MANOR, Texas (KXAN) — The Manor Police Department confirms they have opened an investigation into Manor Independent School District.
The police investigation is in direct response to an audit released last week. Among the findings, the audit showed how mismanaged school funds put students at risk.
Astronomical spending, overpaying employees and coaches added to the payroll under the table, meaning instructors who had not been fingerprinted or background checked worked directly with students, are all just a part of the accusations listed in the audit of the school district. An example of this was the lack of supervision in the business office, which handed over a check for more than $70,000 to a former employee who spent it on a Mercedes Benz before the error was discovered.
Two Manor ISD employees resigned after they were both placed on administrative leave during the audit. A third faculty member later resigned as well.
Manor Police Chief Ryan Phipps says taxpayers want, need and deserve answers and accountability.
“I don’t think that these types of accusations are things that should just go away or could be swept under the rug,” Chief Phipps told KXAN.”If somebody needs to be held accountable, they need to be held accountable.”
Chief Phipps said the audit indicated several possible violations of state law.
“There’s so many to list that I can’t really go into each one,” he said. “There’s also documentation that may have been falsified, we need to look into that. They are a government entity.”
KXAN caught up with former Manor ISD dance director and instructor Michelle “Chell” Parkins, who left the school district in July to work at Middle Tennessee State University, and was interviewed for the audit.
“It would be difficult to say that I didn’t leave because it was incredibly difficult to do my job without some added stress that seemed unnecessary,” Parkins explained. “My bigger concerns are, how did this happen and not, how did this happen at Manor, but how did this happen in an American public school?”
Chief Phipps says his department plans to turn over findings to appropriate agencies, including the District Attorney’s office and even federal prosecutors, as there are numerous questions and concerns about improper payments to a former employee and how federal grant money was spent.
“There’s gotta be a way to bring these things to the surface, address them, move forward, but you know, create a more positive system,” Parkins said.
We reached out to the superintendent, but have not yet heard back.