GRAND PRAIRIE (CBSDFW.COM) – A Consumer Justice investigation into the perks paid to local superintendents has led to questions about another investigation at Grand Prairie ISD.
It’s been nearly a year since the district promised to look into spending at the superintendent’s home, which is owned by GPISD. The district bought the property for $694,500 in 2016. Dr. Susan Hull pays $1,000 a month to rent the home.
Consumer Justice obtained records and invoices related to the purchase and renovation of the home.
An inspection at the time of the sale showed the home needed a new roof, along with some electrical and plumbing work, which the seller did. That same month the district signed a contract with a construction company to do more work. The contract specified that board members would have to vote on any changes to the scope of work or price, but it also gave Dr. Hull the authorization to sign off on behalf of the board.
Invoices obtained by Consumer Justice show tens of thousands of dollars in cosmetic upgrades, including new tile, granite counters, sinks, faucets, toilets and ceiling fans.
There was also $44,985 for new fencing, $24,413 to repave the driveway and add an automatic gate, and $16,000 for painting.
In June 2017, after the expenditures were made public, the district hired a law firm to do an independent investigation in the purchase and the renovations. When Consumer Justice asked about the status of that investigation, a district spokesman would only say that the board “will have to address that at a called meeting,” and said that no meeting has been set. He said he didn’t know if the investigation report was complete or how much the district paid for the investigation.
The district’s next regularly-scheduled board meeting is June 21st.
This is not the first time Grand Prairie ISD and Superintendent Hull have come under fire for money issues. Last November CBS 11 News reported how Dr. Hull saved tens of thousands of dollars in labor costs by having students restore her 1972 El Camino. Staff said Hull was helping auto tech students by giving them a project.
And in 2016, under Hull’s leadership, an audit found lapses in financial procedures that allowed a former GPISD administrator to steal $600,000 in cash from the district. That woman was later sentenced to prison.