in Houston, Texas

Houston's largest teachers union paid nearly $500K in legal fees to union chief's son

Thursday, Sep 15, 2011, 08:45AM CST
By Mike Cronin and Jennifer Peebles
Gayle Fallon

Houston’s largest teachers union has paid nearly a half a million dollars in legal fees in recent years to the longtime union president’s son, who is a lawyer, records show.

The Houston Federation of Teachers paid James Fallon III , the son of federation president Gayle Fallon, $477,687 between 2006-10 for “legal counsel to members,” according to disclosures the local union filed with the U.S. Department of Labor.

That is almost as much as the $521,755 paid to the other five law firms hired by the 7,000-member local union during that same time period, the disclosures show.

It also means the union paid Fallon more in legal fees than it paid its own general counsel, whose firm was paid just $232,000 in the same time frame, the records say.

Gayle Fallon and her son, James, both told Texas Watchdog that nepotism is not prohibited by the union.

“It's not a conflict with us,” Gayle Fallon said in a telephone interview. “Unions employ union family members ... The idea is they grow up in the union, and you want them to be good union members.”

She added that the HFT board approved hiring her son 14 years ago, and that James Fallon charges the union a discounted hourly rate that is much lower than those charged by the other firms the union employs. She said the forms on file with the Labor Department don’t tell the whole story.

Like his mother, James Fallon said one of the reasons the union turned to him to represent teachers who have been fired is because few lawyers have the appropriate expertise.

“There's a very narrow group of people who have that knowledge with K-12 school systems,” James Fallon said. “It's hard to find many that defend teachers. (Most) work for school districts.”

James Fallon’s mother, Gayle Fallon, has been president of HFT for 30 years. As the head of one of the state’s largest teachers’ unions, she’s also one of the state’s most prominent public education advocates.

She’s also got a prominent friend living in Austin who would really like to relocate to Washington, D.C.: Gov. Rick Perry. She’s publicly supported some of his education policies, including his decision last year to keep Texas out of the running for megabucks federal education funding in the “Race to the Top” competition.

Dave DeBlasio, a former HISD teacher, counselor and assistant principal, and a critic of Fallon’s, said union nepotism is problematic.(Story continues below chart.)

“Generally, I don't think family members need to be involved at all in each other's business – especially to the tune of $500,000,” DeBlasio said in a phone interview. “That's probably one of the reasons why the union isn't as efficient as it should be. It's part of the culture of HISD that needs to change.”

Some at the Houston Independent School District are reeling from questions about ethics. School board members President Paula Harris and Larry Marshall have been accused of arranging meetings between friends and acquaintances and HISD officials to set up business agreements.

Joshua Trevino, vice president of communications at the libertarian Texas Public Policy Foundation in Austin, described nepotism as “an intrinsic wrong.” The organization has been critical in the past of some public employee labor unions.

And nepotism was part of the issue in Baltimore's teachers union in the mid-1990s, when it was revealed that two union officials' children had been made full-time employees on the union's small staff.

That local union had deep and abiding problems – as one teacher described in a letter to the Baltimore Sun at the time, "nepotism, cronyism and outright corruption." Two top union leaders were being paid several times more than the average teacher, along with interest-free salary advances and $200,000 annuities. The Baltimore union chief was voted out of office and the national union group undertook an audit of the local's books.

Judy Nadler, a senior fellow for government ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, said one family member employing another family member in any organization raises a host of questions.

“Did this lawyer possess skills that others didn't have? Was the hiring a fair and open process?” asked Nadler, a former mayor of Santa Clara, Calif. “Was this individual given preferential treatment because of the relationship?”

HFT's national union, the American Federation of Teachers, also paid James Fallon an additional $56,000 in the 2010 reporting year, the national union’s form shows.

HFT members pay dues of about $345-$530 a year, according to the Labor Department filings. Other than Fallon, who was paid about $80,000 in the most recent reported year, it has about nine paid staffers. Houston ISD is the nation’s seventh-largest school district, with about 200,000 students, with an annual budget of $1.6 billion.

