Sign up as a Citizen Journalist and get involved in Information Activism.
Sign Up for Watchdog Updates!
Original reporting by Steve Miller
The superintendent of the Tornillo Independent School District, Paul Vranish, benefitted by using his position to approve purchase of items that were not sanctioned by his contract, spent public money in a “reckless manner,” and submitted the same hotel invoice twice for reimbursement, according to a state audit.
The final investigative report from the Texas Education Agency notes financial lapses at the district and suggests at several points that Vranish may have violated numerous codes and laws.
The state agency examined $117,394 in reimbursements to Vranish and his wife, also employed by the district, in the 2011 fiscal year, finding $47,909 in questionable costs.
Several members of the district’s board of trustees and school system’s lawyer refute the state’s assertions.
“We are giving them feedback and expect everything to go away,” said Jim Darnell, the attorney representing Vranish.
According to the state, which issued its final report Aug. 31, Vranish used travel for the district to earn frequent flier mileage points, then used those points for district travel.
“He then requests reimbursement for the miles used by submitting documents that show what that flight would have cost if the district had paid for a regular airline ticket, as well as the associated fees charged to use the frequent flier miles,” the report states. “Because the superintendent is charged with protecting the district’s assets and using them for the benefit of the district’s students, but instead used them in a reckless manner, he may be in violation” of several articles of the Texas Constitution.
Vranish declined to comment.
Tags: Paul Vranish, schools, taxpayer, Texas
- San Antonio Area Proposes Bond “Re-Fi” for New Schools
- Opinion: Time to shed new transparency on those who oppose government transparency
- Is Cy-Fair ISD illegally using tax dollars to lobby?
- SOLD: Lawmakers approve selling off Texas roads to private corporations
- DOUBLE TAX: Texas lawmakers vote to use property taxes to build toll roads