Ethics Complaints Target Texas SBOE Members

by Dan Quinn

An Austin-based ethics watchdog filed complaints Monday with the Texas Ethics Commission against two State Board of Education members for not disclosing gifts they reportedly received from a firm seeking investment business with the board. The complaints filed by Texans for Public Justice urged the commission to determine whether Rick Agosto, D-San Antonio, and Rene Nuñez, D-El Paso, violated public disclosure laws.

This is the latest development in the growing controversy over ethics concerns involving the state board’s management of the Permanent School Fund. The more than $20 billion fund pays for textbook purchases. The Texas Freedom Network has also called on state legislators to investigate ethics concerns swirling around the board.

Mr. Agosto and Mr. Nuñez have denied that they violated any disclosure laws, and a state board committee discussed revising ethics policies at a meeting earlier this month.

All of this comes just months after the Texas Senate failed to give voters the opportunity to remove the state board’s authority over the Permanent School Fund and give it to a panel of finance experts. The Texas House had overwhelmingly approved measures doing so.



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