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A Special Investigations Unit Report Regarding the Llano Independent School District

April 2004

Report Number 04-027

Overall Conclusion

On March 29, 2004, the District Attorney of the 33rd Judicial District in Llano, Texas, obtained a guilty plea for Tampering with Governmental Record from Andrew Jack Patton, former superintendent of the Llano Independent School District (Llano ISD). Mr. Patton was guilty of falsifying annual student attendance records for Llano ISD. Mr. Patton also admitted guilt for 15 unadjudicated offenses, which included making false representations to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG).

The State Auditor's Office Special Investigations Unit determined that Mr. Patton falsified information in a letter to the OAG to obtain $995,000 in Limited Maintenance Tax Notes for Llano ISD. The Texas Education Code allows school districts to issue Limited Maintenance Tax Notes to pay maintenance expenses. Districts secure these notes with liens on any of their available funds. While these notes do not have to be approved by voters and are not guaranteed by the State, the Education Code requires them to be certified by the OAG. The OAG's decision to certify the notes is based solely on the information provided by the school districts. Without accurate information from school districts, the OAG cannot make informed decisions regarding the issuing of Limited Maintenance Tax Notes and may approve bonds or notes that the district does not have the ability to repay or may be forced to repay out of other available funds, which could include state funds. Mr. Patton gave false information regarding Llano ISD's use of the proposed notes and its ability to repay the notes.

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