Thursday, October 30th, 2014

State comptroller of Texas has never been a CPA

Announcing his bid for state comptroller Aug. 27, 2013, in a campaign video, former state lawmaker Raul Torres says he would be the first certified public accountant to hold the office.

When former state Rep. Raul Torres announced his run for comptroller, he claimed a historic advantage. "I’m a certified public accountant and would be the very first CPA to serve in this office," he said in an Aug. 27, 2013, online campaign video.

Torres, a Republican elected in 2010 who served one term representing Corpus Christi’s District 33, has been a certified public accountant since 1993. Later in the video, he said, "Can you believe that this office, which manages your tax dollars, has never had an accountant as its head officer?"

Torres told us that he and his campaign staff checked Wikipedia and other online sources for biographical information on Texas comptrollers back to 1896, when the first CPA certificate was handed out in New York.

"I drew my own conclusion that there was no other person with the designation of CPA," Torres said.

We dug in using the Austin American-Statesman's news archives, the Texas State Historical Association, the Texas State Cemetery and materials sent to us by Troyan and reference librarian Kay Schlueter at the Legislative Reference Library of Texas.

Before rating Torres' claim as True, we also came across a ghost and an assassination. Read our full write-up to the right.