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Minutes of Special Meeting

The Board of Trustees


Grand Prairie Independent School District
February 27, 2018

A special meeting of the Board of Trustees of Grand Prairie Independent School District was
held February 27, 2018 in the Board Room at the Education Center, 2602 South Belt Line
Road, Grand Prairie, Texas.

President Brooks called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. and stated a quorum was present.

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:

Mr. Steve Pryor, President


Mr. Burke Hall, Vice President
Mr. Aaron King, Secretary
Mr. Terry Brooks
Ms. Gloria Carrillo
Mr. David Espinosa

BOARD MEMBER ABSENT:

Mr. Chester McCrary

Superintendent Susan Hull verified that notice of the meeting had been properly posted for
the time and manner required by law.

RECESS TO CLOSED SESSION

President Pryor adjourned the meeting to a closed session at 5:03 p.m. for the purpose of
consideration of matters for which closed or executive sessions are authorized by Title 5,
Chapter 551, Subchapters D & E of Texas Government Code Section 418.183(f), whereupon
the Superintendent, at the request of the President of the Board of Education, will present for
the Board's discussion the following matters:
A. Board Discussion of Personnel Matters under § 551.074: Employment, Retirement(s),
Termination(s)/Proposed Termination(s), Proposed Non-renewals(s), Request(s) for
Leave of Absence, Request(s) for Extended Leave Without Pay, Resignation(s),
Reassignment(s), Request(s) for Temporary Disability, Job Abandonment, Proposed
Extension of Probationary Contract(s), Proposed Suspension Without Pay
1. Board Protocols and Roles
B. Discussion of Real Property under § 551.072
C. Consultation with legal counsel regarding Board protocols and roles, and/or involving
pending or contemplated litigation or a settlement offer or on a matter which the
School District's legal counsel determines should be confidential including contract
negotiations in accordance with Government Code, Sections 551.082, 551.0821,
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55l.087, and 551.071, respectively; School Finance Litigation; B.R. v. GPISD, Civil
Action No. 3:13-CV-00008-P-BH; GPISD v. Penn et al. Cause #DC-16-09515.

President Pryor said the meeting was posted under § 551.074, personnel matters, which does
not require an open meeting unless the Board is deliberating the appointment, employment,
evaluation, reassignment duties, discipline, or dismissal of a public officer or employee, or to
hear a complaint or charge against an officer or employee. He asked if they were hearing
either one of these. Superintendent Hull said she couldn’t answer that question. Mr. Pryor
asked Mr. Dyar to answer. Mr. Mike Leasor, attorney with Leasor and Crass said he would
answer that question.

Mr. Leasor said yes, it would be the case of personnel matters…(inaudible). Mr. Pryor asked
if Mr. Leasor believed the meeting was properly called. Mr. Leasor said he did. Mr. Pryor
said under subsection B., subsection A. does not apply if the officer or employee who is the
subject of the deliberation or hearing requests a public hearing. He asked if the subject had
been notified of the hearing and requested an open hearing. Mr. Leasor said not at this time.
Mr. Pryor repeated Mr. Leasor’s statement that the person that is being discussed has not
been notified. Mr. Leasor said the meeting has been properly posted and noticed for the
Board to go into closed session. Mr. Leasor said he would not discuss closed session matters
in open session, or give legal advice in open session. That type of advice will happen back in
closed session.

President Pryor recessed the meeting to closed session at 5:04 p.m.

RECONVENE IN OPEN SESSION

The meeting was reconvened in open session at 5:41 p.m. on Tuesday, February 27, 2018, by
President Pryor.

Mr. Pryor asked for action as a result of closed session.

Mr. Espinosa said he would like to file a complaint, and asked Mr. Leasor if he could do that.
Mr. Leasor said he could. Mr. Espinosa said he wanted to file a complaint to board member,
Steve Pryor. Mr. Pryor said he assumes there needs to be a specific charge of some sort. Mr.
Leasor said yes, he will allow Mr. Espinosa to work through it. Mr. Leasor asked Mr.
Espinosa to site his complaint. Mr. Espinosa said his complaint is toward the Board
President in regards to the investigation of audit, and not including the entire Board, and
undermining board members on the investigation report.

Mr. Pryor asked if the Board needs to reschedule a hearing for a different day, or what needs
to be done. Mr. Leasor said that is probably the best choice at this point, unless they are
ready to discuss things now – it’s up to him. Mr. Pryor said it’s not his complaint. Mr.
Leasor said it can be discussed now if Mr. Pryor wishes to do it in open session, or if Mr.
Pryor wishes to do it in closed session, they could do it in closed session; or they could do it
at a later board meeting. Mr. Espinosa said he wanted to discuss it now, asking Mr. Pryor if
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he would like to discuss it now. Mr. Pryor said if Mr. Espinosa had a complaint against him,
he would like it to be done in open session. It can be done now or at another meeting. Mr.
Espinosa said he wanted to do it now.

Mr. Espinosa told Mr. Pryor that he (Mr. Pryor) had received the report from the attorneys
that we have paid more than $300,000. Mr. Pryor said he is incorrect on the cost of the
investigation. Mr. Espinosa asked what the cost was. Mr. Pryor said he wasn’t sure off
hand, and said he knows the bills for Brackett and Ellis also include the PBK litigation. We
may be at $300,000 for Brackett and Ellis, but that is the investigation of the Carrier Road
property and the invoice issues, and the PBK lawsuit. Mr. Espinosa stated that Mr. Pryor
received the report of the internal investigation of the report that they have been dealing with
about the superintendent, asking if that was correct. Mr. Pryor said that is correct. Mr.
Espinosa apologized to the legal counsel for including personnel.

