Dallas County Schools Won’t Share Results of Internal Investigation

Agency hired ex-FBI agent to investigate possible financial crimes but will not say whether investigation found any evidence

There are new questions about an internal investigation at Dallas County Schools.

NBC 5 Investigates has learned a former FBI agent hired by DCS to look into financial mismanagement has given his report to the new DCS interim superintendent, but she's not saying what's in that report.

On Thursday morning DCS interim Superintendent Leatha Mullins will appear at a committee hearing in the Texas House of Representatives trying to convince lawmakers to allow the embattled school bus agency to continue operating.

Mullins is touting a new audit that said DCS should have the cash to survive financially, but NBC 5 Investigates has learned there's another report she's not shared with lawmakers or even her own board.

That report is from the Denshaw Group – an investigative agency DCS hired to look into whether financial crimes contributed to the DCS budget mess.

Mullins confirmed she has the latest Denshaw report in her hands, but several DCS board members who spoke to NBC 5 said they have not been given a copy yet. And the report has not been provided to lawmakers considering whether the agency should be allowed to continue.

The question is whether the report found any evidence that fraud contributed to the agency's problems.

After a DCS board meeting Tuesday night, NBC 5 Investigates asked Mullins if the report gave her a better sense of whether criminal activity was involved.

Mullins replied, "No, I don't. There was some assumptions he was making, but he did not provide me with the documentation. Once I get that I will be able to comment more."

Wednesday, Mullins sent NBC 5 a statement, saying, "We can't release the report because it's a rough draft. And offers opinions without evidence or facts."

Mullins was just recently promoted to lead DCS and was not in charge when the agency was losing millions of dollars.

NBC 5 also contacted Denshaw Group investigator Dennis Brady directly. He said based on advice from the company's attorney, "…we feel it is inappropriate to discuss our involvement in this or any other investigative matter..."

Denshaw's preliminary report last month found no evidence of crimes – but said Brady had more work to do.

A hearing on the fate of DCS is scheduled for Thursday morning at the state capitol, where the House Education Committee is considering a bill from Rep. Cindy Burkett (R-Sunnyvale) that threatens to shut down DCS unless the agency can convince more local school districts to use DCS for busing and other services.

In the Senate, a bill authored by Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas) proposes removing the DCS board and phasing out the agency over 18 months. That bill has already been approved in a Senate committee and is headed for a vote on the Senate floor.

But without a release of the DCS internal investigation, lawmakers deciding the fate of DCS – and the public – will not be able to consider that report's conclusions.

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