George P. Bush: Draft audit critical of Alamo management was ‘doctored’


Land Commissioner George P. Bush said Friday that a draft report by the General Land Office’s internal auditors critical of the agency’s oversight of the Alamo was “doctored” — and how that happened would be investigated by law enforcement officials.

“I can’t really comment on the document. I cannot disclose, but we do have evidence that it was a doctored memo,” Bush told reporters after participating in a morning keynote discussion with Attorney General Ken Paxton at the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation’s annual Policy Orientation conference. “With respect to internal auditing, that’s a good business practice, that’s what commissioners should do, constantly find ways to improve.”

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: George P. Bush slammed by audit over Alamo concerns

The American-Statesman, which had obtained a copy of the 23-page draft report, dated Sept. 8, wrote about the report’s conclusion that the GLO’s use of a nonprofit to manage the Alamo’s day-to-day operations was unduly complicated and sometimes led to practices that run afoul of state requirements.

GLO spokeswoman Brittany Eck had told the Statesman that the document had been “altered” but would not say how.

The draft audit dealt with issues that the Senate Finance Committee brought up months later when Bush appeared before the committee on Dec. 5. The committee was given an interim charge by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to examine the GLO’s funding of the Alamo, and spent much of the hearing asking Bush why the management of the Alamo was so convoluted and lacking in transparency. The senators were unaware of the draft audit that had been prepared three months earlier.

Bush’s stewardship of the Alamo has also been an issue in his primary campaign against his predecessor, Jerry Patterson. The primary is March 6.

Eck said Thursday that the final audit, with the agency’s responses, would not be released until spring.

Eck told the Texas Tribune that the Texas Department of Public Safety would investigate the matter. One of the aspects the investigation would look into would be whether “personally identifying information” had been shared outside the agency, she said.

On Thursday, Eck emailed the Statesman saying that, “the real question any journalist should be asking is who is criminally tampering with government documents in violation of Sec. 37.10 of the Texas Penal Code in an effort to politicize and detract from the root mission of preserving the Alamo.”

On Friday, Ash Wright, Bush’s campaign manager, posted the Statesman story on the Bush campaign Facebook page, stamped “Fake News.”

“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,” Eck told the San Antonio Express-News on Friday. “We have individuals who are clearly trying to politicize this for political gain.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Texas News & Politics

2 top officials out at Texas Veterans Land Board
2 top officials out at Texas Veterans Land Board

Two top officials at the state agency charged with administering benefits for veterans are out — and state officials are mum about the departures. The Veterans Land Board, overseen by Land Commissioner George P. Bush, offers low-interest loans to veterans to buy property or improve homes, operates nursing homes for veterans and oversees cemeteries...
Prosecutors clear Austin officer who fatally shot woman carrying knife

Travis County prosecutors have determined an Austin police officer was justified when he fatally shot a woman who charged at him with a knife after leading police on a high-speed chase in South Austin last year. District Attorney Margaret Moore’s office released a statement Thursday saying they will not present the case to a grand jury for a...
Floodgate replacement at Tom Miller Dam to start next week
Floodgate replacement at Tom Miller Dam to start next week

The Lower Colorado River Authority is investing nearly $10 million to replace the time-worn floodgates at Tom Miller Dam. The project is set to begin next week and isn’t expected to cause any problems for boaters on Lake Austin. The dam has nine floodgates that are used to send floodwaters downstream to help control the water supply in the Austin...
UPDATED: SWAT call reporting barricaded person cleared after no one found inside apartment, police say
UPDATED: SWAT call reporting barricaded person cleared after no one found inside apartment, police say

8:10 p.m. update: The Austin police SWAT team entered a Northwest Austin apartment after receiving reports that a man had barricaded himself, but found no one inside, police officials said Thursday evening.  Williamson County deputies requested assistance from Austin police at 5:19 p.m. after receiving a call from a man who sounded distressed...
U.S. productivity grew at strong 2.9% rate in Q2
U.S. productivity grew at strong 2.9% rate in Q2

U.S. productivity grew at an annual rate of 2.9 percent in the second quarter, the fastest pace in more than three years, while labor costs actually fell. The April-June increase in productivity followed a much weaker 0.3 percent rate of gain in the first quarter, the Labor Department reported. It was the strongest advance since a 3.1 percent gain...
More Stories