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A little better coverage of showers can be expected Wednesday as deeper moisture should move northward off the Gulf. The next cold front will be in our area Friday morning with scattered showers and thunderstorms rather likely Thursday evening into Friday. Cooler and drier air will take over this weekend.
Update on requests for BISD information, FOI investigation
More than a month after KFDM News filed Freedom of Information requests, we still have not received all the information we asked Beaumont ISD to give to us.
Our objective in filing the requests was to find the total cost for a conference attended by about two dozen BISD employees.
The conference for the Texas Alliance of Black School Educators, TABSE, was held January 6th through the 9th at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine between Dallas and Fort Worth.
KFDM first reported that the district paid employees and trustees more than $16,000 to attend this one conference, and that's not including all of the expenses.
We filed additional Freedom of Information requests for all adjustments to travel documents, as well as expense reports including all receipts from superintendent Dr. Timothy Chargois' district issued American Express credit card. Without those receipts and a copy of Dr. Chargois' American Express bill, there is no way for us report on exactly how much money Dr. Chargois spent for the TABSE conference, including hotel charges for himself and four trustees.
Also, originally, we had been told that BISD communication specialist Nakisha Myles was unable to attend the conference. However, in reviewing the paperwork, there is a United Airlines luggage receipt from DFW airport and a cab fare receipt both dated February 6th, the opening day of the conference. Both show Nakisa Myles' name. There is also a Gaylord transportation receipt for the last day of the conference. That receipt, too, has the name Nakisha Myles on it.
At this point, KFDM's examination of the paperwork provided by the district shows the cost of the conference has increased to at least $18,000 but, again, we still do not have a final total because BISD has yet to provide the requested items.
We will continue to file Freedom of Information requests to find the total cost to taxpayers for this one conference.
We feel it's important to note--this conference fell in the same month a federal grand jury indicted BISD Chief Financial Officer Devin McCraney and BISD Comptroller Sharika Allison. Both are accused of embezzling at least $4 million from the school district. They've since been terminated. At the same time, Dr. Chargois, told trustees the district was looking down the barrel of a four million dollar deficit from the Exxon Mobil Foreign Trade Zone Agreement. The shortfall brought about an edict from Dr. Chargois that there would be no more travel for district employees.