LA MARQUE — School district trustees will meet behind closed doors Monday to discuss the police chief’s contract and contracts of the district’s entire police department.
But while the chief and other employees are on the agenda, it was unclear Friday what, if any, action the trustees plan to take.
Police Chief Timothy Fields’ two-year contract ends in June. Sources have said trustees are attempting to force Fields out by not renewing his contract and plan to replace him with former Police Chief Russel Washington.
The school district has also conducted a cost-benefit analysis of contracting with an outside police force to provide security. In the county, the Clear Creek, Dickinson and Texas City school districts contract with the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office.
But The Daily News confirmed with both the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office and the La Marque Police Department that neither has been asked or has made a proposal to provide security for the La Marque school district.
Reached by The Daily News on his cellphone Friday, Fields said he would call back but never did. Neither school district spokeswoman Thomasine Allen nor board President Annie Burton returned phone calls.
Fields became the district’s chief two years ago after Washington was fired after being indicted on charges he falsified records to improperly obtain an automobile title. The charges were later dropped, and Washington sued the school district over his firing.
A federal judge has set aside many of the lawsuit’s claims but left the main allegation in place, paving the way for a possible settlement. Last month, trustees agreed to go into mediation with Washington to settle the lawsuit.
As the district implements a plan to cut expenses in the face of declining funding, trustees have met to discuss contracts and nonrenewal of contracts in previous meetings.
In the past, The Daily News has argued that if Fields’ contract was indeed to be part of a discussion and any subsequent action, it required a specific agenda posting. Trustees previously approved reducing the number of employees by 54 through layoffs or eliminating vacant positions. According to the solvency plan, most of the employment areas targeted are in the elementary and middle schools.
On Monday, the trustees will also discuss the nonrenewal of contracts approved in April.
At a glance
WHAT: La Marque school district board of trustees meeting
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Monday
WHERE: The school district’s Network Operations Center, 1711 Magnolia,
in La Marque.