May 13, 2022 – STAFFORD, Texas – The Stafford MSD Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, May 4 to receive the investigative report from an independent law firm, including direct findings and recommendations. The Leon Alcala Law Firm was hired by the board in February 2022 to conduct a review of a level III grievance filed by the Chief Financial Officer and a review of the Superintendent’s employment contract.
The findings in the Executive Summary of the SMSD Investigation did not substantiate any claims made by the CFO, nor did it find any willful wrongdoing by the Superintendent, the Board of Trustees, or Board legal counsel on any allegations. The report found that a discrepancy on the Superintendent’s employment contract resulting in increased compensation was due to clerical error and imperfect communication between all parties involved during the contract’s development; to date, no funds have been paid to the Superintendent pursuant to the contract provision increasing compensation.
According to the investigation summary, “The investigation did not substantiate any improper intent or intent to circumvent the role of the Board of Trustees in evaluating the Superintendent and in determining the scope of the Superintendent’s contract.”
As the SMSD Board of Trustees is legally responsible for employing and evaluating the Superintendent, the firm recommends, “The Superintendent’s Contract should be submitted to the Board for consideration/ratification.”
Regarding the level III grievance filed by the Chief Financial Officer, the investigation found no retaliation, “either related to purported status as a whistleblower, or adverse actions taken, that are not related to legitimate concerns regarding the Complainant’s performance,” noting that “[t]he Complainant has had performance concerns that have been longstanding.” The SMSD Board of Trustees voted on May 10 to deny the Chief Financial Officer’s grievance.
The SMSD Board of Trustees consists of seven (7) members elected by the City of Stafford community to serve for terms of three (3) years each. Following the annual election, the board elects a president, vice-president, and secretary to serve for a one-year term. Each trustee represents Stafford MSD at large. Together with the Superintendent, they make the SMSD Team of Eight (8). More information about the Team of 8 including meetings, policies and procedures can be found on the district’s website: https://www.staffordmsd.org/meet-stafford/board.