HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — IDEA’s CEO and chief operating officer have parted ways with the school district following an investigation of misused funds, according to a letter by acting CEO Al Lopez.
Lopez stated that the decision was made after the board received an anonymous tip about “inappropriate expenditures and other misuses of IDEA resources.”
After receiving the tip, the Board directed an outside counsel to do an in-depth review of financial transactions and activities of IDEA senior executives over the past several years.
The counsel found that “a small number of IDEA senior leaders directed the use of IDEA financial and staff resources for their personal benefit on multiple occasions” before the board of directors implemented new policies in January 2020.
Lopez said in the letter that the Board is cooperating with the Texas Education Agency (TEA), and a discussion with the Commissioner about the possible appointment of a monitor or conservator.
We are taking additional steps, including the hiring of additional internal auditors, to ensure all of IDEA’s funds and resources are expended for the direct benefit of our students. We recognize that we must remain extra vigilant as IDEA’s work continues.IDEA Public Schools Acting CEO via a letter.
While the board searches for a new CEO and COO, Lopez will continue to work as acting CEO and IDEA Public School Vice-Chair Collin Sewell will be acting COO.