Today Dallas News reported that there is some scrutiny surrounding State Board of Education members Rick Agosto and Rene Nunez for receiving gifts or benefits from a company based out of Boston, AEW.
Apparently, AEW has an interest in managing the $1.2 billion budget from the state’s school fund and are seeking a contract so that they can manage part of the education fund. So they’ve been sending gifts to Board members to gain their attention. Giving gifts and special benefits to groups to show interest is nothing new, but the issue is more about the amount of money these gifts cost, around $5,000 as well as not reporting them to the Board.
While Agosto has been pretty adament in denying he’s never recieved gifts or benefits from AEW, Nunez has been pretty tight lipped, only saying that some of the gifts’ value has been fabricated:
Regarding tickets he received to a USC-Ohio State football game last year – valued at $729 – Nuñez said he believed he was attending the game as a friend of the AEW representative, not as a state board member.
Obviously the big issue is a lack of communication between the board and the AEW company. Not to mention, AEW seems to be reporting different gifts. Seems the company needs to get their act together if they are looking for a contract in the future. Meanwhile, the chairman of the finance committe for the board, David Bradley is looking to make changes to the ethics and financial disclosure due to this incident. I’m sure once the ethics are changed to something clearer, the Board will wonder if they want to deal with AEW or not.