The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Trustee unaware she owed college

By Shirlett Warren/editor-in-chief

In September, TCC trustee Robyn Winnett was told she owed the college about $41,000 for health insurance premiums paid by the district on her behalf.

Winnett said about six years went by before she was approached.

“There was zero communication with me until that point,” Winnett said. “It’s quite an embarrassing situation and presents a hardship on me.”

In the mid-’90s, the state Legislature allowed board members health benefits through their schools. Winnett qualified and accepted the benefits.

“The payments were auto-drafted from my account,” she said.

A recent internal audit review revealed that Winnett made payments on her insurance premiums for years and then stopped making them.

“At a certain point, the payments were no longer being drafted, and I didn’t think anything of it,” she said. “I assumed the payments were part of being a board trustee. I assumed they knew what they were doing.”

TCC’s policy states board members are not to receive any rewards for their held positions.

“The policy is very clear,” said board member and audit finance committee chairman Louise Appleman.

However, in a statement to the trustees on Sept. 22, Appleman said there was no indication that Winnett received any notification from the district after her payments ceased.

“Whether it’s my fault or their fault, this is a burden,” Winnett said.

At the Sept. 22 meeting, Appleman quoted the figure Winnett owed as around $44,000, but vice chancellor of administration and general counsel Angela Robinson said the exact figure was $41,318.94.

The trustees approved a motion for the vice chancellor to come up with a restitution plan for the outstanding balance.

Robinson said a repayment plan is being worked out.

“I will move beyond this, and I intend to take care of it,” Winnett said.

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