A former Texas Education Commissioner who has spent much of her career at the agency where she oversaw the agency’s finances has resigned, officials said.
Mimi Gentry left Friday after the state Department of Education’s inspector general released a scathing report on her handling of the agency.
She was the agency director since May 2015.
She was not immediately available for comment.
The state has a $7.3 billion budget deficit and nearly a million students without a high school diploma.
The inspector general’s report found Gentry violated state law and “perceived her position as the top educator in Texas” and that she did not do enough to investigate alleged misconduct by her former employees.
The report found that Gentry’s predecessor, David R. Williams, used his position as a high-ranking official to advance his personal and financial interests, including a $10,000-a-month apartment in New York City, and that he “conspired with the director of the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to have an illegal campaign contribution.”
In response to the inspector general report, the governor, attorney general and other senior officials in the Texas Legislature and administration have apologized for Gentry.
Williams resigned in April.
He is being sued by the state, which is seeking a $4.9 million jury verdict in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by his widow, who alleged Williams raped her in 2004.
Williams has pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The Texas Education Association said in a statement Friday that Gents departure from the agency was an effective way for the group to focus on “a new direction and strategy” for the agency that is “going to be based on the facts and the evidence and not based on politics or ideology.”
Gentry, whose tenure as the agency administrator was set to end in 2019, was hired by Gov.
Greg Abbott in 2014 and took over as acting director in March 2015.
Gentry also was the acting superintendent in the Dallas district where she was serving as the district’s education commissioner from 2012 to 2015.
She has been on leave since May 15.
State law requires any agency director who is not a current or former employee of the state or an official with the state to resign.
She also was a state employee and was paid as a public servant for her time as the Texas Education Department’s commissioner.
The office of the secretary of state oversees the state’s education agency.