Donna school district fires chief financial officer after scathing audit report


The Donna school board fired CFO Maricela Valdez on Tuesday night.

Trustees voted 4-3 to fire Valdez after reviewing a report prepared by Weaver and Tidwell LLP, which investigated whether or not the school district's top administrators were qualified for their jobs.

The report concluded that Valdez, who didn't have an accounting background, wasn't qualified for the job. Valdez had disputed some of the report's conclusions.

"We have to follow up. We can't just put things under the rug or just let things slide," said Trustee John Billman. "If we're told in black and white the wrongdoings in this district, we got to correct it. That's why I was put here in this position."

As CBS 4 News previously reported:

The audit also raised questions about whether or not the district's top administrators were qualified to do their jobs.
“I never had a problem with any of those individuals,” said Sandoval “Any position that the superintendent came to recommend basically we would follow their recommendation and it was up to the board of seven to decide yes or no to vote in favor for the recommendations.”
One of those employees the audit focuses on is the District’s Chief Financial Officer, Maricela Valdez who according to the audit is not a certified public accountant or has a degree in finance. The job pays more than $100,000.
“I am very qualified and I understand all the principles of accounting, everything that falls under my job description, I understand it very well,” said Valdez. “They presented a serious of questions with a preconceived answer in mind.”

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