath Magee

A petition for injunctive relief and temporary restraining order was requested Wednesday, April 2, by city resident Melinda Harper against the Beaumont Independent School District due to the agency paying alleged hush money to a former Ozen High School football coach that resigned from the district in Febru­ary.

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TEA Commissioner Michael Williams (studiosuzelle.blogspot.com photo)

UPDATE: Jefferson County District Attorney Cory Crenshaw responds to the TEA announcement of a takeover recommendation.

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