Bush blasts draft audit critical of the way he runs the Alamo, saying audit was ‘doctored’
Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush says a draft audit critical of Alamo operations that was released this week was “doctored” and the state agency has reported its unofficial release to law enforcement for investigation.
The Austin-American Statesman first reported the contents of the report Thursday, which suggests the General Land Office reconsider the nonprofit structure it uses to manage operations at the Alamo. The 23-page draft audit dated September 2017, also reviewed by the Express-News, says “the current situation obscures the control of the funds.”
Bush declined to say how the document was changed, citing a “criminal investigation.”
“I can’t really comment on the document… but we do have evidence it was a doctored memo,” he said Friday.
GLO spokeswoman Brittany Eck said that in addition to the draft audit, there’s evidence that other documents were released, including a record that might have included staff personal information including social security numbers.
“We see this as a gross violation of the Alamo because here we are, we are trying to bring the Alamo’s operations into this modern century,” she said, adding later: “We have individuals who are clearly trying to politicize this for political gain.”
Eck said the audit released to the press has sections that were added, others that were removed and some the were altered. She didn’t provide details.
The Alamo is becoming a top issue in Bush’s reelection race, with GOP challenger Jerry Patterson accusing him of mismanaging the ambitious redevelopment effort that calls for the creation of a new museum and a “reclaiming” of the original battlefield.
The audit looks in part at a staffing arrangement that puts the Alamo Trust, a subsidiary of the nonprofit Alamo Endowment, in charge of providing daily operations at the shrine. Recently, some state lawmakers have said they would like to see the roughly 70-member staff be employed directly by the General Land Office.
On Thursday, Bush defended the structure, saying it’s similar to those that manage other historic battlefields.
“We think it’s the best model,” he said.