Rangers investigate former Ector County employee - Odessa American: Ector County

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Rangers investigate former Ector County employee

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Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 10:39 am, Fri Aug 31, 2012.

A former Ector County employee is being investigated by the Texas Rangers on claims she wrote a winning bid for a tire company she worked for part time while she was still employed with the county.

Ector County Judge Susan Redford said, as of Wednesday, the investigation of Mica Boyd, 49, had been handed over to the Texas Rangers.

“If they do find a criminal act … they’ll bring a complaint to the district attorney’s office for criminal prosecution,” Redford said.

A spokeswoman with the Texas Rangers office in Midland confirmed the case had been turned in to their office.

Boyd worked with Ector County Vehicle Maintenance nine years before being fired April 23 after commissioners voted unanimously to terminate Boyd’s employment along with Vehicle Maintenance Superintendent Larry Trent Norman. Redford said Norman was not being investigated in connection with the case.

Norman was fired after claims were made against him regarding the following offenses: the use of racially degrading language in front of employees; falsified time sheets concerning days that weren’t worked; sexually harassing conduct; and/or threatening statements toward employees in the department. As of Wednesday, the specific reason Norman was fired remained unclear.

Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Request state Boyd was working with Ziggy’s Tires while still employed by the county. Documents indicate she prepared the bid for Ziggy’s that was ultimately submitted to the county for tire repairs. Documents also state Boyd admitted to working for the company and preparing the invoices for Ziggy’s Tires from her job with the county.

According to Ector County Policy and Procedures Section II subsection B regarding purchasing ethics, “employees must discharge their duties impartially so as to assure fair and competitive access to governmental procurement by responsible contractors.” The county’s section for responsibilities of county officials states employees must “keep competition in mind in order to provide all vendors an equal opportunity to submit a quote for goods and/or services.”

Attempts to reach Boyd were unsuccessful Wednesday.

Redford said employees can work with another companies while working with the county, just “as long as they do not conflict with duties and with the code of ethics … of the county.”

Redford said as of Wednesday, the vehicle maintenance department only had one employee working in the department, with two quitting before the April 23 commissioners court meeting.

“It is very difficult,” Redford said about keeping up with demand in the vehicle maintenance department. “We are outsourcing a lot of the work and we have other departments who are assisting as well.”

The contract with Ziggy’s Tires for tire repairs was terminated April 30, Ector County Purchasing Agent Kenneth Lind said, but the cancelation of the contract had nothing to do with the claims against Boyd.

“The reason we canceled that contract was because Ziggy’s could not respond in time,” Lind said.

Bids submitted to the county more than $50,000 must be sealed and submitted to the purchasing department before a choice is made, Lind said. Once a bid has been reviewed, the decision goes before the commissioners’ court where it is voted on, Lind said.

Currently, GCR Tire Center, Southern Tire Mart, and West Texas Tire Center have all been awarded contracts for tire repairs. On average, the county can spend up to $150,000 annually on tires, Lind said.

Documents state Boyd also worked as a parts clerk in the vehicle maintenance for Ector County from October 1996 until January 1998 before going to work for Walker Cable in Midland.

@OAgovernment

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