Just days before the election that will decide if Dallas County Schools will continue to exist, a Texas Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas) is calling for the resignation of three board members.
Huffines said those three DCS board members must resign because, “they are culpable for the many, many failures of DCS,” including financial mismanagement that put the school bus agency in deep trouble.
Huffines is frustrated that some DCS board members are making campaign claims that the agency has been completely overhauled when in fact several of the current board members have been there for three or four years – well within the time when the school bus agency slid closer to financial collapse.
In a letter to those board members Monday Huffines wrote: "You either failed to ask the appropriate questions, turned a blind eye, or were somehow complicit in the unethical taxpayer rip-off that exposed students to danger while bureaucrats attempted to enrich themselves."
One of the board members Huffines targeted, Kyle Renard, brushed aside the letter. She said the board was misled by past DCS administrators who did not tell them the truth about the financial situation.
“I think that Sen. Huffines needs to take care of his own business in the Senate and not interfere with what we are doing here. We have, since we found out about the problems, we have done nothing but try to correct all the wrongs. We have all been working very hard to do that,” Renard said.
Meanwhile, another embarrassing misstep for DCS occurred Monday when salaried employees showed up for work to find their paychecks had not been delivered on time. This mistake comes at a time when some have worried about DCS's ability to pay its bills.
DCS got the problem resolved by midday and said it was some sort of glitch that caused payroll not to be processed by the bank and that it was not a cash flow problem.
Still, the error came at a bad time for an agency trying to reassure people it’s improved its ability to manage its finances.
Finally, NBC 5 Investigates’ has learned the Texas Attorney General’s Office ruled two weeks ago DCS must release the results of an internal investigation into their finances.
When asked, in person Monday, for the documents, the agency declined to turn them over. Interim Superintendent Gary Lindsey said he wants to check with the FBI or the U.S. Attorney's Office before releasing it because he doesn't want to compromise the FBI's ongoing criminal investigation.
We pointed out to him the Texas Attorney General, who makes decisions about the release of Texas records, has already said it must be released to us.
Still, the documents were not released. At this point it’s not clear if voters will be able to see the results of that internal investigation before Election Day on Nov. 7.
As we reported first last week -- the FBI is conducting a criminal investigation into DCS' past dealings with a bus camera vendor.