KETR

Two People Indicted in Theft of Funds From Greenville ISD

Oct 2, 2019

One of the two people indicted in connection with the alleged theft of thousands of dollars from Greenville Independent School District is a former official of the district.

Former GISD Chief Human Resources Officer Ralph Lee Sanders and Tevin Brookins were both indicted by the Hunt County grand jury on charges of theft of property by a public servant of the value between $2,500 and $30,000 on Aug. 23 of this year.

According to the Herald-Banner, the charges were issued sealed, pending the arrest and presentation of the indictments to each of the individuals.

Brookins, 26, of Greenville, was reported to be in custody of the Hunt County Detention Center Tuesday, where he is being held on the charge in lieu of the posted $150,000 bond.

Sanders, 61, of Irving, was reported to be in custody in Dallas County on or around Aug. 24 and was later released on $50,000 bond.

Raegan Lynn Lambert with the Texas Attorney General’s Office is handling prosecution of the case and could not be reached for comment Tuesday by the Herald-Banner.

A hearing for the arraignments on the indictments will be held at 10 a.m. Friday morning.

An attorney representing Sanders could not immediately be located through court records.

Frederick C. Shelton, a local attorney has been appointed to represent Brookins. When the Herald-Banner contacted him Tuesday, Shelton said he had just been handed the case and cound not speak to the details of the case.

“I know the indictment is related to theft,” Shelton said to the Herald-Banner. “I’m going to ask for a bond reduction.”

He was quick to note that Brookins $150,000 bond is inordinately high for a theft charge that alleges a maximum of $30,000.

“My client has no previous criminal history so I think the bond is too high,” Shelton said.

The charge itself alleges that between Aug. 1 2016 and Dec. 31, 2017 Sanders and Brookins appropriated “money, or pay or benefits” from the district during Sanders’ tenure “and such property appropriated had therefore come into Ralph Sanders’ custody, possession, or control by virtue of his status as such a public servant.”

The charges amount to a third degree felony which is punishable by a maximum sentence from two to 10 years in prison, with an optional fine of up to $10,000.

Greenville ISD released an official statement Tuesday regarding Brookins and Sanders:

“In late October 2017, GISD became aware of issues regarding these two individuals named in the indictments.

The District promptly conducted a thorough internal investigation and took appropriate personnel action. Neither of the individuals named in the indictments have been employed with GISD since 2017.

In April 2018, on the recommendation of the District’s new general counsel and the forensic auditor, the District referred the matter to law enforcement. The District appreciates law enforcement’s continued work on this case.

Investigations concerning this matter have been in process for over two years, and we are grateful to see them coming to a conclusion.”

The district then later issued an additional statement clarifying that the money allegedly stolen by Brookins and Sanders was not in any way connected to the reported shortfall, all of which was covered and accounted for in the forensic audit.

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