Gayle Fallon pointed out that if her son had not performed well, the union's board would have fired him.

“I've seen him at hearings” representing teachers who are fighting to keep their jobs, HISD school board member Mike Lunceford said of James Fallon. “He's very competent.”

A trained criminal-defense lawyer who has been practicing law for 15 years, James Fallon provided a list of accomplishments.

He said he won all three cases last year in which he defended three employees at HISD’s Key Middle School accused of wrongdoing. He said he possesses at least three times the trial qualification necessary to become board certified in administrative law, the area of law relevant to defending teachers and school district employees.

And, in 2007, the most recent year to which he had data, James Fallon said he saved the jobs of more teachers facing termination than any other Houston lawyer in the same specialty.

The Houston teacher's union pays a $4,000 monthly retainer to James Fallon, Gayle Fallon said.


She said that only about half of the amount paid to her son according to the forms filed with the Department of Labor actually came from HFT -- the other half came from liability-insurance payments from AFT's national office in Washington, D.C. AFT is part of the AFL-CIO.

“It's hard to find lawyers versed in school law,” Gayle Fallon said. James “grew up in it.”

She said employing her son saves the union money because other lawyers, such as lawyers from Dallas’ Strasburger & Price, charge higher per-hour fees. Strasburger & Price lawyers charge $400 an hour. James Fallon charges $150 an hour, and Chris Tritico, the union’s general counsel, charges $190 an hour, Gayle Fallon said.

She also said the Labor Department forms don't accurately reflect how much each lawyer paid by HFT actually made. For example, she said Tritico "is lousy about getting his bills in."

The forms also don't show the breakdown in what each lawyer receives from the local union and what each lawyer receives from liability insurance payments from the national union. The national insurance payments could be much more and not reflected on the Labor Department forms, Gayle Fallon said.


"It's very hard to assume any one lawyer made more than another (based on the Labor Department forms)," Gayle Fallon said. "I guarantee others (beside her son) made a lot on insurance” payments.

The forms also don't reflect national union payments to each attorney for criminal cases they might have worked on, she said.

“People would watch him closer than anyone else just because we have the same last name,” Fallon said of her son.

***
Contact Mike Cronin at mike@texaswatchdog.org or 713-228-2850. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelccronin or @texaswatchdog. Contact Jennifer Peebles at jennifer@texaswatchdog.org or 281-656-1681. Follow her on Twitter at @jpeebles or @texaswatchdog.

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Photo of Gayle Fallon from Gov. Rick Perry’s website.

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Houston Federation of Teachers LM-2 Forms Years 2010 Back Through 2006

Comments
tired dog
Thursday, 09/15/2011 - 10:26AM

HFT is the Fallon Family Business...nope, nothing to see here except another example of inside dealing.

B. Day
Thursday, 09/15/2011 - 10:54AM

I am a voice for the teachers that are being defended by the union. HISD is playing with the livelihood of a lot of its teachers with no remorse. The district is "finding" ways to terminate targeted teachers, in some instances unjustifiably. I have just been defended by Mr. James Fallon. As a teacher, to have a lawyer defending you that knows school law is always a positive. Mr. Fallon worked relentlessly and addressed all of my concerns that I had involving my case. We worked very well together to achieved the desired outcome for me. Now as far as nepotism goes...somebody approved this hiring other than his mom. So we cannot harp on that. James Fallon is not just getting a salary..in my eyes he is producing results and saving teachers from being unjustly ousted from a job that should be praising its employees instead of making their jobs that much more difficult. For every job that Mr. Fallon saves the more articles such as this one will show up. To me that means you are doing a great job Mr. Fallon! As long as this man is winning cases for the everyday teacher that has to fight for their rights...who cares who his mother is! (meant in a good way!) He is someone that is speaking up for teachers...and not many people care to do that these days!!

Turner
Thursday, 09/15/2011 - 12:16PM

A few things:

1) HFT is a union for teachers and support personell. Their members expect the best service possible for what they pay into it. Mr. Fallon not only produces results members want, but he saves the members tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees the union would otherwise pay someone else!

