A mid-level Denver Public Schools technology administrator is on paid leave while the district investigates allegations that he steered contracts to certain vendors in exchange for personal kickbacks.
"These are serious allegations, and we are in the process of conducting a thorough investigation," a statement from the district says.
The investigation was first reported by KCNC Channel 4.
Bud Bullard, who has worked for the district for 22 years and has been director of Network and System Administration since April 2011, is accused of giving some vendors preferential treatment in bidding for computer and Internet services in the district and schools.
His leave began Feb. 7.
DPS spokeswoman Kristy Armstrong said the district could not release any details about the investigation while it is ongoing.
But multiple sources say Bullard is accused of accepting vacation trips for himself and his family and was able to purchase a vehicle at a price significantly below market value after steering contracts to certain vendors. It is unclear which bidding processes or contracts were affected.
Bullard is not accused of stealing money. He could not be reached for comment.
Bullard's job allowed him to authorize technology contracts, although the board of education gave final approval.
If the allegations against Bullard are true, it means the bidding process was biased, but sources said taxpayer dollars were likely not misspent.
The sources also said Bullard did not prevent new technologies from being deployed in the district.
Denver Public Schools has a districtwide ethics policy that governs relationships between employees and vendors.
This policy includes a vendor information form that notes "no employee shall realize, directly or indirectly, any significant personal, material or monetary gain as the result of his/her association with the vendor."