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HISD under federal investigation

06:14 PM CDT on Friday, March 14, 2008

By Wendell Edwards / 11 News

The federal government has provided millions of dollars called E-Rate funds to school districts across the country for years.

See Wendell Edwards' 11 News report.

The money is designed to improve technology and wire schools for the internet.

For six years, HISD used Micro System Enterprises of Houston as a vendor.

But now, that relationship is at the center of a federal investigation.

You see, the connection to HISD actually surfaced while the feds were looking into that company’s involvement with the Dallas School District.

Last year, the investigation up there led to criminal charges against two DISD administrators and Frankie Wong. He’s the former president of Micro System Enterprises.

Wong and the two other men are accused of steering $39 million in district payments for computers to the company and its affiliates.

They also allegedly used fake companies to steal millions of dollars that went into their own pockets.

All are charged with bribery, conspiracy and money laundering.

Now, the FBI, the Justice Department and the FCC are looking to see if Wong might have conducted the same kind of deals with HISD.

11 News contacted the district, which confirms the federal investigation, and says it is fully cooperating.

HISD officials said it, “…has reviewed its processes and contracts and has found no inappropriate practices.”

It also says “it is actively providing information in the investigation.”

HISD received its first subpoena from the FCC in July 2006.

In response, administrators supplied documents related to E-Rate vendors that worked in both HISD and the Dallas independent School District.

Inside KHOU.com

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