It might seem like a small thing, but the La Marque school board deserves some applause for rejecting the initial offer to settle a lawsuit filed by Russell Washington, the school district’s former police chief.

This is a step forward.

Washington’s connections with school board members have, in the past, undermined confidence in the district.

A former superintendent tried to oust Washington in 2008. At the time, Washington refused to clear the air about an audio recording that suggested some school board members had taken kickbacks from a contractor involved in a bond issue. But that effort to oust Washington failed as some board members strongly supported him.

When he was fired in 2010, Washington was under indictment in an alleged attempt to falsify documents to obtain a title to a vehicle. Those charges were later dropped, and Washington demanded his old job back, along with compensation.

Washington’s initial demand was in the $500,000 ballpark and included compensation for mental anguish. That demand dropped to $125,000. And, since a federal judge threw out most of this case, it’s hard to see a large settlement.

So, it was good to see the school board following the advice of its attorneys and not rushing to resolve this case with cash.

In the past, some school board members had advocated paying Washington. In 2011, there was some discussion of ousting the person who was then police chief to put Washington back on the payroll. That discussion was serious enough to be posted on the agenda of a public meeting.

This recent decision by the school board was a breath of fresh air.

Heber Taylor is editor of The Daily News.


(5) comments

Walter Manuel

Heber, while this is "refreshing news" it's no secret that this board was forced to say "no" when they have a solvency plan that dictates this lame boards EVERY move and now how many sets of eyes watching to make sure that they follow it to a "T"??

Since this current school board helped to get us into the trouble that the district is in, they were forced to turn their back on their friend.

Thank goodness more and more control is being stripped away from this incompetent board and hopefully next year TEA will replace ALL of them and Nakisha Paul and "her" board will be sent packing like they obviously should be!

Mike Meador

I think after this year, LMISD won't have a pot to pee in. Anybody who has the need to sue this district might get on the train and try to get in the line standing to get paid.

And by-the-way, what has happened to the EOC scores for the high school? I have certain knowledge that all districts have been given their scores, and even some districts gave their scores to the students before they left for the summer. Anybody know?


Well allow me to say this today, so stop what you are doing and listen to me! See, I have always looked at this "thang" like this. I am never coming into your house around all your belongings, and proceed to JUMP UP AND DOWN ON YOUR COUCH, disrespecting your furniture and belongings unless I see you doing it. The thought will NEVER enter my mind!
What is that Ole country boy talking about this morning? Well it is like I said, and have been saying all along, people gently operate "ON" the level of LEADERSHIP they happen to be operating "UNDER!" HUH? Come on now!
Look, I've had these same kind of problems, employees with poor work habits, poor attendance, and bad attitudes before in the business world, and I would wager, so have other managers or former managers on this forum. Anybody who knows what they are doing will tell you that these symptoms found in LMISD are just bi-products of BAD LEADERS who are/were out of touch, and has/had lost control and respect of those who are/were apart of the organization they were leading!
This was the very reason, COM had regressed to having all the problems and upheaval they were having out there. Everything was fine when Mr. Standley was there and times were prosperous, but when the economy took a turn, and a more enlightened brand of constituents demanded CHANGE, what happened. Heads began to roll on the BOT,....then in ADMENISTRATION, then on STAFF! The constituents, made a CHANGE on BOT, BOT made a changes in ADMINISTRATION, and now we have a President out there who is operating responsibly in leading that organization back to be a top institution for higher learning in these "hereabouts!"
Some who were use to operating under the OLD WAYS and HABITS of other leaders, can't or won't adapt to incoming change, see where I'm going with this
Can I bring it to the house now? Let me bring it on to the house, okay? Good. See, the basis of what I've said, LMISD leaders never learned, and they still don't have any idea what I am talking about, because they are abiding in denial!!! ( Not that River in Egypt either ). You have to possess the ability to assess your past, to make a determination of the road taken to your present state!
Once that is done, you have to be skilled, determined, and brave enough to determine responsibly where it is YOU WANT to be in the future!!! Can you afford it? Can you pay the price to make changes in order to ascertain a desired future? COM'S BOT just said yes a few months ago!!!! Please stay with me now, I know I'm talking kind of fast!!!
Unless they had the goods on Mr. Washington they should have NEVER fired him! Unless they reasoned the ends justified the means! In my career, I had to fire only two employees, and let me tell you they were actually FIRED 12 months BEFORE I called, them and their representatives in my office letting them know it, then having security escort them off the premises! When I was a peace officer, attorneys did not come in courts, complaining about arrests and/or citations! They came in trying to cut a deal with the District Attorneys. Ohh I wish somebody would help me with this!
Hey, I'm just saying, I'm not trying to blow my horn, because there are those who God bless me to cross their paths who would be glad to do that for me, but I'm just saying leadership, has a great influence on how those in the organization will perform and react.
Another thing, over the years, I have lost my "LOVE" for money! He who "LOVES" money is an evil person, because the "LOVE" of money is the "ROOT" of all evil! Your character, and decision making process will take a hit if money is the driving force in your life. Wherever I worked, my aim was to rise to the higher echelon of that workforce, and to be one of the best in it while treating everybody fair as possible! Therefore, I will never stay in a place where a bunch of misfits over me, can affect any employees negatively, who might be working under me! That make sense? See, If I had been Mr. Washington's boss, I would wager he nor LMISD would have had to endure all that negative publicity and backlash, because he would have been to busy providing maintenance to a first class organization in numerous ways! There were many things which I observed could have been done that were not being performed, for many years in LMISD.
I see this same thing I'm preaching about happening at COM "rat" now! I had doubts about that new President out there at first, but I don't no more! I have finally figured out her strategy! I should have recognized it sooner, since I have used it in the past enough times. If you cannot see it yet, keep looking and you will.
Of coarse with what I've said, about not having to fire Mr. Washington in the first place makes the eradication of Mr. Field's position moot! See how critical LEADERSHIP is? Bad Leadership, is an awful thing, in any organization! Let me end this morning by doing what I do best, and I will leave you with this about LEADERSHIP:
Genesis 37:19-20
( These words from Genesis spoken by the envious brothers of Joseph, son of Jacob, are engraved on a plaque at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. )
"Behold, here cometh the Dreamer. Let us slay him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams." ( "KILL" the dreamer/leader......."STOP" the dream/ followers. )
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are talking about two leaders here who were at the forefront of prosperity and success because they knew HOW to lead! Joseph son of Jacob, developed into a fabulous leader of his time, and so did Dr. King! Yes the civil rights movement was affected to some degree by the assassination of Dr. King, just as those who assassinated him thought it would, but for his wisdom and revelation of what was right and doable, the African American people and the struggles they were involved in would have taken a MOST DESASTEROUS route of failure from others, who were more uninformed, and less qualified to lead!
All you have to do is look at LMISD in order to see that I have spoken the truth this morning. LMISD use to be tops in the state, now, it is another "COOLEY HIGH" represented in the movie "LEAN ON ME!" If you saw the movie, what was the ROOT problem? Right! It was "LEADERSHIP" or I should say the lack of it!


Talk back to me if you can. [smile]

George Croix

As an inveterate cynic, I wonder if the result would have been the same had fewer eyes been watching.
Maybe it would...

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