Mike Miles Calls the DISD Audit that Criticized His Top Hires a "Witch Hunt"

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Six months into his tenure at DISD, it's now official: Superintendent Mike Miles is hellbent on squandering whatever good will he was granted upon his arrival. Case in point was his news conference Wednesday to more fully address findings in a recent internal audit concluding that he and top staff had flaunted hiring rules and ignored financial rules when paying top hires' moving expenses. This was the report that led to the resignation of Dora Sauceda, the executive director accused of submitting fake moving expenses.

One might expect Miles to apologize for the infractions and promise to make sure they never happen again, but that's not his style. He's pugnacious, so he came out swinging.

Miles, according to the Morning News, called the audit "incomplete and error-filled" and likened it to a "witch hunt or ambush."

"Yes, I acted with a sense of urgency and changed some past practices to get things done," he said. "These changes in processes were permissible under law, policies, and the permission given to me by the board in my service agreement and contract."

Granted, Miles was trying to cobble together his team in an insanely short period of time and deserves leeway for not following district hiring procedures to a T. More concerning is the finding that he overrode basic financial controls when reimbursing top hires, then showed complete disdain for the people and process that caught him doing so.

What Miles needs is some good PR advice. As superintendent of a major urban school district, he's a public figure now, essentially half-politician. He needs to act more like one, and any politician worth his salt knows how to deal with a minor scandal: Act contrite. Promise to do better in the future. And then let people forget about it.

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18 comments
BillBoards
BillBoards

Cowan may need help with Morath if the audit looks bad. Morath does not like to be wrong and  he has been a supporter and Miles follower while trying to pretend to lead.

notyourmoolah
notyourmoolah

When it's only your money, Eric, it can be a PR mistake. Since it happens to be OUR money and Miles lavished it on a bunch of cronies instead of school teachers, the audit was timely in that it stopped another Broad Toad from blowing a hole in the budget. Thanks to the trustees with the guts to speak up. We'll have to see what Cowan is going to do--waffle or act like a trustee of the public's purse.

The hypocrites were busy loading up on administrators while sending in waivers to the state to load up on kids in K-4 classrooms. Still want to know the back story on Glover's $20K invoice that all of a sudden he didn't need or know anything about. Lumpy's crossed the line.

The college administrator who backed out of his $100,000 raise Miles was waving must have heard all the way from Beaumont what a fraud Miles is and that his stay wouldn't last. Good for him for not going for Miles' bribe.

Looking at the team Miles has "cobbled" together, you have to be kidding on the leeway. Roadside bandits are more like it.

Daniel
Daniel

I guess Jennifer Sprague was out sick and thus could not give him the PR advice she's so handsomely paid to give him.  

BTW, it's "flout" not "flaunt."  /pedantry

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

So, he admits to having hired witches.

This ain't gonna go over too well with the Jeffress crowd.

BillBoards
BillBoards

I am waiting for Citizen Mike to chime in here. Maybe it is time to have "retirement" or "buy-out" messages erected about town.

Tom434
Tom434

Second coming of Yvonne Gonzalez

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Miles blundered into town with a callous and imperious attitude that turned off the DISD staff.  He's finished.

Michael.MacNaughton
Michael.MacNaughton

A "witch hunt" is an investigation carried out to supposedly uncover wrongdoings but actually used to harass and undermine people that may have differing views.

This is an audit. An audit to bring to light, and make transparent, possible policy, procedural and fiscal wrongdoings in a public governmental entity which may have resulted in the resignation of a trusted CFO (Alan King).

Mr. Miles, this is about transparency in public government - not an ambush by individual trustees. The trustees are doing their job, protecting the taxpaying public from potential malfeasance. I applaud their efforts on our behalf.

JohnNeelyBryan
JohnNeelyBryan

He should hire a crack Communications Director and spare no expense in doing so.

cyncialoldbastard
cyncialoldbastard

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!  How much is the PR director being paid and what exactly is she doing for that money?

observist
observist topcommenter

@Daniel You made both the points I wanted to make...

secretburrito
secretburrito

@Tom434 Yes, indeed.  This arrogant clown needs to be run out of town before he sucks DISD funds dry.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

@Michael.MacNaughton 

Yes. I've been quick to criticize this board, and I have to join you in commending them, especially Ms. Nutall who I believe requested this audit.

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