More than a year after it was disclosed Gadsden Independent School District was $3.9 million in the hole, and after failing for four years in a row to fulfill the mandatory annual audit reports required of school districts, GISD still has not caught up with its books. In a sharply worded letter to Rep. Luciano (“Lucky”) Varela, Chairman of the LFC, and to Veronica Garcia, Secretary of Public Education, dated August 28, 2009, state auditor Hector Balderas wrote that reports for 2007 and 2008 are still not submitted. “…We have been working for months with GISD and Gibson (the GISD auditor) for this information and have been unsuccessful. Therefore I would respectfully request that the Legislative Finance Committee and the Public Education Department strongly consider all available options to assist the OSA (Office of the State Auditor) in compelling completion of GISD’s financial audits.”
In reply, Steven Suggs, Associate Superintendent for Finance, wrote to Auditor Balderas on September 8, 2009, indicating that the 2008-2009 audit will be completed “by the end of January 2010.” References to the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 years were blacked out in the copy of the letter provided by the state auditor’s office, but the GISD finance department indicates the 2006-2007 audit is complete, and the 2007-2008 audit should be finished in the next three weeks.