DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The turmoil continues at one of Dallas’ largest and oldest charter schools as two more of the school’s top officials are out.
On Thursday night, the Board of Directors of the A.W. Brown Leadership Academy voted to terminate the school’s chief financial officer.
In an email to the CBS 11 News I-Team, Interim Superintendent Anthony Jefferson confirmed the board voted to terminate CFO James Montfort for insubordination.
The board also voted to terminate Lorenzo Brown who served as the board counsel.
When the I-Team reached Montfort Friday for comment, he told the I-Team the board has not told him why it fired him for insubordination.
Montfort said he believes he may have been fired for speaking to the I-Team at last week’s board meeting. The former CFO told the I-Team it could view all the school’s receipts for travel expenditures. Later in that meeting, the board voted to place Montfort on administrative leave.
Earlier this month, Superintendent Laura Mimms resigned.
In July, Mimms sent the Board of Directors a 146-page complaint outlining her concerns about a hostile work environment.
In a public statement last week after resigning, Mimms said, “It pains me that after two years of 12-hour days and great sacrifices, I had to leave the district to be able to call out wrongdoing that has been allowed to stand,”
A CBS 11 investigation from earlier this month revealed high spending on both Mimms’ and Montfort’s school issued credit cards.
Last week, the board voted to do away with credit cards for the school’s top officials and voted to conduct an internal audit. The audit has not been completed.
According to credit card statements the charter school provided the I-Team in response to public open records requests, monthly statements from Mimms’ school issued credit card show trips to Atlanta, Washington D.C., San Antonio and San Francisco, with stays at high-end hotels and dining at expensive restaurants.
Mimms said she never misused school funds and all credit card travel expenditures were for school-related trips and approved by the Board.
Montfort’s school credit card statements included charges for a 2016 trip to Las Vegas with stays at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, a $2,682.06 dinner at Vic and Anthony’s, and nearly $5,000 in charges to Tickets and Tours Las Vegas. Montfort said the charges were from when the board attended a national charter school conference.
The Texas Education Agency is currently investigating A.W. Brown Leadership Academies. The state agency would not comment further on its investigation because it’s ongoing.
On the Texas Education Agency’s latest school report card, the charter school district received a “B” grade for school progress, an “F” grade for student achievement, and a “C” grade for overall performance.