2) HFT is a democratic organization. If there is a problem with nepotism in the union the members would have exercised their right to voice their opinion about it!

3) There is no problem here. If you want a real story, investigate how the district and administrators are wasting tens of thousands of tax payer's dollars on ineffective management of schools and school programs.

4). If you want another real story, investigate how millions of tax dollars are wasted on unscrupulous contractors building and renovating HISD schools. Investigate why HISD maintenance workers are having to complete the work HISD paid in full to a contractor for, and why so many of the schools are not completed on time and have numerous problems. Investigate the corruption of some of the board members receiving kickbacks from these contractors.

ggm281
Thursday, 09/15/2011 - 12:46PM

And union members wonder why taxpayers want to ban public employee unions? I don't want to hear another complaint from the public school employees on the cuts to education funding in Texas. Reading a story like this just confirms that those taxpayers (and I was not one) who insisted on cuts rather than tax increases were right. I am disgusted at the hypocrisy of Texas school employees after reading this and I was a supporter of property tax increases rather than cuts. I am starting to think that the tea party has it right. Government is too big and too corrupt.

Jennifer Peebles
Thursday, 09/15/2011 - 12:56PM

B.Day,

Thank you for sharing your personal experience with Mr. Fallon. We're glad to hear from you or any other former clients of his.

Turner,

We appreciate you taking time to write to us. In case you haven't read our site before, we have been extensively investigating the ethics problems involving contractors for HISD. In fact, I think we've probably given more time and ink to reporting on those problems than any other news organization in town. (Our most recent story on this issue published Tuesday and it's at this link: http://www.texaswatchdog.org/2011/08/houston-isd-trustees-president-paula-harris-talked-about-firm-with-hisd-procurement/1312404220.story.)

If you -- or anyone else reading this note -- has any information at all about problems with HISD contractors, or especially contractors' ties to school officials, please, please, PLEASE get in contact with us. My colleague Mike Cronin is mike@texaswatchdog.org, and I am jennifer@texaswatchdog.org. We are more than happy to talk with anyone who has information. If you want us to keep your identity confidential, we will do that. You can also call Mike at 713-228-2850.

The same goes for anyone reads this who is a member of any of the other public employees' unions here in town, such as SEIU. If you know of improper things going on at the city, the county, any other local government entity, that needs to be looked at, please get in touch with us. We can keep your identity confidential.

We appreciate all of y'all writing in to us.

Take care,

Jennifer Peebles

Texas Watchdog

jennifer@texaswatchdog.org

Grateful
Thursday, 09/15/2011 - 01:04PM

HISD allows the hiring of relatives. So what is wrong with HFT doing the same thing? As long as the person is competent at performing the job, and does what they are being paid to do, and James Fallon certainly is and does. If he were not, I would be among HISD UNEMPLOYED, and unjustly I might add.

By the way, if he practiced law in another arena, he would probably earn a lot more. He certainly deserves it. Thanks HFT and James Fallon.

Diann M. Banks
Thursday, 09/15/2011 - 03:20PM

I am a former teacher who worked for Houston ISD from 1997-2010. I became a member of Houston Federation of Teachers in 1998.

School year 2009-2010, I was in a position to need legal services from Houston Federation of Teachers. I was originally assigned Cris Tritico and his legal team to represent me but was later, at the request of Cris Tritico's legal team assigned another lawyer (James Fallen ) to represent me because of conflicting issues with other staff they were representing from same work location as mine at that time.

Once introduced to Mr. Fallen, I remember my first impression of him was that of relief because of his demeanor. He was very observant and did not speak much. Once we began communicating, he had a listening ear and seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say.

On the day of the hearing when Mr. Fallen had to state his case on my behalf, I did not recognize the lawyer with the quiet, boy like demeanor because it disapeared and a dynamite exploded. I was amazed how detailed and right on point he was about everything. As a teacher, I could tell he had done his homework.

