Saturday, July 20, 2013

Dallas ISD OPR Report alleges Superintendent Mike Miles obstructed investigation

The Office of Professional Responsibility Report started with the complaint of former Chief of Communications, Rebecca Rodriguez.
"Superintendent of Schools, Floyd Mike Miles used 'undue influence' by pulling an agenda item from the June13, 2013 monthly Board Briefing. Ms. Rodriguez stated her concern was the agenda item was pulled because the vendor who was awarded the contract per Request For Proposal TH-204031 was not Mike Miles' favored vendor."
At some point the Office of Professional Responsibility appears to have added an additional item alleging obstruction of the investigation by Superintendent Floyd Mike Miles.

 Alleged Obstruction of OPR Investigation
  • Contacting Potential Witnesses to Discuss Case Facts and Allegations
  • Suspending the Investigation and Taking Custody of All Investigative Files
The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) report states on page 35:
On June 26, 2013 in a phone call from Mike Miles to Donald Smith, Mike Miles stated he had two concerns ...
"The first concern was talking about suspending the OPR report by going to Board of Trustee (BOT) president Eric Cowan. The Superintendent stated the BOT does not direct you and that "going to the BOT was bad form." The Superintendent stated that this was the second time doing it (reference to May 17th meeting concerning the merger of Internal Audit and OPR."
"The second concern stated by the Superintendent was "the manner in which OPR was conducting investigations." The Superintendent stated that DeeDee (the Superintendent's executive administrative assistant) was called in by OPR and the Superintendent stated, "I do not want that done." Cannot have a secretary called into an investigation as this is "not appropriate as she sees my coming and goings." Superintendent continued saying this is "overreach and not appropriate." He said maybe if criminal, yes." The Superintendent said that oversight of OPR "you need to see how I am going to run OPR." "No checks and balances on OPR." The Superintendent continued saying, " We need OPR from the beginning I have said no big brother and divisive to group." "Overreach of OPR not just because of this case." "Very disappointed must be on same page." "Chain of decision making - I (meaning Superintendent) am clear on organization chart." "You need to follow my guidance." He then stated that BOT Eric Cowan had spoken to him today at approximately 8:00am and stated the investigation was in "suspense for now" this will allow attorneys Jack Elrod and Lisa Ray to "look at it and read it.
"The Superintendent then directed me to give them (Elrod and Ray) all documents to read. The Superintendent then asked do you have any questions. I responded, "No sir." Superintendent then cautioned me to inform him if I call a BOT member other than for "Casual conversation." Superintendent then asked if I understood and I stated "yes."
 "At 8:55 I informed the superintendent that BOT Eric had requested a copy of the draft OPR report. The Superintendent responded, "Give to Jack for attorney client privilege." I explained to the superintendent that this was the first time OPR had ever given any documents to legal services while an investigation was in progress. The Superintendent stated that he and legal would interpret CAA (Local)."
Page 36 - "Because of the superintendent's second phone call I called Board President Cowan and stated that my independence in this investigation was very questionable from hereon as the Superintendent had already placed a tacit limitation on the investigation by requiring that the investigation be conducted in a discreet manner.  I asked for outside independent legal counsel work with OPR along with OPR's current attorney Robert Luna, P.C. I also requested that the direct intimation of Dallas ISD  General Counsel's Office and attorneys be excluded from any action in the personal investigation of the Superintendent as this legal service is a benefit not available to any other employee in the District regardless of position or title during an OPR investigation. I stated that this is a misuse of District resources and a means of intimation to OPR employees doing their job. I recommended that Board President Cowan call attorney Robert Luna for guidance. Cowan said he could and would get back with me."
 Referral to Outside Agency

"At the direction of the Dallas Independent School Board's President, Eric Cowan, the OPR investigation of Mike Miles will be referred to outside legal counsel for further investigation."

This is the first time I have heard of the Office of Professional Responsibility alleging that an investigation has been obstructed by a Superintendent and further accusing the Dallas ISD General Counsel's Office and attorneys of intimidating OPR employees doing their job.

The OPR investigation had developed a significant  amount of information.

The report appears below.