Dallas County Schools Sues to Keep Public From Seeing Internal Investigation

Embattled school bus agency Dallas County Schools has filed a lawsuit, suing the Texas Attorney General's Office to prevent the public from seeing an internal investigation into whether crimes caused the agency's huge financial losses.

The lawsuit means the public will not get to see the report before Tuesday's election -- when voters will decide if DCS should continue to operate or be shut down.

The future of Dallas County Schools is on the Nov. 7 ballot for Dallas County voters. Before casting your vote, know what a "for" or "against" vote means for the future of the school bus agency and taxpayers.

DCS is now spending taxpayer dollars hiring a private law firm in an effort to keep the internal report a secret.

More than two weeks ago the Texas Attorney General's Office ruled that DCS must release that report to NBC 5 Investigates; we first requested the document in July under the Texas Public Information Act.

The report details the work of a former FBI agent DCS hired to probe huge financial losses at DCS to see if it was caused by criminal activity.

During a taping of Lone Star Politics Friday on NBC 5, NBC 5 political reporter Julie Fine asked DCS Board President Gloria Levario about the decision to keep information from the public.

"The reason it hasn't been released is because we are part of an FBI investigation, and also an investigation by the Texas Rangers, and our superintendent is looking at all our legal responsibilities to make sure that it's OK for us to go ahead and release this information," Levario said.

Levario told NBC 5 Investigates Friday that DCS will likely release the report to us, but not until a more detailed financial audit is complete. It appears that report will also not be made available until after the election. The Texas Attorney General's Office Friday said even on an accelerated track it could take three months to resolve the lawsuit and get the documents released.

On Nov. 7 Dallas County voters will decide whether to close school bus agency Dallas County Schools after an NBC 5 investigation exposed dangerous bus driving and financial mismanagement at the agency.

Meanwhile, the Dallas Independent School District raised concerns about what might happen over at DCS if voters choose to shut it down. There's a week-long gap between the election and the day a dissolution committee takes over and some at the school district are concerned DCS employees frustrated with the result of the vote might walk away with DCS property. DISD officials asked county officials to help monitor things, but at this point NBC 5 has been told the county sees no reason for concern about any widespread problems.

NBC 5's Lone Star Politics airs Sunday morning at 8:40 a.m.

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