Waxahachie resident Patricia Rangel, 41, has been arrested by the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office in connection with an investigation conducted by the Texas Rangers.
Justice of the Peace for Precinct No. 4 Steve Egan issued a warrant for Rangel’s arrest Wednesday, June 12, on the charges of tampering with a government document.
According to the complaint document filed with the court, Texas Ranger James Hicks observed court records kept by Navarro College system and heard testimony from witnesses that Rangel was employed as a faculty support clerk for Navarro College’s Waxahachie campus starting in 2008 and ending May 8, 2013.
During her time at the college Rangel had access to a student course grade-keeping database known as Datatel. The database is used to keep track of courses taken by students and to track their grades for reporting on college transcripts. Transcripts are used to help determine eligibility for a student’s financial aid by government entities.
Rangel was assigned a personalized password that allowed her to gain access to Datatel for the purpose of entering grades and registering students into courses.
According to the complaint document, while employed at Navarro College Rangel allegedly had a romantic relationship with a Navarro College student who received financial aid through the federal government. On Wednesday, March 7, Datatel records indicated that Rangel’s personal password identified her allegedly changing the grade for that student in a business management course taken in 2011 spring semester from an ‘F’ to a ‘B.’
According to the complaint document, Navarro Assistant Register Michelle Bailey told Hicks that Rangel did not have authorization to override the fail-safes of the program and change grades during her time at the college, but she had the ability.
Hicks reviewed the master grade log that was kept by the instructor, which indicated that the student made an ‘F’ in the course.
The student was granted financial aid in 2010 and later lost it. He appealed the suspension and received assistance again in 2012. Hicks stated in the complaint document that he believed the student’s financial aid was restored because his grades appeared to qualify him for further assistance.
Rangel was booked into the Wayne McCollum Detention Center at 3:35 p.m. Monday, June 17. She remains in custody at the detention center. Bond has been set at $15,000.
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