The Houston Independent School District forwarded an investigation of a Houston middle school to the Harris County District Attorney’s office in the spring, a district spokesman said Friday, but so far has not heard whether the DA will pursue any case.
The report details allegations of testing improprieties and missing assets from Key Middle School.
“We informed (the) DA,” HISD spokesman Norm Uhl said via e-mail. “(We) turned our report over to them when it was complete on April 19.”
In early April, Grier said the DA had not requested a copy of the report when asked whether he planned to forward it to them. But the DA’s office said complaints and cases the office investigates begin with someone bringing the issue to them, not the other way around.
Texas Watchdog learned of the Key Middle School investigation being submitted to the DA’s office while reporting on the recent sentencing of former HISD accounting coordinator Lydia M. Kinchen, who pleaded guilty to stealing more than $100,000 from the Houston district and taxpayers.
In January HISD Superintendent Terry Grier held a press conference to announce HISD was going to investigate Key Middle School. An anonymous tip led district officials to examine surveillance video from both Key and Kashmere High School, according to HISD. The surveillance video showed people moving computers and other equipment in and out of the buildings and at times into vehicles.
HISD hired the law firm Martin Disiere Jefferson & Wisdom to conduct a private investigation at Key, which found multiple examples of price gouging students on snacks, unauthorized fundraisers aimed at students and thousands of dollars of missing equipment. HISD fired six of the employees accused of wrongdoing, including former Key Principle Mable Caleb, at an April board meeting.
Photo from HISD surveillance video at Key Middle School that district officials examined in their investigation of missing equipment and other improprieties.