By Bethany Blankley
The FBI spent more than three hours Thursday at the Houston Independent School District's administration building.
FBI agents came out of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center carrying three large boxes and an Apple Mac computer monitor, ABC-13 News Houston first reported.
According to the FBI, its presence at the HISD location was a “court authorized law enforcement matter.” It reiterated that there was no public danger at the building, nor to HISD students or staff.
“The FBI is conducting court authorized law enforcement activity at the Hattie Mae White, HISD Administration Building," the FBI said in a brief statement. "We want to assure the public there is no danger to the HISD students, staff or greater Houston community. We will provide any additional information once it becomes public. We have no further comment at this time.”
SkyEye13 also recorded on video FBI agents outside of the home of Brian Busby, HISD's Chief Operating Office. Busby worked at HISD for 21 years until December 2016.
In his role, Busby was responsible for a $260 million budget and more than 7,000 employees.
HISD confirmed in a prepared statement that the FBI was at the Hattie Mae White location and that the district was fully cooperating.
Last fall, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) took over HISD, the state’s largest school district. According to a 319-page report TEA published last October, HISD's Board of Trustees violated contract procurement rules and attempted to tamper with contracts, among other violations.
According to the report, "Government contracts are easily susceptible to fraud and therefore contract procurement rules should be followed accordingly. … HISD manipulated contract procurement rules through the abuse of Job Order Contracts and multiple change orders."
Splitting contract orders, for example, the report found, appeared to be a way for HISD to make hires without receiving prior school board approval.
Neither the FBI nor HISD have confirmed or denied if the FBI matter is related to the findings of the TEA's investigation.