Thursday, September 19, 2013

Waiting for a Superintendent - no excuses reformers always excuse themselves

"... lack of accountability has corroded public respect"

There is a full court press now on to prevent the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees from holding Superintendent Mike Miles accountable for the damage he has done to Dallas ISD and himself - self-inflicted damage.

No excuses reformers are often ready to excuse themselves. The rules don't apply to them. Wrongdoing is merely swept under the rug and covered up.

Some Trustees are being pushed to ignore their governance responsibility to hold the Superintendent accountable for the numerous serious issues raised in recent internal and external investigations.  

Yet, no other Dallas ISD employee would be allowed to obstruct or interfere with an ongoing internal investigation of their conduct or contact important witnesses and remain a staff member.

No other employee would be allowed to publicly damage the Superintendent of Schools or Board of Trustees by plotting and carrying out 'a plan' to disparage the Board - "to assist Smelker with the drafting of a resignation letter that was negative toward the Board in order to generate positive publicity for the Superintendent Miles and negative publicity for the Board."  - using district resources and the help of other district employees. (footnote 31 - page 46)

No other employee would be allowed to refuse to be interviewed or cooperate with an internal investigation when that employee is the subject of the internal investigation.

No other employee who is the subject of an internal investigation would be allowed to read everyone else's notarized statements.

No other employee who is the subject of an internal investigation would be allowed to take over all evidence and have internal legal staff copy and review it all for the purpose of discovering if there is anything that will stick.

No other employee would be allowed to set their own terms and escape serious consequences for 'troubling' violations of district standards of conduct.

No other employee would be allowed by Superintendent Mike Miles to simply pass on through and reset their own button.

In fact ...
  • no excuse would be accepted. 
  • no pass would be given.
  • no button would be reset. 
  • no second chance would be considered without serious consequences.
But then most employees don't have ... 
  • political connections.
  • an overreaching Mayor unethically meddling in the affairs of an Independent School District and trying to interfere with the authority of an elected school board. (There is no Mayor in the Texas Education Code - only Trustees.)
  • plutocrats and wealthy sponsors and patrons protecting them.
  • newspaper editorial writers making excuses and blaming others.
Former U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins stated:
"This outside investigation would never have taken place if Superintendent Miles had followed the advice given him by at least three District officials to allow the underlying OPR (Office of Professional Responsibility) investigation to go forward."
In other words, it was not necessary for Trustees to spend up to $100,000.00 on an external investigation. Superintendent Mike Miles simply needed to "follow the advice given him by at least three District officials."  

The suspended OPR Final Report also mentioned problems with staff attorneys carrying out the orders of Superintendent Mike Miles:
Don Smith-OPR Director-page 36 - "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 other employees 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 intimidation to OPR employees doing their job."
Attorney Paul Coggins also stated:
"... for a target of an investigation to suspend the investigation raises troubling issues, and any damages to Superintendent Miles' standing with the Board, the District or the community at large were self-inflicted." (p.5) (Also "... troubling documents" that had a "troubling appearance" ... p. 26)
footnote 16 - page 28 - "(Justin) Coppedge provided a statement to OPR that, on June 14, Superintendent Miles explained his decision to pull the RFP from the agenda stating "there is a political nature to the district that has to be considered and there is nothing wrong with approving vendors who have influence in the community ... According to Board policy, political influence is not one of the factors that can be considered in awarding a contract (CH (LEGAL) ... (Rebecca) Rodriguez had a similar recollection, but Superintendent Miles denied making this statement."
Superintendent Mike Miles owns total responsibility for the "troubling issues" raised by his inexcusable refusal to take very good legal and professional advice to simply follow established internal investigation procedures.

Instead, Superintendent Mike Miles followed his path of fear and intimidation, and demanded that staff follow his orders to interfere with an ongoing internal investigation.

No one made Superintendent Mike Miles reject very good advice. 

There is no shared responsibility for his own flawed conduct. 

He alone is responsible.

The Coggins external investigation found that there is "good cause" for dismissal of Superintendent Mike Miles.

The clear duty of  elected Trustees is to protect Dallas ISD from further harm and damage "for the good of the district."
17 We watched and watched, wore our eyes out looking for help. And nothing. We mounted our lookouts and looked for the help that never showed up.

Would Mike Miles tolerate a subordinate who conspired to undermine him? - 9-10-13