DISD board members to call for investigation into Miles' reversal of contract

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by BRETT SHIPP

WFAA

Posted on July 18, 2013 at 10:24 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 19 at 12:42 PM

NEWS 8 INVESTIGATES

DALLAS -- DISD board members are expected to call for a special external investigation into questionable actions allegedly taken by Superintendent Mike Miles last month.

A vote will be taken next Monday night, and stems from Miles' sudden reversal of a contract award, followed by the resignation of one of his top deputies.

Miles' troubles stem from the June 13 board meeting, in which a contract - about to be awarded to Practical Parent Education of McKinney - was suddenly pulled from the agenda at Miles request.

"We would like to have contract, the RFP, to where we select more than one person or group that can do this,” Miles said during the meeting. “That's the only reason for bringing [the contract] back."

But DISD Communications Director Rebecca Rodriguez, who had already signed off on the contract award, was so shaken by the unexpected move, she lodged a complaint with DISD's internal investigators in the Office of Professional Responsibility. The allegation is that Miles' actions violated district policy.

Sources tell News 8 Miles has since ordered the internal investigation to be stopped. But DISD Board President Eric Cowan and others on the board want the investigation to continue, and be conducted by former U.S. Attorney for North Texas, Paul Coggins.

"It's either nothing or a really big deal if mistakes were made in the procurement process. The whole matter is bothersome,” Cowan said. “In regards to the investigation, once it's started, you can't stop it."

Rodriguez resigned from the district two weeks after the June 13 meeting, and after blowing the whistle.

A spokesman for Miles said he did nothing wrong, and that pulling contracts off the agenda for review is routine. Sources tell News 8 Miles insists he halted the investigation because Rodriquez left the district, but she did so with four months’ severance pay.

E-mail bshipp@wfaa.com

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