It just gets weirder and weirder.....I
wanted to interview the lawyer that FBISD hired to
investigate the internal audits, Lloyd Kelley who is the
former Houston city councilman and one term Houston city
comptroller who was defeated after he was video-taped, among
other things, taking his children to Splashtown, along with
his female assistant, during business hours.
he never returned my call, so I decided to get myself to his
office. I had a hard time finding his address in the phone
book but finally found an address on his letterhead he used
in communicating with the FBISD board.
I drove up and down the 2700 block of
Bissonnet for about thirty minutes before I finally realized
that his office consists of a mail box at one of those
companies which have printing and mailing services, in
addition to private mail boxes.
Kelley’s office, according to his communication with FBISD,
is nothing more than a private postal box.
Now of all the lawyers in Houston, it is
a mystery to me why Fort Bend ISD has to go out and hire one
that doesn’t even have an office, unless he has one that is
not the one listed on his letterhead.
Why do you think the board would do that?
I asked some of the members and I was informed that Lloyd
Kelley was the only one that Lisa Rickert and Ken Bryant
would even consider. Since they have the majority, the
district hired Lloyd Kelley. When Kelley et al didn’t come
up with much except what had already been revealed in the
internal audits, he was given $20,000 more (the original
contract was for $25,000) to find some more stuff. I suspect
that Rickert/Bryant/Magee/Caldwell wanted an attorney who
would take marching orders from the terrible four about what
he found. No other attorney would touch it with a ten foot
Other legal troubles....Then before
the end of the “workshop” meeting last week, the board fired
long-time attorney David Feldman.
A little background here: FBISD used to
have more than one attorney, in addition to its in-house
attorney, Bernadette Gonzales. They had David Feldman to
handle legal matters concerning the school board and
Bracewell, Patterson to handle all the other stuff.
Then several years ago, in a move to save
the district money, Feldman was hired to handle all legal
When Rickert/Bryant were elected, they
didn’t want the in-house attorney handling the board’s
business and insisted on Feldman being present, at $250 an
hour, at all closed meetings to advise the board on what
they could and couldn’t do.
So Feldman’s fees skyrocketed because he
has spent countless hours at board meetings. I’ve asked for
a comparison of those legal figures which I will bring to
you next week.
I guess they didn’t like his advice
because last week after another marathon 1:30 a.m. meeting,
he was fired, but not before he cautioned the board to quit
calling meetings “workshops” then taking actions during the
Even I, a casual observer who doesn’t
know much about legal matters, pointed out a couple of weeks
ago that I didn’t think that was fair. Maybe they fired him
because he inadvertently agreed with me.
So many jobs to fill.....Now, in
addition to a superintendent, an associate superintendent of
achievement/development, and an associate superintendent of
business and finance, the district will have to hire a new
About the associate superintendent of
business and finance: this is the previous office held by
Charles Dupre who has resigned to accept a deputy
superintendent’s position in Pflugerville. His job is being
advertised on the district’s web site as a “chief financial
officer” and now requires a CPA.
By the way, Mr. Dupre was offered the
opportunity to leave early (before his two weeks notice was
up) after the story of his resignation was printed in the
Star last week.
TEA results in....The TEA has decided
that the complaints made by current and former school board
members about the governance of the current board majority,
most particularly that they were overstepping their duties
as school board members by interfering with the running of
the district, were not substantiated.
The TEA decided this after threatening
letters from the board members and after some of the
district employees were allegedly pressured to back off from
their earlier claims.
One would have thought the board members
were accused of murder when they were only accused of doing
the things that we have reported week after week they have
done. They named a temporary superintendent who they could
tell exactly what to do. They found a lawyer that would do
their bidding about the internal audits. Now they are going
to hire a board attorney who will tell them that everything
they are doing is perfectly all right.
Some of the actions taken by the current
board majority--Rickert/Bryant/Magee/Caldwell--may have been
overdue. But the way they have accomplished these goals have
served to cause fear and dissention, which does nothing to
advance the education of our children. Many of the things
they have accomplished could have been done without the
sturm und drang. It seems they want to make a statement
and don’t care what or who they tear up to do so.
These people are completely out of
control and don’t care who they hurt or what professional
reputations they destroy. They can be controlled by one
means--the ballot box! I hope their actions will serve to
energize the electorate to pay attention to the school board
races and I also hope the current situation will encourage
decent, honest people without a personal agenda, to run for
Hush up.......First Tom Campbell
issued a press release, then not to be outdone, Pat Baig got
up at the Republican executive committee meeting and
complained, then she also issued a press release.
What has made these candidates for Tom
DeLay’s congressional seats cry foul? They want lame duck
Republican County Chairman Eric Thode to keep his mouth shut
about them having little chance of beating DeLay.
And the recent Chronicle poll has
emboldened them as it shows that DeLay may have a hard time
keeping his seat. I guess they think Thode is whistling in
the dark. They are tired of him telling all the news media
that a resolution was passed at the Sept. meeting that
Well, I don’t blame them. I’m tired of
hearing that old saw myself. I was out of town for the
September meeting or there certainly would not have been a
resolution that received unanimous support. And I know many
of those precinct chairs. They do not support Tom DeLay but
many are nervous about publicly saying so.
The Chronicle poll showed that
Nick Lampson would very likely beat DeLay if the election
were held today. So if the Republicans want to keep DeLay’s
seat on the Republican side of the aisle, they had better
support a Republican that doesn’t have DeLay’s baggage.