BISD investigating why a major vendor was not paid for a year

12News has learned that for all of last year, the Beaumont Independent School District did not pay one of its major vendors.

12News has obtained 37 invoices Pepsi sent to BISD seeking payment last year.  They total $18,912.74.

But sources within the district say BISD apparently did not learn until January of this year that Pepsi had not been paid.

Pepsi provides the beverages BISD sells at its concession stands, but 12News has learned that last year, the district failed to pay for the products used at the Thomas Center for football games and swim meets.

The unpaid invoices date back to January 2013, and went all the way up to this past December.

Sources within BISD tell us Purchasing Director Naomi Lawrence-Lee was given the duty to take care of the invoices, and we're told she was receiving extra pay to do so.

However Pepsi was not getting its pay.

On January 14 of this year, the district suspended Lee with pay pending an internal investigation, although BISd has not yet explained why she's being investigated.

But we've learned one week after Lee was placed on leave, the district sent Pepsi one check for the $18,912.74, covering all the unpaid bills for the previous year.

We asked BISD why it took so long, and if there were any other unpaid vendors.  The district spokesperson, Nakisha Myles told us it's under investigation.


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