DISD Board Approves Outside Investigator for Miles, Contract

Investigation to look at whether superintendent violated district policy with contract proposal

Tuesday, Jul 23, 2013  |  Updated 12:13 AM CDT
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The Dallas Independent School District approved an investigation into whether Superintendent Mike Miles violated district policy with a six-figure contract proposal.

Ben Russell, NBC 5 News

The Dallas Independent School District approved an investigation into whether Superintendent Mike Miles violated district policy with a six-figure contract proposal.

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DISD Trustees Discuss Superintendent Investigation

Dallas Independent School District trustees will meet to discuss whether or not to hire a former U.S. Attorney to look into whether Superintendent Mike Miles violated district policy.
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The Dallas school board is hiring an outside investigator to look into the superintendent's handling of a six-figure contract proposal.

Dallas Independent School District trustees unanimously voted Monday night to hire former U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins to determine if Superintendent Mike Miles violated district policy.

Last month, a formal complaint was filed with the district's Office of Professional Responsibility about a $220,000 proposal for programs to get parents more involved in their children's education.

The district's former head of communications, Rebecca Rodriguez, whose office was to oversee the program, revealed that she knew nothing about the proposal and that Miles had discussed the matter with other administrators.

Rodriguez abruptly resigned last month, after working just a few weeks for the district.

DISD's Office of Professional Responsibility issued a report accusing Miles of interfering in the investigation of the contract proposal and recommended an independent investigator.

DISD Vice President Lew Blackburn said hiring Coggins was the best move to ensure that the investigation is done correctly.

"I think that by having our external investigator come in and do the investigation, independent of any other employee, I think we'll get the best possible outcome; meaning, the report will be clean, if you will," he said following Monday's meeting.

In a statement Sunday, Miles denied any wrongdoing.

"It is my responsibility to make the final determination on procurement recommendations to the Board of Trustees," he said. "The committee makes a recommendation that is supposed to be determined on specific guidelines, and my responsibility and duty is to assure that we hire the vendor or vendors who will serve our children best and who can present the best business deal for the taxpayers."

Miles also criticized the release of the OPR report.

"Confidential information should remain confidential in order to protect people who work for the district or do business with the district," he said.

The cost of the investigation is not to exceed $100,000 without board approval and will come from the district's operating funds. Coggins will have 30 days to make his report.

NBC 5's Randy McIlwain and Ben Russell  contributed to this report.

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