A former Greenville Independent School District official is accused of using his status as a public servant to steal from the taxpayers.

Ralph Lee Sanders, Greenville ISD’s former chief human resources officer, is one of two people charged with felony theft in the case, which is being prosecuted by the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

Sanders and Tevin Brookins were indicted by a Hunt County grand jury in August and each charged with theft by a public servant of property valued at $2,500 to $30,000, according to a local news report.

The AG’s office began investigating Greenville ISD in June 2018, triggered by findings of a forensic audit conducted earlier that year. Local taxpayers pressured school board trustees to order the audit after a $3.8 million budget shortfall from 2016-17 raised questions about possible criminal wrongdoing.

The forensic auditor, Sandy Alexander, told the local press he found evidence of criminal behavior by former school officials, including “cronyism, misappropriation of payroll assets, misconduct to include mismanagement and abuse of position, and theft by gift of taxpayer monies.”

Greenville ISD said in a statement Tuesday that monies allegedly stolen by Sanders and Brookins between August 2016 and the end of 2017 were not connected to the budget shortfall, and that neither has been employed by the district since 2017.

An arraignment hearing in the case is set for October 4. Because the alleged theft was committed by a public servant, the offense is a third-degree felony, punishable by two to ten years in prison.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.