Records: DISD HR investigation was completed, not released

NEWS 8 INVESTIGATES

DALLAS – On the eve of a vote on whether to fire Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles, questions are surfacing about the role Miles played in an internal investigation into two executives in his human resources division.

News 8 has obtained records alleging Miles and a board member tried to shut down an investigation that records show was completed, but never made public.

The case stems back to former DISD investigator Jeremy Liebbe, who was fired last summer after he began investigating his boss, human resources official Tonya Grayson. Liebbe discovered Grayson allegedly failed to disclose her criminal past.

After being fired, his investigation was given to internal audit investigator Vickie Blair on Sept. 16, 2014.

According to Blair's investigative notes, two days after taking over the case, "Superintendent Mike Miles and trustee Mike Morath separately questioned her boss, Chief Auditor Mike Singleton, about why internal affairs was investigating Grayson."

According to Blair, "they felt the District had already investigated the issue." She went on to remark, "both wanted this investigation closed."

Later in the investigation, Blair notes that Singleton was "getting pushback from administration."

On Dec. 3, 2014, Blair sent a letter to DISD attorney Ben Barlow summarizing her investigative findings asking that he "notify the Board of Trustees," as required by law. That notification never took place.

Barlow has not returned our call for a response.

Days later, on Dec. 18, Blair generated a notice of investigation results implicating Grayson and her boss, chief of human resources Carmen Darville, alleging: failure to obtain background checks, falsifying records, false statements, unethical conduct, retaliation, and conflicts of interest.

The report by Chief Internal Auditor Mike Singleton was to be delivered to the DISD Board of Trustees during the Dec. 18 board meeting. It never was given to trustees, but was leaked to the media in January.

At a board meeting Feb. 16, Singleton told upset trustees the investigation was incomplete.

"We did not finish," Singleton said. "We have not finished one now -- I just want to clarify, we have not finished a report yet."

Yet News 8 has obtained records Blair reportedly submitted to Singleton on Jan. 5 - over one month earlier - on the day she resigned from the district out of frustration.

Both the report of investigation from the chief internal auditor to Mike Miles and Blair's "final" report, allege multiple violations of district policy.

The matter was to be referred to an outside investigator. It never was.

We showed Blair's completed reports to former DISD investigator Jeremy Liebbe.

"If these reports are authentic, Singleton sat in that meeting in front of the entire board of trustees, looked them in the eye, and lied to them," Liebbe said.

Singleton issued a statement Thursday calling Blair's January report an "incomplete draft." He said Internal Audit is working on a "more complete investigation into this matter and will present a final report to the board as soon as possible."

Superintendent Miles, who granted multiple interviews to other local television outlets, declined to comment to News 8.

Liebbe, who plans to sue DISD for allegedly retaliating against him this summer, says he has a few words for the lack of the treatment of the reports and notes in Blair's investigative files.

"Fraud, unethical conduct, cover-up," Liebbe said.

Trustee Mike Morath told News 8 he did tell Singleton he should limit his investigations to financial - not personnel - matters.

Superintendent Miles has declined to respond, but did issue this statement: "Everyone, including WFAA, needs to wait until a final report is completed by the Office of Internal Audit and submitted to the administration and Board of Trustees."

Tonya Grayson - the subject of the investigation - is still on the job and has never been placed on leave. She was unavailable for comment.


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