Dallas ISD Chief Internal Auditor Steve Martin resigned Thursday after just a year on the job and just two days after complaining publicly at a school board meeting. (See the letter below)
Martin said Tuesday that an unscheduled ‘Peer Review’ of his work that Trustees were considering amounted to a lack of confidence.
A statement from the school district Thursday said “serious allegations” about Martin have been received.
Martin said Tuesday that audits he has completed and more in the works indicate that $1.7 million dollars may have been overpaid by the school district on past construction projects that were improperly managed by district employees.
“What concerns me is the reason for an early peer-review and who will do it,” Martin said Tuesday. “As a Federal investigator for 24 years, I understand that when a case against a defendant is airtight, defense attorneys investigate the investigator. That’s what is happening now. Internal audit has been highly effective showing that the district disregarded state law.”
Some trustees said Tuesday they were grateful for his audits and wanted to recover any lost money.
But Trustee Miguel Solis said Martin’s public appearance was unprofessional since Martin had not spoken with Solis in advance about his concerns.
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Trustees defending the “Peer Review” said it was routine, appropriate and necessary.
On Tuesday, trustees held a long, closed-door session which included the Peer Review as a topic.
The statement Thursday said the district could not comment on Martin’s personal motivations for resignation. It went on to say potential over payments were discovered more than two years ago by the district, that sweeping changes had already been made and that Martin was asked to calculate the amount of overpayment and the viability of recovering money.
“The board has since received serious allegations regarding the validity of the Internal Auditor’s methodology and the accuracy of the calculations."
"To clarify, Mr. Martin did not discover the overpayment issues with these contracts and was not being prevented from investigating them. Because these matters are under investigation, further comment is not appropriate,” the statement said.
Martin submitted a one-sentence resignation saying his last day on the job will be February 28. He confirmed the resignation Thursday but did not answer additional questions from NBC 5.
The controversy comes as the Dallas ISD is considering a record large bond referendum in November of between $2.7 and 3.7 billion for additional school construction improvements.
Trustee Joyce Foreman told NBC 5 Thursday that she could not talk about anything that was discussed behind closed doors Tuesday but that she remains committed to recovering any overpaid money.
“He was going in the right direction,” Foreman said about Martin.