CFO Explains Why EPISD Paid for Overpriced Posters

POSTED: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 5:33pm

UPDATED: Friday, August 12, 2011 - 3:31pm

EL PASO- Too much trust in district employees may have allowed the superintendent to allegedly scheme hundreds of thousands of dollars from EPISD.
Today, NewsChannel 9 asked the CFO of the district how a contract this large passed with so little scrutiny. How could a nearly half a million dollar contract for posters and training make it past district staff?

The CFO of the El Paso School District, Kenneth Parker says, “”At this particular time there was more trust in the department that they would do the research and due diligence to make sure it was a legitimate purchase.”

Indicted superintendent Lorenzo Garcia allegedly conspired with a business owner to defraud the EPISD. The district paid a Houston based company called Infinity Resources $360,000 for posters and the training to use them. But the district says no one knew that Garcia had a personal financial interest in the company and no one asked any questions.

“The department developed what they wanted to purchase, they even issued a purchase order and they receive the goods. So it was all basically handled in one department and doesn't have the checks and balances in place that it does today,” says Parker.

And with only one department looking over such an expensive purchase, there was more room for error.

“The memo from the vendor stating that it was copyrighted materials those types of things look like a legitimate transaction and it’s very easy to see how this transaction could have been processed,” says Parker.

Even after spending big bucks for these posters, it still cost the district even more money to make them.

“The materials were going to be reproduced by the districts media center and distributed to campuses within EPISD,” says Parker.

Parker says they still don't know how much was spent printing.

Kenneth Parker also added that he obviously wishes this hadn't happened but he told us that this incident will not have a negative impact on the students in the EPISD.
 

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Key words "Due Dilligence" and because they did not due that they are now in this situation.

There are reasons why we created watch dog positions or departments to catch such problems or abuse of funds but like true EP style we always go with "i won't tell if you wont".

I love how the CFO just lies and say it won't affect students but you waisted their parents hard earned money and the states funding with this. So now that extra field trip probably won't happen or after school program.

Seems to me that the more educated you become the more likely you are to do stupid things. The good doctor decided he was going to throw some business his girlfriend's way and in the process line his pockets with profits from that deal. Way to go "Chencho"...you just threw your career away and the EPISD taxpayers under the bus with that bonehead deal of yours. I bet your family is really proud of you Dr. "Tonto".

Of course, no one is to blame. We are just to trusting and ignorant. This makes it okay. It's not like it's real money that the teachers or students could use.

The CFO should just fess up and say that he was having a few beers with the Sunland Park mayor when he signed the contract. Ha!

In order to bypass the Texas Administrative Code and OMB circular A-110 procurement requirements they issued a "sole-source" contract.

This clearly sounds like a kick-back for female companionship. However, to make this happen requires colusion by the superintendent with the contracts or procurement department.

The contracts and procurement managers need to be fired immediatelly. At the same time, the CFO must have signed the contract or purchase order to encumber the funding.

Sounds like the crooks are circling the wagons, and trying to do a good job of CYA. Half a million dollar contract just rubber stamped. If this were a private industry, everyone from the (super) to the Board would be handed a pink slip. But wait, the Multimillion dollar district should not be run like a business, just spend at will, and make your cronies fat and happy. Shame on the Board for not doing due diligence on this major expenditure.

This article sounds as though the EPISD is laying the groundwork for adding yet another tax grabbing department...one that will double check all the paperwork and orders. This, of course, will be an excuse for more taxpayer money going to the SCHOOLS! School administrations have turned into mini federal civil service admins. In other words, big black holes, sucking in every dime in sight.

boy you guys are trying so hard to bring our district down that you are just coming up with any story..really??are we the only district in the city?no why dont you report on Socorro believe me something is going on there....lay off already

Lay off? Sorry but taxpayers, like myself, would like to know how our money is going to waste. If you have any information to provide on what is going on in a different district, then by all means share it. Why are so concerned with how the district is being portrayed? What do you stand to lose?

EPISD is not the only school district..I'm just of the news and everyone else focusing on our district when there's other schools in our area doing worse..SISD has stuff going on and Burnham Wood is being investigated by TEA why don't they report on them...our tax money is not going to waste.. our children's education is not a waste.I dont need to provide any info that why they have reporters....

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