San Antonio Preparatory Academy, a charter school district ordered closed, was run by a superintendent convicted of defrauding a bank, a violation of state law — one of several major allegations of mismanagement found by state auditors.
Most of the audit by the Texas Education Agency alleges wrongdoing by former Superintendent Roi Garcia, son of Raul Garcia, who founded the charter school in 2003 and is chairman of the governing board. Roi Garcia resigned a year ago, the audit said.
Roi Garcia also is accused of misusing state money to pay fictitious vendors and depositing the payments in what the TEA describes as his personal bank account, according to its investigation.
The TEA audit also found that the district had employed 29 family members or members of El Sendero Assembly of God Church, where Raul Garcia serves as pastor. None had been hired according to state-mandated practices, the TEA found…
Roi Garcia gave a contractor a false Social Security number to use so the school could hire him as a vendor, according to a signed statement by the contractor. The number belonged to Garcia's wife, the audit said.
Auditors found doctored vendor invoices on a computer that Roi Garcia submitted for payment to the school. The checks were then deposited into Garcia's bank account.
An employee told auditors she was directed by Roi Garcia to alter a receipt for goods he had purchased for the church that he planned to submit to the school for reimbursement.
Charter school employees were used to perform personal services for Roi Garcia, such as mowing grass and moving exercise equipment.
The district contracted with people who had personal relationships with the Garcias, such as Roi's brother-in-law who was the school's heating and air conditioning repairman. The TEA found he was not licensed to perform that work…
The audit lists at least 14 checks drawn on taxpayer funds to pay vendors that were instead deposited into the bank account controlled by Roi Garcia under the name Pathway Educational Ministry. It was the same account in which he deposited his personal paychecks, the audit found.
The audit states that Roi Garcia's resignation occurred after an anonymous letter, mailed to the TEA and Raul Garcia, said Roi Garcia was convicted of felony bank fraud.
According to federal records, Roi Garcia, listed under his birth name Roy Larry Garcia, pleaded guilty in 1988 to lying on a savings and loan association application. He was sentenced to two years in federal prison and paroled in 1989.
Garcia sent the TEA a form dated Nov. 16, 2009, and included in the audit that stated he was not convicted of a felony. The penalty for lying on the form is perjury…
Raul Garcia maintains the charter district is not related to the church. The TEA sees it differently, as its audit reported that Sendero Academy rents space from his church and San Antonio Preparatory Academy rents from a ministry Roi Garcia runs…
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San Antonio Preparatory Academy district (two campuses)
TEA ALLEGES ILLEGALITIES AT DISTRICT: AUDIT ACCUSES CHARTER SCHOOLS' EX-CHIEF OF NEPOTISM, COLLECTING CASH SENT TO FICTITIOUS VENDORS; April 3, 2011: San Antonio Express-News (TX)