I was so proud to have him as my lawyer at that very moment. Chills went up my spine and goose bumps appeared on my arms and I couldn't hold back a tear or two because I was not expecting to hear such powerful words used and see Mr. Fallen show authentic emotions on my behalf. His body language, gestures with his hands, and eye contact with me every now and then let me know he remembered why he was there, to clear me because he believed in me.

After stating his case, he set next to me and softly tapped my shoulder to comfort me.

I do not know him personally. He was simply my lawyer. If I ever needed a lawyer again to represent me, I would request Mr. Fallen. No doubt, he was the best.

Thanks to Mr. Fallen

Dedicated Teacher

Tony
Thursday, 09/15/2011 - 03:22PM

What business is it of any one to criticize how HFT spends their money? Last I checked they are a privately funded institution that has a board and members that can provide a check and balance to decisions made by Gayle Fallon. It's really up to the members to decide whether or not they want Jamie Fallon to represent them. It's not like he's getting paid to do nothing. He's charged with a difficult task and apparently performing well considering this blog didn't provide any evidence of ineptness. This just seems like a non-story to me.

Mark
Thursday, 09/15/2011 - 03:26PM

Yes Jamie has won a few cases, but what about the others out there that lost their jobs because he didn't do his well enough!?! I know many people he represented and they had to keep calling him to get anything done and in the end were transfered to other lawyers. One of the lawyers that represented myself and others did very little to help us! We hand fed them everything and they still coouldn't come up with any defense against the allegations brought against us by principals who basically lied on us! I could have went downtown and had a public defender represent me and win but my high priced lawyer couldn't! In my case the parent dropped the case but the principal went back in my file ten years and found one allegation and I was terminated because again my HIGH priced lawyer couldn't come up with anything! So with this story and others you guys have reported recently, things are starting to make more sense and the dots are connecting! Keep up the good work and keep digging for what it's worth, you are continually showing the true side of Houston involving HFT, HISD, the Chronicle's ineffective investigating and reporting on HISD, and other unsavory conduct being hidden within the city limits! So again kudos and a big thanks to you for doing what others are afraid to do because of connections!?!?

HFT Attorneys
Thursday, 09/15/2011 - 06:19PM

Another firm listed at the bottom of the list, Watts and Associates is also involved in some of the HISD hearings. Larry Watts although listed on the low end, is an excellent attorney. He gets the bottom of what is going on in HISD and other bureaucracies that like to target the low man on the totem pole as the scapegoat. He is not afraid to take them on! When I was targeted by HISD and assigned to Mr. Watts, I knew immediately that my defense was in capable hands. He was attentive and left no stones unturned. I left his office confident and at ease with my case. We were victorious. Thanks HFT, Gayle and Larry Watts.

Adele in Texas
Thursday, 09/15/2011 - 07:26PM

I have no argument with posting of piece. However, what I do found rather interesting was the rather clever and very possibly agenda-based injection of the following:

"She’s also got a prominent friend living in Austin who would really like to relocate to Washington, D.C.: Gov. Rick Perry. She’s publicly supported some of his education policies, including his decision last year to keep Texas out of the running for megabucks federal education funding in the “Race to the Top” competition."

I don't see how that's relevant to the piece or is indicative of a particular "friendship". A lot of Texans, myself included, supported Governor Perry's decision against Texas participation in Race to the Top. If you want to write a political piece, by all means, knock your lights out. But, if you want to simply to use your organization's resources to generate rumors and innuendo, I won't be following you much longer.

Heather
Thursday, 09/15/2011 - 08:57PM

As a lawyer who has worked alongside Jamie Fallon in both the criminal setting and the school law setting, I am always impressed with the passion and knowledge that Jamie brings to his clients' defense. He sat with me as second chair through two administrative hearings where I defended teachers and he was priceless to our defense team. Any time I have a private client with a school law issue, I refer them to Jamie Fallon, and I'm not related to him; i highly respect him professionally. At $150 an hour, the HFT is getting a TRUE bargain for a 15 year attorney - in any other market he could earn at least twice that much per hour. I believe he is extremely qualified to represent these teachers and I will continue to call upon his services in the future when I have any school law issue.

