2020 Forensic Audit

DeSoto ISD to Release Findings From Forensic Evaluation

DeSoto ISD Board of Trustees received three draft reports from forensic examiner Weaver & Tidwell LLP at the Monday, April 27, 2020, regular meeting, recapping a draft of the preliminary findings of the months-long review.  While many specifics were discussed in executive session, investigators, Bill Brown and Travis Casner, provided a general overview of findings in Open Session which were categorized in three key areas:

  1. Factors outside district control
  2. Financial mismanagement
  3. Suspected fraud, waste, abuse

The Board reviewed the draft reports to ensure that all key questions were answered and to evaluate sharing with outside agencies, including the Texas Education Agency and law enforcement. One of the drafts is now available for the public while the other two reports will remain confidential pending reviews and actions by outside agencies.

Part of these published findings contain the firm’s recommendations to mitigate the reoccurrence of this behavior and includes the following:

  • Regular reports to the Board regarding financial changes and developments, especially negative trends or required corrective actions.
  • Regular training of personnel regarding purchasing procedures including competitive bidding, the purchase order process and other such practices and policies.
  • Limiting travel and implementing a requirement to share acquired learning obtained from conferences and professional development.
  • Conflict of interest policy should be strengthened and enforced.
  • Clarification and expansion of the district’s policy on nepotism, hiring practices, and awarding of vendor contracts and payments.
  • Implementation of sub-committee to monitor spending and budgetary adherence for major projects.

A majority of the above recommendations have already been implemented by DeSoto ISD leaders.

“Our hope is that the publication of these findings is a step towards healing. DeSoto ISD is committed to moving forward with honesty and transparency as we carve out a future for our school system and community rooted in re-establishing trust, confidence and collaboration,” Superintendent Dr. D’Andre Weaver said.