GRAND PRAIRIE (CBSDFW.COM) – In a surprise move, Grand Prairie Independent School District trustees voted Thursday to let the superintendent move out of the home she rents from the district.
The Carrier Parkway property has long been a source of controversy for Dr. Susan Hull and trustees. Hull’s administration spent $160,000 renovating the property, which the district purchased in 2016 for $694,000. None of the costs of the renovations were approved by the board. Now Hull wants out.
School board president Burke Hall’s proposal included the removal of two clauses from Hull’s contract: the rental agreement and the requirement to live within district boundaries.
The proposal was placed in the consent agenda, which typically consists of routine and non-controversial topics.
Trustee Steve Pryor requested the proposal be pulled out for discussion since the superintendent’s contract is typically updated in January. “Why are we doing this now?” he asked. At that point Hull referred to legal counsel and the district’s attorney recommended they go back into closed session.
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Several minutes later Hull and the trustees returned and the motion passed with Pryor as the only dissenting vote. While Pryor said he didn’t think it was in the district’s best interest for the superintendent to live outside the district, Burke Hall said it doesn’t matter where the superintendent lives, as long as she can focus on her work without stress. Trustee Gloria Carrillo also chimed in. “I think that we should allow her to be in a place where she’s more comfortable.”
Taxpayer Rosemary Reed says she’s not happy with the reasoning. “To get out of the heat. She’s tired of the controversy. She brought that all on herself, and whether she moves or not, it should not make a difference.”
Hull would not comment on the move.
The purchase and renovation of the property prompted an independent investigation in 2017. The district has refused to release the full findings of the investigation, citing attorney-client privilege. Consumer Justice has filed an open records request for the materials and is awaiting a decision from the Texas Attorney General’s Office.
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