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Former Desoto ISD superintendent says he ‘never wanted to resign’; board to reconsider his resignation Sunday

And on Wednesday, the TEA announced its former deputy commissioner, AJ Crabill, had been appointed state conservator to oversee DeSoto ISD.

DESOTO, Texas — Updated at 7:26 p.m. with details of an emergency board meeting on Sept. 6.

A rocky week for Desoto ISD continues, as another emergency meeting has been called to reconsider the Board of Trustee's previous actions on the superintendent position. 

The meeting was called shortly after now-former superintendent D’Andre Weaver claimed he was forced to resign his position in a letter to the Board of Trustees. The same week, the acting superintendent was accused of making racially-charged posts on Facebook.

The board meeting is set to take place on Sunday, and includes two agenda items under the title "rescind personnel action from board meeting on Aug. 30." According to the agenda posted online, the board will consider rescinding the voluntary separation agreement with D'Andre Weaver as well as the appoint of Don Hooper. 

Through several tips and investigations, WFAA was able to obtain a portion of a letter that Weaver submitted to the Desoto ISD Board of Trustees this week.

The letter says that Weaver “never intended to resign,” despite the board voting to accept his voluntary resignation on Sunday.

One part of the letter reads:  

“This letter is to inform you that I do not intend to resign from my position as Superintendent of the DeSoto ISD. I never wanted to resign, never intended to resign and would not have resigned but for the railroading of the Board and its attorney and the illegal actions taken during a bogus emergency meeting held on Sunday, August 30, 2020.”

Weaver’s letter goes on to say that he wants to “serve, to lead, and to fulfill my mission and that his “heart and soul” are in the job of superintendent and with the district.

Following Sunday’s vote, the board named Don Hooper the district’s acting superintendent. Since Sunday, Hooper has come under fire for social posts.

A Facebook page that matched Hooper's likeness showed politically-charged posts coupled with racially-charged posts. The page shared posts about kneeling for social justice, Colin Kaepernick and "All Lives Matter." Hooper has since apologized for the posts.

“We’re tired of the hurt. Apologies just don’t help that. We’re going to deal with the problem of who is causing the hurt,” said parent Abe Cooper, Jr. 

Some community members and trustees have called for the district to name a new interim superintendent in light of Hooper’s posts, and a protest is planned for Thursday evening outside the district’s administration building.

These latest developments in Desoto come following a Texas Education Agency audit of the district’s finances. The audit found that the district mismanaged its finances and accused the district of fraud, waste and abuse in instances that occurred before 2018 -- prior to Weaver's hiring. 

On Wednesday, the TEA announced its former Deputy Commissioner, AJ Crabill, was appointed as the state conservator who will oversee DeSoto ISD.

Crabill’s duties will include working with the district to identify issues that lead to non-compliance, directing the Board of Trustees regarding personnel actions, and ensuring the Board conducts hearings to notify the public of its insufficient performance and improvements expected by TEA. 

The TEA has also launched a Special Accreditation Investigation into the district’s recent meetings.

Attorney Thelma Clardy is a longtime DeSoto resident and has grandchildren in the district.

“I’ve written a letter to the Board, myself. I sent it to all of the Board members, asking them for a community town hall meeting, because it’s time we stop these shenanigans," she said. 

A spokesperson for DeSoto ISD said the Board of Trustees is in the process of discussing a response and possible action in regards to Weaver’s resignation and Hooper's appointment.  

That meeting is scheduled for Saturday.

Late Thursday, Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot did confirm that his office was conducting an investigation surrounding the mismanagement of the district's finances but didn't comment further. 

    

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