After spending more than an hour behind closed doors discussing the contract between Walker's Electric and the Beaumont Independent School District, trustees voted to allow the school attorney, Melody Chappell, review invoices and other documents - tabling the issue of whether or not to suspend the relationship between the company and BISD.
Chappell will review the same documents the FBI used to indict Walker on 37-counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and other charges district to determine whether BISD was actually over-billed. Chappell will report her findings to the board at its June meeting.
According to the contract, there is a 30-day clause that requires the district give notice and allows Walker to close out jobs prior to Walker's Electric being sacked by BISD. Since the contract is up for renewal in September, the delay until June for Chappell's report and a 30-day notice for termination would bring the district to within about a month of having to go out for bid to use another electrical contractor.
Two days after a meeting notice was posted alerting the public the Beaumont Independent School District Board of Trustees would take up contractual issues involving Walker’s Electric Company, Stacy Walker sent a letter to the school district claiming she, not her husband Calvin Gary Walker, was the owner of the company.
Calvin Walker is currently facing a 37-count federal indictment for mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and numerous other federal charges alleging he bilked the school district out of more than $3.7 million.
“I have just been made aware that you are voting tonight to consider suspending Beaumont Independent School District’s five year contract with Walker’s Electric Company,” Stacy Walker wrote. “The contract is up for renewal September 1, 2011. Please be reminded that Walker’s Electric Company is not under an indictment.
“Walker’s Electric Company is owned and in the name of Stacy R. Walker not Calvin Walker. Calvin Walker is an employee of Walker’s Electric Company. With that in mind I am respectfully requesting time to get another licensed electrician to fill in while Calvin Walker defends himself against the false allegations and the indictment. All persons, including Calvin Walker are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.”
While Stacy Walker may claim to be the “owner” of the company, it is a corporation and corporations are not owned, they have shareholders. She is listed as a secretary of the company, according to the Texas Secretary of State but her husband, Calvin Walker, is not only listed as a secretary of the company but also a director.
According to the board agenda, trustees will discuss the issue behind closed doors in executive session but some members of the board want the matter discussed publicly. Tom Neild and Mike Neil both said they think the public needs to be aware of what is going on because the accusations against Walker involve tax dollars.