Constable vs. Hempstead ISD: Law enforcement official accuses school district of misusing money

Allegations of misused money in one southeast Texas town are pitting a constable's office against the school district (Adela Uchida)
October 28, 2013 3:30:05 PM PDT
The Waller County Precinct 3 Constable says he's asking the district attorney's office to take a look at two different financial issues with Hempstead Independent School District. One employee is now on administrative leave after what was uncovered by an open records request.

According to Constable Herschel Smith, Hempstead ISD's business manager, Sharon Loukanis, wrote checks to her husband's business out of the district's bank accounts. The husband has a plumbing company that has a contract with the district, but the constable says an open records search shows Loukanis has been writing checks for more than the $50,000 limit allowed.

"There's a couple of payments that was made over $50,000 that never went through the board. The board never signed on it," Smith said. "On top of that, there's no minutes that goes along with this, so a lot of this she's been doing without board approval."

Hempstead ISD's superintendent gave us a statement that read, in part, "at this time there are only allegations; however the district is committed to efficiently and effectively resolving this matter with as little disruption to our students and their learning environment as possible."

The superintendent confirms that Loukanis is on administrative leave pending the outcome of an audit.

The second accusation of misappropriation of school district funds from the constable has to do with the former superintendent, Gene Glover. Smith says the board overpaid him when he resigned early this year. This, the constable says, is an issue for the Texas Education Agency and the district attorney's office.

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