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Boosters were paying Pepsi, while BISD was not - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Boosters were paying Pepsi, while BISD was not

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BEAUMONT -

12News has learned that in light of recent financial controversies plaguing the Beaumont Independent School District, the district is taking over student activity accounts, and teachers and sponsors will now have to request funds from the administration.

That worries one school board member who said the district lacks financial accountability.  He said an example is the district's failure to pay one of its major vendors, Pepsi, for an entire year.

Sources within BISD tell us the district's purchasing director Naomi Lawrence-Lee was put in charge of handling invoices from Pepsi.

Pepsi stocks the concession stands at the Thomas Center football stadium and natatorium.  Our sources tell us Lee received extra pay to make sure the Pepsi bills were being paid, but turns out they were not.

For unknown reasons Lee was suspended with pay on January 14, one week later, BISD paid Pepsi the total unpaid amount for the previous year, $18,912.74.

We've asked the district why it took so long, they say they're investigating.

Making the situation more puzzling is that BISD was charging the booster clubs in the district for Pepsi products, while BISD was not paying their bills.

The booster clubs sell Pepsi at the Thomas Center concession stands to raise money for school athletics and other student activities, but they must pay BISD for the Pepsi they use.

But since BISD wasn't paying Pepsi, some boosters wonder what happened to the money they were paying the district for Pepsi.

The West Brook High Football Booster Club paid BISD $3,875.20 last year for the Pepsi products it used for fundraising, and receipts from Central Medical Magnet High School show the school's booster club paid about the same.  Ozen High's boosters also paid, but they wanted their board to meet before issuing a statement.

We've also requested from BISD the exact amount in extra pay Lee was getting to work on those Pepsi invoices.

We will keep you updated.

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