UTPD investigating the University’s former assistant vice president of procurement

Lauren Grobe

The University’s former assistant vice president of procurement, business and payment services is connected to a criminal investigation by the UT Police Department for conduct that occurred during his job, according to records obtained by the Austin American-Statesman.

According to the American-Statesman, the audit conducted earlier this year by the University into Felix Alvarez is being used by the UTPD in the detection, investigation or prosecution of a crime.

Alvarez, who could not be reached for comment, resigned from his University position last April and currently works as the executive director of Austin Independent School District’s contract and procurement services, according to The Texas Tribune.

The Texas Tribune requested memorandums and reports about UT’s procurement practices and Alvarez’s former position, but UTPD objected to releasing the information because “it relates to and is being utilized in the investigation of an ongoing criminal investigation,” according to a letter sent by a UT System lawyer to the attorney general’s office.

University spokesperson J.B. Bird said the University could not provide information beyond the records provided to the Tribune. As of publication, The Daily Texan’s request for records provided to the Tribune was still pending. 

According to the Austin American-Statesman, AISD is aware of the University’s investigation, but Nicole Conley, AISD’s chief business and operations officer, told the American-Statesman she did not know the nature of the investigation. 

“We’re certainly awaiting the results of the investigation and will take the necessary action to make sure all of our employees meet the level of integrity expected at the district,” Conley told the American-Statesman.

According to the American-Statesman, the district contacted the University on Sept. 18 for Alvarez’s personnel records, and an anonymous tip was emailed to the district the next day.

The tipster said Alvarez left the University because he was about to be fired, according to the American-Statesman. The tipster also said Alvarez inappropriately used department funds and equipment and auctioned athletic tickets on his Facebook account. None of the tipster’s allegations have been independently verified by the Texan.

This is the second University official to come under financial scrutiny this semester. According to a memo sent to UT President Gregory Fenves in September, an internal audit and outside law firm investigation found that former UT Law facilities director Jason Shoumaker defrauded the law school of roughly $1.6 million.