Heather Peterson

(HFT) Honestly Freaking Tired...
Thursday, 09/15/2011 - 10:51PM

1 - There's a reason Houston Federated Teachers doesn't have the word UNION it it's title... Quite simply, it's NOT a UNION. True unions have power to bargain for members, (salaries, benefits, etc). Ask for the data. People are being swindled into thinking HFT has some sort of power or influence, and out of their money. UM, ok, but not really. How many cases were filed, how many were mitigated, how many were successful? I suppose HFT is great for the people who won cases. Not so good for the hundreds of teachers who didn't..

2- I guess HFT can hire whoever they want, but let's be clear. They're NO union!

N. Murray
Thursday, 09/15/2011 - 11:14PM

This article puzzles me in so many ways that I am not sure exactly what to address and where to begin. I thought the #1 intention of any journalist or publicist was to be aware of the facts and have them definite in their article, but there are many basic facts that a simple "google" search, had it been done, could clarify. Houston Federation of Teachers and Houston Independent School District are as opposite as oil and water. HFT is a private organization. They are nothing close to being the same entity. So what one does, does not relate to the other.

An attack has been made against a strong union and its outstanding employee. The mere fact of their relationship is unimportant, as long as the people in the position are doing a damn good job at what they do, and both Gayle Fallon and James Fallon are. It has never been a secret in Houston, TX about their relationship. They handle each other and their clients in a purely professional and highly ethical manner, and nothing lower would meet either of their standards.

I have personally seen the work that James Fallon has completed, being both a member of the Houston Federation of Teachers, his past client, and helping him to prepare for cases. In the past 2011 summer alone, I personally helped Mr. Fallon prepare for over twenty cases that were to be held within two months. The relentless hours, dedication, and effort that he puts in to each and every case should not go unrewarded and without notice. I have seen this man work from 7:30 am to 2:00 am without breaking for so much as a full lunch, and within days of the birth of his son. In fact I am shocked to see that the salary he received was actually so minimal compared to the work he puts in. To anyone who knows anything about the salary of an experienced lawyer with over 15 years of service, he should be earning about $500,000 in one or two years. The payment of $500,000 over five years, BEFORE TAXES, isn’t anything for a lawyer; to me it is border line robbery. The HFT is grateful to Mr. Fallon for the services and times he puts in. The teachers of HISD are grateful his magnificent work. Many teachers owe their employment and clean record to Mr. Fallon. As a client of his I cannot begin to thank him for what he has done for me. How he fought against HISD for me, for my rights as a human, and as an educator of our children is something of pure brilliance and sincerity. As an apprentice of his, I can say that I have learned from the best, and being a past employee of Baker Botts L.L.P. that says a mouthful. If Mr. Fallon was in it for the money, he wouldn’t be working for HFT, he does it because he wants to be an advocate for those who have no voice: the teachers!

I am still in the process of trying to figure out the motive of this website. In the mean time I would just provide the future tip that you should check all the facts and figure out who the person is that you would like to slander before you do so. Things of this nature speak of your own character and the credibility of your publishings.

MARK KERRISSEY
Friday, 09/16/2011 - 12:00AM

Nepotism- When I hear the term nepotim. I think of some lazy son who gets over paid for a pissed poor job thanks to mama. The Fallon case falls far short of nepotism. Reading your article, James Fallon is well versed in administrative law, he is charging $150 compared to other firms charging $400, and has a successful track record over several years.

.

If I was his Wall Street mama, I would take him aside and say, "son, think about your self. Jack your prices, fool."

But his mama raised him right. Drop your price, represent more teachers, and champion education. Texas Watch Dog: Does the James Fallon assessment meet your rubric of nepotism?

I am a fan of Texas Watchdog. You are performing a great service by examining and exposing.

In regards to your James Fallon story, perhaps the real story is how much money HISD is spending on attorney fees in pursuit of the policy of "an effective teacher in every classroom" and "an effiective principal in every school".

