DISD superintendent Mike Miles has been accused of manipulating the bidding process in an initiative for parent education services and attempting to stop the resulting internal investigation. Revealing documents submitted to the Dallas school board on Wednesday, July 24 supports the allegations and the board’s plans to hire former U.S. attorney, Paul Coggins to conduct an independent investigation.
Just prior to her resignation, former district communications chief, Rebecca Rodriguez, had been furious. She and a selection committee had recommended board trustees award the contract to Practical Parent Education of McKinney. Rodriguez filed an internal complaint stating that she believed Superintendent Miles and others had offered the contract to another approved firm, The Concilio of Dallas, which had been contracted to do such work by the Dallas Independent School District for almost ten years. Superintendent Miles had, allegedly, stopped the contract process.
News 8 has obtained documents that might be evidentiary proof behind these allegations. E-mails between the superintendent and administrators of The Concilio appear to trace the process of an offer being proposed and accepted.
On the evening of June 12, Byron Sanders —Executive Director of Dallas Education Foundation at Dallas ISD — contacted the superintendent, informing him that the contract was going to be awarded to Practical Parent Education of McKinney, not to The Concilio. On June 13, the superintendent stopped the contract, not awarding it to either firm. On June 14, Rodriguez lodged a formal complaint accusing him of interfering in the bidding process. Less than two weeks later, she resigned.
Former DISD purchase director, Gary Kerbow, told News 8’s Brett Shipp, “Any outside influence, any outside promise or assurance to a vendor, prior to the evaluation processing being completed and a recommendation made to the Board of Trustees, an award being made would be totally inappropriate.”
However, Eric Celeste in his Front Burner column for DMagazine sees the “evidence” as painting a different picture. According to Celeste, “My take after reading the report: Miles didn’t do anything illegal, probably didn’t even do anything unethical (removing such an item from the agenda seems relatively SOP, by all accounts), and I wouldn’t hire Rebecca Rodriguez with your money.”
Read Celeste’s entire article, “The Real Story of the Leaked Mike Miles-Rebecca Rodriguez Report” and the DISD’s report of the investigation, here. It appears the two sides to this dilemma will have to be resolved by that third party. The Dallas ISD Board of Trustees has decided to turn it over to Paul Coggins for investigation at potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars paid by area taxpayers.