A Special Investigations Unit Report
Regarding The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board
Report Number 04-013
On October 1, 2003, the District Attorney
of the 39th Judicial District in Haskell, Texas, accepted a guilty plea to an
Information for the offense of theft from defendant Terry J. Rodriquez, a former
employee of the Haskell Soil and Water Conservation District (District). An
Information is a formal charging instrument used by a prosecuting authority
in lieu of a grand jury indictment. Ms. Rodriquez's plea to an Information resulted
in quicker disposition without a formal trial.
An investigation by the State Auditor's
Office Special Investigations Unit determined that Ms. Rodriquez misappropriated
$5,702 of state funds and $1,196 of District funds while she was employed by
the District. A review of District financial records conducted by a local certified
public accounting firm revealed that Ms. Rodriquez had issued additional payroll
checks to herself from two checking accounts for which she had responsibility
for maintaining. The review identified 19 separate transactions made from January
1999 through August 2002 in which Ms. Rodriquez issued funds to herself that
she was not entitled to receive. The Executive Director of the Texas State Soil
and Water Conservation Board made the complaint regarding this matter to the
State Auditor's Office.
The offense of theft in an amount
over $1,500 and less than $20,000 is a state jail felony. Ms. Rodriquez was
granted two years probation/deferred adjudication and was ordered to pay a $500
fine and court costs. She made full restitution of the theft amount to the District.
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