Texas Watch Dog, do you think HISd is spending more than $150 per hour terminate a teacher?

Texas Watch Dog. keep on asking the uncomfortable questions. Just know that Gayle Fallon will not avoid your phone calls. She is up front without the sugar coating.

Our kids' education does not need sugar coating.

mk

N. Murray
Friday, 09/16/2011 - 02:24AM

This article puzzles me in so many ways that I am not sure exactly what to address and where to begin. I thought the #1 intention of any journalist or publicist was to be aware of the facts and have them definite in their article, but there are many basic facts that a simple "google" search, had it been done, could clarify. Houston Federation of Teachers and Houston Independent School District are as opposite as oil and water. They are nothing close to being the same entity. So what one does, does not relate to the other.

An attack has been made against a strong union and its outstanding employee. The mere fact of their relationship is unimportant, as long as the people in the position are doing a damn good job at what they do, and both Gayle Fallon and James Fallon are. It has never been a secret in Houston, TX about their relationship. They handle each other and their clients in a purely professional and highly ethical manner, and nothing lower would meet either of their standards.

I have personally seen the work that James Fallon has completed, being both a member of the Houston Federation of Teachers, his past client, and helping him to prepare for cases. In the past 2011 summer alone, I personally helped Mr. Fallon prepare for over twenty cases that were to be held within two months. The relentless hours, dedication, and effort that he puts in to each and every case should not go unrewarded and without notice. I have seen this man work from 7:30 am to 2:00 am without breaking for so much as a full lunch, and within days of the birth of his son. In fact I am shocked to see that the salary he received was actually so minimal compared to the work he puts in. To anyone who knows anything about the salary of an experienced lawyer with over 15 years of service, he should be earning about $500,000 in one or two years. The payment of $500,000 over five years, BEFORE TAXES, isn’t anything for a lawyer; to me it is border line robbery. The HFT is grateful to Mr. Fallon for the services and times he puts in. The teachers of HISD are grateful his magnificent work. Many teachers owe their employment and clean record to Mr. Fallon. As a client of his I cannot begin to thank him for what he has done for me. How he fought against HISD for me, for my rights as a human, and as an educator of our children is something of pure brilliance and sincerity. As an apprentice of his, I can say that I have learned from the best, and being a past employee of Baker Botts L.L.P. that says a mouthful. If Mr. Fallon was in it for the money, he wouldn’t be working for HFT, he does it because he wants to be an advocate for those who have no voice: the teachers!

Jennifer Peebles
Friday, 09/16/2011 - 07:24AM

Adele,

We appreciate you taking time to write in. We included that statement merely to state that Ms. Fallon is a prominent person in education circles in Texas, so much so that she knows the governor well. I can assure you nothing more was intended or implied.

I take it you thought we were suggesting that Ms. Fallon and Gov. Perry are having some sort of romantic relationship. I don't claim to know either Ms. Fallon or Gov. Perry's private life, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say, "Only in Mitt Romney's dreams."

Take care,

We appreciate all of y'all writing in to us. And any of you can write me directly, as well as Texas Watchdog editor Trent Seibert. He's at trent@texaswatchdog.org.

Take care,

Jennifer Peebles

Texas Watchdog

jennifer@texaswatchdog.org

Jennifer Peebles
Friday, 09/16/2011 - 08:15AM

N. Murray,

We appreciate you taking time to write us and speak out about our story.

Please understand that we're well aware that HISD and the Houston Federation of Teachers are separate entities. We've been covering HISD pretty regularly for about a year or so now, and it was a little hard for us not to ask about nearly $500,000 being paid to the son of a president of a public employees' union when we came across the paperwork disclosing it.

You asked about the motive of this website. We're an online newspaper, and we have more about who we are and what we're doing at this link: http://www.texaswatchdog.org/about/why-now/.

I can assure you we check all the facts. With all due respect, reporting something that HFT itself reported to the federal government is pretty far from slander.

