DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver Public School system has fired an administrator accused of accepting kickbacks and freebies from technology contractors which obtained millions of dollars of business from the district.
Bud Bullard, the district’s deputy chief information officer, was placed on leave Feb. 7 during the corruption probe but was terminated last week. Bullard, who made $122,972.68 per year, has not responded to numerous phone, electronic and in-person inquiries from CBS4.
“We have conducted a thorough internal review of the concerns in question,” wrote DPS chief communications officer Michael Vaughn. “Mr. Bullard is no longer employed by the district.”
Vaughn went on to say that in addition to an internal investigation, “We have asked an independent, third-party with expertise in these matters to do a comprehensive investigation into the allegations and a complete review of the procedures that have been used in determining which companies received contracts to provide telecommunications services to the district.”
Vaughn said the results of that review will be made public.
While DPS has been circumspect about the accusations against Bullard, CBS4 has learned through internal sources that the school district believes telecommunications contractors were paying for everything from free rounds of golf to exotic trips for Bullard in exchange for the school administrator steering contracts to them.
Knowledgeable DPS contacts say that the school district found evidence Bullard accepted free meals at some of Denver’s finest and priciest restaurants like Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House and Sushi Den.
They also determined technology contractors lavished Bullard with free rounds of golf, tickets to Broncos, Nuggets and Rockies games, along with a trip to the Bahamas that investigators believe was paid for by a contractor.
CBS4 has also learned there are questions about a vehicle Bullard purchased in 2011 from an administrator for one of DPS’s technology contractors. The 2010 Ford F-150 Raptor pickup truck retailed for about $38,000 when purchased new. But DPS sources say Bullard boasted to co-workers about the “sweetheart deal” the contractor gave him on the truck.
“DPS has a high standard of conduct and accountability for all of its employees and rigorous, fair and transparent contracting procedures. We take very seriously our responsibility to ensure the highest level of integrity in our service to the community” Vaughn said.
– Written by Brian Maass for CBSDenver.com