Tornillo School Superintendent Accused of Corruption

Tornillo School Superintendent Accused of Corruption
Friday, September 14, 2012 - 9:44pm

The state has found another area school superintendent guilty of corruption. According to an investigation conducted by the Texas Education Agency, Tornillo Superintendent
Paul Vranish knowingly cheated the district out of more than $47,000. It happened in 2011. The report states that Vranish used his personal credit card to pay for district purchases even though he had access to a district issued credit card. Auditors say he was then reimbursed money that he shouldn't have received. According to the report, Vranish also accumulated frequent flier miles on his credit card, and used the points to book work related trips. However, he would then ask the district to reimburse him for those plane tickets. The TEA officials say Vrarnish broke several state laws and also say the case has strong similarities to corruption within the El Paso Independent School District.

"Each case is different and we're taking the actions and steps that we feel for each of the districts are necessary to those particular cases. It is a serious situation," said DeEtta Culbertson, a spokesperson for the Texas Education Agency.

The district is disputing the report's findings. School Board President Rachel Avilia tells Newschannel 9 "the report contains too many mistakes and an appeal is in process. The contested amount should be zero."

The district now has 20 days to submit a corrective action plan. Vranish has resigned from the district, effective at the end of the school year. TEA spokesperson DeEtta Culbertson was not sure if law enforcement has been contacted.

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