Archive for category Lawsuit

WHY I WILL NOT VOTE FOR MY OLD “FRIEND” TRACY FISHER – over $250,000 of our kids’ money wasted ….

Recycle Tracy Fisher

President Harry S. Truman once said, “The Buck Stops Here”.  The phrase refers to the notion that the President has to make the decisions and accept the ultimate responsibility for those decisions.

Based on this, for what I am about to tell you, the buck stops with Board of Trustees President Tracy Fisher.

In a nutshell, Coppell ISD interfered in my child custody matter.  Coppell ISD did so by getting its attorneys to file a Petition in Intervention in my child custody case.  According to an Administrative Law Judge based in Austin, he had never seen this type of action by a school district, interfering in a custody matter, in his 25 years on the bench.  And that too regarding a trivial dispute over how many emails I should be allowed to send (then) Assistant Superintendent, Brad Hunt (see link at the bottom for details).

Thus far, Coppell ISD has spent more than $250,000 in legal fees in this matter (based on information obtained via Open Records and estimated to date).  This figure will continue to grow as the legal matter is still ongoing and could reach the half a million dollar mark before the legal matter concludes.  This is money that should be spent educating our children.

To put this amount in perspective, $250,000 could have paid the salaries of 5 Coppell ISD teachers for a year

Why is “Coppell ISD” taking money that should be spent on our teachers and our children and handing it over to a law firm?

We all know “Coppell ISD” is not a real person.  So, who made the decision to give Coppell ISD’s lawyers a blank check to spend unlimited amounts of money to interfere in this private matter? Who made the decision to divert sacred public education funds to a private law firm?

There are only 2 suspects – the Administration (headed by Brad Hunt) and the Board of Trustees (headed by Tracy Fisher).

I have known both Brad Hunt and Tracy Fisher for almost a decade and have had excellent relations with both of them.  I even regard Tracy Fisher as a friend! 

I have repeatedly tried to reason with them to stop this madness, reach a settlement (non-monetary, involving just resolving some communication issues between me and Coppell ISD personnel) and end the bleeding (of dollars) from Coppell ISD – and from Coppell families and taxpayers.

Amazingly, both of them, in addition to contending that they are not responsible for making these type of legal decisions, also act blithely unconcerned that massive amounts of public funds intended for our children are being wasted

So, from the look of it, the lawyers are now in charge of Coppell ISD and essentially have a free rein to bill at their own discretion with little to no oversight from district management or the Board of Trustees.

Then what can be done to stop this continuing bleeding of taxpayer dollars which should be spent on education, not litigation?

For the solution, once again I go back to Harry S. Truman’s saying, “the buck stops with the President”.  In this case, whether she will accept responsibility or not, the buck stops with Coppell ISD Board of Trustees President Tracy Fisher.  And since she seemingly has no clue how to stop this hemorrhaging, she has to go and make room for someone else who can take charge of the situation and stop this obscene waste of our tax dollars, money that has been diverted from our children’s education.

That is why I am dumping my old friend Tracy Fisher and will not be voting for her in this coming election.

Post Script:  If those of who have read this far and are curious as to what in world happened between me and the powers that be at Coppell ISD that led to this situation, this link should give you an idea: http://venkyvenkatraman.com/2017/04/my-secretary-brad/

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My secretary, Brad ….

How did a grievance complaint against a Coppell Independent School District (“CISD”) tennis coach end up making CISD’s School Superintendent my de-facto secretary resulting in a lawsuit by CISD against me?  Here is the unbelievable tale …

Many years ago, a tennis coach in a Coppell Middle School sent me some rude text messages and I complained to the school Principal.  When she declined to take any action against him, I decided to file a grievance with CISD, confident that the controversy would get resolved pretty expeditiously since it appeared such a black and white case.

CISD has a grievance procedure which can be found in http://www.coppellisd.com/Page/13790 .  I utilized this process to file my grievance.  What followed was an eye opener.  There are 3 levels to the procedure, the final level being a hearing with the CISD Board.  At every level I got what appeared to be prima facie a fair hearing.  However, each time the result was the same, a terse “DENIED” with no explanation as to the rationale for the denial.  This was pretty frustrating for me since even in court one can ask the judge to explain his/her ruling by filing an appropriate Motion.

I used the grievance procedure a few more times on other matters over the years with pretty much identical results.  Eventually, CISD took a step that from my standpoint was a clear retaliation.  The new Superintendent Mike Waldrip had just taken office and within a month or so he ordered that all future communication between CISD and me had to go through the Assistant Superintendent, Brad Hunt.  I know for a fact that was his personal instruction since I got a copy of the email (via an Open Records request) he sent to that effect.

That meant that even if I had the simplest of question of any teacher or coach regarding anything to do with my daughters, the Assistant Superintendent had to be the middle man.  To his credit, Brad Hunt was very cooperative and responsive.  Clearly this was not his decision and many times it appeared that he might be OK with revising the arrangement but then he would come back saying nothing could be changed.  Mike Waldrip obviously was the one who was calling the shots.

The result was hundreds of emails between me and Brad Hunt over a period of several years – that would not seem a whole lot if sent to a bunch different teachers, coaches, administrators, etc, but a substantial work load if it one person was going to be the middleman and receive/respond to all emails. In effect, Mike Waldrip turned Brad Hunt into my personal secretary!  And while expressing my frustration with this convoluted arrangement about a week or so ago, I referred to Brad Hunt as my secretary while sending a “prohibited” email to a teacher.  When Brad Hunt acted terribly offended to my referring to him as my secretary (as if an Assistant Superintendent was an upper caste person and the secretary was a lower caste!), I sent an email to him stating “Based on the role you are playing vis-à-vis my communication with the school, whether you like it or not, you have de-facto become my secretary” and asked how much was he getting paid compared to his secretary.

Apparently that incensed the powers-that-be so much that CISD suddenly suspended a scheduled Level 2 grievance hearing and filed a “Petition in Intervention” with the court on March 31, essentially intervening in my personal child custody matter and asking the court “to place reasonable limitations on Respondent’s communications with Coppell ISD through Brad Hunt”.

Bottom line – being a third year law student, I know how to respond effectively to this lawsuit without incurring any costs but CISD will be paying its lawyers thousands of (our) tax payer dollars, presumably to teach me a lesson (which I am confident that they will not succeed in doing) – a total waste of money – and not at all befitting of CISD’s supposed slogan “We are all one team” implying students, parents, teachers and administrators all work together for the larger good of the school system.

To conclude, unless Mike Waldrip has gone rogue and got CISD’s lawyers to file a lawsuit against me without informing the Board, our elected officials are (most likely) involved in this matter – in which case, clearly some fresh blood with some common sense is needed on the Board and hopefully that will come about in next month’s Board elections.

Postscript: while researching for this article I found out that Mike Waldrip is paid a salary of $254,616.00, Brad Hunt is paid $153,591.00 and his secretary (whom he shares with two other big wigs at CISD) is paid just $43,862.08.  I would say making someone who is paid $153,591.00 perform secretarial functions is a sheer waste of CISD’s resources and the blame for that lies squarely on the shoulders of Mike Waldrip. The question is who will take him to task and bell the cat to end this abuse of personnel and resources?

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