DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas has taken over the investigation of Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles.
DISD school board trustees made the decision to hire Paul Coggins. Coggins will finish looking into the allegations against Miles.
This is the next chapter tied to a fiery fight that ended with a leader hired by Miles, Communications Chief Rebecca Rodriguez, resigning. But before relinquishing her post, Rodriguez filed a very serious allegation against the embattled superintendent.
The matter is so serious that Miles’ future may hang in the balance.
At question is whether Miles tried to manipulate a $200,000 service contract, because a community parent advocacy group didn’t get it? That’s the allegation at the heart of an internal investigation of the school district superintendent.
The accusations now mean the board of education is about to spend at least another $100,000 — the amount allocated for the external investigation. “Anytime a superintendent is accused of something, we have to take it seriously, especially that it came from a top level administrator,” DISD Trustee Lew Blackburn explained.
School district trustees officially hired former federal prosecutor Coggins to examine a detailed report completed by the DISD Office of Professional Responsibility.
The internal investigation revealed former employee Rodriguez said Miles used undue influence to stall a vendor contract. Days after the then DISD Communications Chief filed the complaint, Rodriguez resigned from the school district.
Other claims against Miles include allegations he may have made efforts to obstruct the internal investigation.
Now, Coggins will handle the inquiry.
“I think it’s best we have an independent investigator and complete the report, not where we have our own employees investigating the superintendent,” Blackburn said, after the board voted 8-0 to hire Coggins. “By having an external investigator we can be sure the investigation is above board.”
Coggins will spend the next 30 days reviewing and completing the investigation.
Miles has denied any violation of policy of law and said it is his responsibility to make the final determination on procurement recommendations.
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