BISD investigation expected to take until March 2019.
I was asked about the investigation regarding theft/embezzlement at Ballinger Independent School District and why it hasn’t been covered in the paper. The reason is that the Rangers have not released any information on the investigation. I did ask superintendent Jeff Butts about the investigation back in early October but he couldn’t comment due to it being an on-going investigation.
Texas Ranger Jason Shea is the Ranger investigating the case. He has not made any public comment on the investigation.
After checking into the investigation I sent a Freedom of Information request to DPS/Rangers. I have included their letter responding to the request. The Rangers sent the request to their general counsel's office who in turn cited the on-going investigation as reason for not revealing any information. Their belief is that releasing any information regarding the investigation would interfere with it. This is covered in section 552.108(a)(1) of the Government code.
The only portion of the report that was released is the “Investigation Synopsis” that states:
“On 09/11/2018, I, Company “C” Texas Ranger Jason Shea was contacted by Ballinger Police Department chief Stanley Maresch reference a theft investigation that they were conducting. I was asked to assist with the investigation. This is an ongoing investigation.”
The Rangers are scheduled to review my information request again on 3/23/2019.
This is what we know: It’s a felony theft that involves the business office and they’re also investigating the payroll office. The investigation was initiated on 9/11/2018. There have been rumors as to the amount of money stolen but nothing official has been released. The investigation involves business office transactions and credit cards along with other areas of the bookkeeping and other accounts.
As you can see from the photographs the report has been blanked out completely.
I’ve talked to District Attorney John Best and I will be reviewing felony cases where indictments have been handed down, bond set, cases adjudicated, etc. If someone is arrested in the case or there are any other new developments I will follow up this story and include the updated information.