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Dallas ISD Chief Of Staff Resigns Amid Federal Investigation

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas Independent School District (DISD) Superintendent Mike Miles has requested and received the resignation of his Chief of Staff.

In a press release statement, Miles said Jerome Oberlton’s resignation is effective immediately. All of the action comes after Oberlton informed Miles that he is under federal investigation for his actions in 2006, while working for Atlanta Public Schools.

“I was profoundly shocked and disappointed when I was told of the allegations,” said Miles. “When I learned of the seriousness of this issue yesterday, I immediately requested Mr. Oberlton’s resignation. I was shocked because the district conducted a thorough background and credit check including interviews with his most recent employer.”

Before coming to North Texas, Oberlton worked with Baltimore City Public Schools. According to WDBJ7, a CBS affiliate television station in Virginia, while in Baltimore Oberlton faced questions about department spending. One incident involved questionable purchases made with school credit cards meant to buy school equipment, materials, and supplies. Oberlton was also criticized for spending some $500,000 on school headquarters renovations; including $250,000 in renovations for his office.

Of Oberlton’s actions with the Dallas ISD Miles said, “My disappointment is accompanied by anger because Jerome did not inform us about his involvement in this investigation until yesterday.”

DISD officials are now looking over Oberlton’s work since joining the district in January. “I have asked the board of trustees to approve an audit of all of his work during his tenure with Dallas ISD,” Miles said, as he also reaffirmed faith in his staff, “Despite this latest departure from my cabinet, I remain firm in my commitment to a strong leadership team.”

As DISD Chief of Staff Oberlton had been drawing an annual salary of $185,000.  He is the latest in a string of top administrators to leave DISD under Miles’ leadership.

Along with Oberlton, Miles’ pick for District Finance Chief Rene Barajas left after 90 days on the job to take a better paying job with former employer Garland ISD.

Miles brought Communications Chief Jennifer Sprague with him from Colorado at a salary twice what she had been making there.  She resigned after facing criticism over her job performance.

Executive Director Dora Sauceda quit, after questions were raised regarding family members receiving payment for her moving expenses.

“When I have a cabinet member resign, it’s not a good thing.  That’s a distraction from the real work,” said Miles in an interview with CBS 11.  “We have assembled quite a team. They don’t get the same media attention. But those folks are on the job today, and there’s a lot of talent among those executive directors, assistant superintendents, and the cabinet members doing the job.”

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