New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 27, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas
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Herald-Zeitung □ Sunday. April 27,1997 □ 3A
From Page 1
was discovered in the fall audit and Williamson immediately replaced the
“The board and I met with the auditors in December to go over the audit, and that’s when it came up,” Williamson said. “That’s the first any of us had heard about it.”
Pine Tree 1SD board president Jan Sansom said the transfer involved almost $3.3 million. However, she said, the board does not believe Williamson was involved in the incident.
“We have no reason to believe Dr. Williamson had anything to do with that or knew anything about it,” she said.
The district’s financial problems surfaced in mid-December, and in January Williamson’s contract evaluation went before the board. Sansom said that at that point there were still a lot of questions about what happened, and the board opted to not act on the contract until it had a better understanding of the situation. The board is expected to take the issue back up in July. Williamson has slightly more than two years left on his contract with Pine Tree ISD.
“That contract evaluation came up right on the heels of this. We just felt we needed more answers,” Sansom said. “We just felt like we could come back to that at any time.” Williamson said he agreed with the board regarding the delay in acting on his contract extension. He said the board also delayed the administrator contracts as well.
“We just felt like the timing wasn’t right,” he said.
Shepperd said since the discovery of the deficit, steps have been take to rectify the situation. She said Williamson and the board have developed an internal management plan that is expected to be approved next month. The plan has checks and balances in it to prevent something like this from reoccurring. She also said a solution was found for the deficit.
“He and the board of trustees have worked out a plan to build up our fund balance to financial security again,” Shepperd said.
Williamson said if hired, he would bring the checks and balances procedures with him. He said New Braunfels could be doing a lot of the steps already, but that he would want to look at the procedures.
“It’s been a real learning experience for us and we’ve done a lot of extensive research into how to prevent this again,” he said. “If (NBISD does not have similar procedures) we’d discuss how we might do it because I think its a real
Court rules tobacco is a drug
THE FINAL DECISION
The NBISD Board of Trustees will visit the home district of the leading superintendent candidate May 5 and 6.
The board is scheduled to make a final decision May 7.
Source: New Braunfels Independent School District
good idea to have something like this in place.”
In addition to the two plans, Williamson and the board have sought a second auditing firm to look in-depth at the circumstances.
“Because, obviously, when something like this happens you want to know how and why,” Shepperd said.
The NBISD board of trustees Thursday interviewed Williamson for the second time for the superintendent position. Williamson said he does not know what impact the financial problems will have on his application, but said “even very good districts go through times of trial.”
“We’ve had to correct it and go on with providing a good education, and that’s what we’ve done,” he said.
Trustee Leo Chafin said the financial issue was raised during the first interview by Williamson. Chafin said Williamson explained the situation to the trustees and gave them copies of the paperwork detailing it.
“He said ‘I guarantee it won’t happen again,’ and I think that’s a plus for him,” Chafin said. “I’m very glad he was up front about it, which speaks very highly of him.”
Trustee Bette Spain she was “very concerned” when she initially heard about the situation. However, she
said, it was a mistake that was not very obvious, and once it surfaced, Williamson took adequate steps to handle the situation.
“Now that I know a lot of the details, it’s not as big of a concern to me,” she said.
Trustee Steve Weaver said he would review the information to determine how it effects Williamson’s application.
“Personally, what I’m doing at this point is reviewing the situation and trying to make my own
determination,” he said.
Trustee Anne Miller said she felt like Williamson was being honest about the situation and has been very up front. The board is looking into it though, she said.
“We’re looking into it, and we’re not going to do anything that’s going to do anything that’s going to hurt our district,” Miller said.
“Everyone’s being very candid about it.”
Trustee Sylvia Sanchez said she only had a portion of the information surrounding the issue and did not want to comment. Board Vice President Carlos Campos said he' could not comment on the topic because the board had decided to have the district’s public information officer handle all statements regarding the superintendent search.
In an interview on Tuesday, Connie Milligan, past president of the FTA said Williamson is the best superintendent the district has ever had. She said he has created an advisory panel and a site-based team to give parents a louder voice. She said he makes sure parents are well informed, and parents can go to him with any problem and know he will do his best to rectify it. She said he is also involved in the community, and will serve as the United Way president next year.
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GREENSBORO, N C. (AP) — A judge’s ruling that the government can regulate tobacco as a drug has thrown cigarette companies, already reeling from lawsuits, into a nightmare scenario, opponents said.
In a landmark ruling from the heart of tobacco country Friday, U.S. District Judge William Osteen snuffed out the industry’s biggest arguments: that Congress never intended for the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco and that the government has not proved tobacco is a drug.
“‘The court finds that tobacco products fit within the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act’s definition of ‘drug’ and ‘device,’" Osteen wrote.
In a victory for the tobacco industry, Osteen ruled that the government could not restrict cigarette advertising. Appeals are likely.
“This is not the last word on that issue,” said Ben Rein, an attorney for Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. “It’s not unlikely that this will go to the Supreme Court.”
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