Dallas County Schools Interim Superintendent Leatha Mullins Steps Down

Mullins' replacement assumes interim role Sept. 1

Dallas County Schools interim Superintendent Leatha Mullins stepped down Tuesday, nearly six months after taking over for Rick Sorrells who left the position in March under a cloud of controversy.

Following Mullins' departure, the board named DCS Chief of Police Gary Lindsey as the new interim superintendent and said he'd be paid an annual salary of $175,000.

Mullins, who was the assistant superintendent prior, had been since tasked with trying to save the beleaguered agency from financial ruin brought on by a questionable stop-arm camera program once promised to be a boon for the agency.

In an interview with NBC 5 Investigates in March, Mullins said she was confident the agency would survive and that they could secure enough cash to continue operations through the end of the year.

They did secure several million dollars to keep the doors open, but the agency's troubles didn't subside.

Since that time the agency has managed to survive while losing two lucrative bus contracts, the board president stepping down amid a controversial sale-leaseback deal and the state legislature trying to shut them down by putting the agency's future in the hands of Dallas County voters this November.

"Leatha Mullins was the ideal leader and 'turnaround artist' for Dallas County Schools," said C.W. Whitaker, board vice president in a statement. "She truly reinvented DCS and implemented new business practices and protocols and reorganized the school bus operations. Monday, those results were evident with an excellent opening day for our largest client, DISD, and it happened even though the school district was making route changes and additions up until the last minute."

Off camera Tuesday, Mullins expressed a need to take care of her family.

Trustee Dr. Kyle Renard added, "We understand Leatha's decision to retire. Her work for DCS following the death of her husband last month has been truly extraordinary."

Mullins' replacement will assume the interim role Sept. 1.

Lindsey has worked at DCS as the chief of police for the last year and a half. Prior to coming to DCS, he'd spent three decades with the Dallas County Sheriff's Department and helped create the police department at Dallas Baptist University.

"Gary is a highly commended record of leadership and management," Whitaker said in a statement. "His experience in working with groups to address community isues, success in implementing large projects and working on legislative issues will serve DCS well as we move the agency forward and work to restore the public's confidence in the services we provide."

DCS has had the superintendent position open since Sorrells' departure last spring and have not yet announced a permanent replacement.

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