Take care,

Jennifer Peebles

Texas Watchdog

jennifer@texaswatchdog.org

Friday, 09/16/2011 - 09:44AM

I am a fomer client and employee of the Houstonisd,

I will start off by saying that this article is just indicative of the day we live in when you attack people who try to help. I will tell you this James Fallon is a great lawyer his court room deminer and his professionalism is second to none. James Fallon defended me in a case some time back I would not be teaching today if it was not for the care and genuine concern that he showed during a very difficut time in my life. His preperation and concern is what truly make him a great lawyer eg; When he was preparing to go to trail with my case he spent a great deal of time with me preparing me and going over all possibilities, not during work hours well after work hours I can rember that it was labor day that he agreed to meet with me and discuss my case. I read this article and as i eluded to from the very start it is indictive of the day anybody that wants to do the right thing and defend the people especially teachers you attack. I wish you would attack the legislature that are cutting teachers jobs and refuse to pay us for our worth. I am James Fallon advocate for life because not only what he did for me but what he has done for all the teachers in HISD just check the record since you are checking the fiances. In conclusion James Fallon is one of the finest lawyers in the state of Texas and thier is not another lawyer I would have defend me then he.

Yours Truly

Client for Life

Just Want to Know?
Friday, 09/16/2011 - 11:47AM

I think TexasWatchDog should investigate into how much money HISD paid their legal counsels to get rid of good teachers. After all, it was tax payers money they they spent.

Jennifer Peebles
Friday, 09/16/2011 - 01:29PM

Just Want to Know,

Hi. Your question is a good one, and we'll work on getting you an answer. Until then, we reported a few months ago what HISD paid each law firm it hired in 2010, with a brief description of the area of expertise of each firm. That story is at this link: http://www.texaswatchdog.org/2011/01/houston-isd-paid-10m-last-year-to-outside-law-firms-records/1294095791.column. (My apologies to everyone that we can't get that link, or any of the others posted here in the comments, to show up as hyperlinks.)

Take care,

Jennifer P.

jennifer@texaswatchdog.org

Canne
Sunday, 09/18/2011 - 09:00AM

Bet she got a good Mother's Day present. This is a disgrace.

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After tricking James Bond and being arrested for fraud, Cary Peterson is back with a new PAC Democrat Hillary Clinton may be wary about a new super PAC ostensibly created to support her presidential bid. (AP Photo/Andrew...
Update:19 hours 44 min
Open Secrets
Parties — especially Dems — lag in convention funding Workers prepare a camera platform inside Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena, where Republican delegates will arrive in less than three...
Update:20 hours 40 min
Open Secrets
Ideas for diverting people with mental illness from the criminal justice system With the 85th Texas legislative session fast approaching, the House Select Committee on Mental Health continues to discuss the challenges...
Update:21 hours 29 min
Grits for Breakfast
Tweets
Karen Townsend | 4 years 2 weeks
"Patrick F. Kennedy is a career foreign service officer" - http://t.co/GOrCe0IS
Peter Corbett ✈ | 4 years 2 weeks
I'm at McCarran International Airport (LAS) w/ @almacy http://t.co/KvmId07i
KERA Public Media | 4 years 2 weeks
TONIGHT at 7pm on KERA TV: Presidential Debate: Learn more at PBS NewsHour. http://t.co/Z9kYdun8
PBS MediaShift | 4 years 2 weeks
Tech Snafus Make Bill O'Reilly/Jon Stewart 'Rumble' More of a Stumble http://t.co/4OfeBlrG (@kegill | @pbsmediashift) #rumble2012
Will Sullivan | 4 years 2 weeks
Great addition, been burned too much by bad subs. "Google Play Announces Free Trials For In-App Subscription Services" http://t.co/TOLgRVak
TxDOT | 4 years 2 weeks
I-35W/North Tarrant Express #constantcontact http://t.co/QDzrQumu
keyetv | 4 years 2 weeks
Serial shotgun robbers suspects arrested. http://t.co/ka8T4U9B
Karen Townsend | 4 years 2 weeks
Aren't State Dept career people suppose to be non-partisan? Not the political appointees, the career people. #Libya
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