School whistleblower arrested
By 11/27/2003 00:00:00
School district said documents were obtained illegally
The Ellis County Press
WAXAHACHIE - Police have arrested Tim Johnson, the Waxahachie Independent School District maintenance worker who blew the whistle on financial corruption, and accused him of stealing and obtaining employee records from a computer without permission.
Johnson's arrest came a week after this newspaper published copies from a 1,100-page notebook of documents he had collected; the employee records in question were not shown to this reporter, however.
Johnson was charged with a third-degree felony of tampering with a government record.
With a warrant already out for his arrest, Johnson was spotted, according to published press reports in another paper, at the Waxahachie junior high campus.
He had been given an ultimatum to stay off WISD property when he was fired several months ago. During a previous interview three weeks ago, Johnson said he had informed then-WISD finance director Dan Davis that employee and teacher/staff personnel records were on the district's computer network, but Davis did nothing, he said.
Davis, who recently resigned amid the financial controversies, could not be reached for comment. Police officials said they are now trying to investigate how the documents were obtained. Johnson said several public information requests were given to obtain the records. The arrest followed good news of the district's finance situation.
Currently, tax money is being received better than had been anticipated, which would mean the district could take out a private bank loan to pay payroll expenses.
Originally, it was estimated the WISD would have to borrow $5 million to offset losses.
An internal investigation by the district, spurred by demands from the school board, have lessened the bad-to-worse finance situation, officials said.