Superintendent Hull asked if she could comment. Mr. Leasor said she could. Dr. Hull said
this is the first time she has ever been informed that this investigation was an investigation
into the superintendent. Mr. Pryor said he didn’t say it was an investigation of the
superintendent. Dr. Hull said he did. Mr. Espinosa said “investigation into the
superintendent,” and Mr. Pryor said “yes.” She asked if this is an investigation into the
superintendent. Mr. Leasor stopped Dr. Hull, stating that they are getting to a point of
talking about the investigation itself, and it’s still a legal document under review, and he
doesn’t want to divulge into attorney/client privilege. Mr. Hall said the Board still hasn’t
seen the investigation report. Superintendent Hull wants on record: she has never been told it
was an investigation into her, and if, in fact, it is, we will go into closed session and we will
stop this meeting until she has (legal) counsel.

Mr. Pryor said if Mr. Espinosa said “investigation into the superintendent,” and he said
“yes,” he misspoke. He said he has told the superintendent many times that it was not an
investigation about her. Dr. Hull thanked him and said he had told her many times it wasn’t
about her - the comment caught her off guard.

Mr. Espinosa told President Pryor that his concern is that the other board members were
undermined and not given a copy of the investigation, and asked Mr. Pryor if he has a copy
of it in his email. Mr. Pryor said that is correct. Mr. Pryor said Mr. Dyar was supposed to
meet with Lynn Rossi Scott on Friday, February 16, and Mr. Dyar got the flu and could not
make the meeting. They shared the report with Mr. Dyar via email. Mr. Pryor said Lynn
Rossi Scott feels she is answering to two masters, in that Tom Dyar is asking her to do
things, and he is asking her to do things, as Board President and the point person on this
investigation. Lynn is answering to two people. As he told the other board members in
closed session, Mr. Dyar told Lynn that board members instructed Mr. Dyar…Mr. Hall
interrupted and said Mr. Pryor is beginning to talk about closed session conversation. Mr.
Pryor said it is part of the complaint from Mr. Espinosa. Mr. Hall asked for an attorney to
comment.
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Mr. Leasor said if Mr. Pryor wants to repeat what went on in closed session out in open
session, he can, as long as he isn’t libeling/slandering anyone, as long as he’s not violating
the law. Repeating what goes on in closed session is not violating state law. Mr. Hall asked
if they can talk about executive session whenever they want to. Mr. Leasor said it may
violate board guidelines, it may violate common sense, it may violate a whole lot of other
things that could be important, but it’s not a legal violation. Mr. Hall thanked him for the
clarification.

Mr. Espinosa asked Mr. Pryor to continue. Mr. Pryor said Lynn Rossi Scott informed him
that Mr. Dyar wanted to see the report, at the direction of other board members before the
whole Board got it. His response to her was, if she is dealing with two masters, if Tom gets
it, the Board President, as the point person on this, should also receive it. Mr. Espinosa
repeated Mr. Pryor’s statement that the whole Board should also get it. Mr. Pryor said he
believed the whole Board should have gotten it two weeks ago when the draft was
completed. Tom Dyar represented to Lynn Rossi Scott that he was acting at the direction of
board members. Board members told him they wanted him to review it before the whole
Board received it. Mr. Brooks asked why the privilege would be that only Mr. Pryor get the
report, instead of saying he didn’t want it until the whole Board got it. Mr. King said in
executive session, they all discussed that when that document came in…

Mr. Espinosa said his concern is that President Pryor is on the Board to represent the children
of GPISD, and morally and ethically, the correct thing should have been, “I got it and we
should send it to the Board,” asking Mr. Pryor if that was correct. Mr. Pryor said he was
trying to respect Mr. Dyar. Mr. Espinosa said Mr. Dyar is not elected by people, and Mr.
Dyar is hired by the Superintendent. He told Mr. Pryor that he is elected by the people of
this community – people voted for him and he represents kids. Ethically, Mr. Pryor should
have thought and said, “I’m going to send it to Gloria Carrillo, who is my neighbor…I’m
going to send it to Aaron King, I’m going to send it to Burke Hall, and Terry Brooks, and
Chester and David,” asking Mr. Pryor if that was correct and the right thing to do. Mr. Pryor
said he could have done that. Mr. Espinosa asked President Pryor why he didn’t do that. Mr.
Pryor said Tom Dyar told Lynn Rossi Scott that board members wanted him to review it
before it went to the whole Board. Mr. Hall said Tom Dyar was running point with Lynn.
Mr. Pryor said that is correct. Mr. Hall said that was Mr. Pryor’s position as Board President.
Mr. Pryor repeated that Tom represented to Lynn that board members were directing him.
Mr. Espinosa asked which board members he was referring to.

Superintendent Hull asked President Pryor for permission to speak. She said a point of
clarification that is incredibly important here is that this Board did not ever take action to hire
Lynn Rossi Scott to do an investigation and report to the Board. This Superintendent
approved Lynn Rossi Scott, at the request of the Board President, to do an investigation into
the purchases surrounding the house and property at 4750 S. Carrier Parkway. This
Superintendent never, never authorized anything beyond that. When the conversations
between the Board President and Lynn exceeded that investigation, the explanation was,
“well, we keep finding things.” I never believed that it was right on the part of Lynn to make
that investigation bigger than what the Superintendent had authorized to be paid for. The
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entire investigation is about whether or not some of the Superintendent’s staff had expended
funds in excess of $50,000 without Board approval. Dr. Hull said she was certainly never in
the position to approve that much money. So, what has happened is, either Lynn assumed
that the Board voted to hire her to do an investigation, or someone told her that you voted to
hire her. Mr. Pryor said he and Mr. Hall directed her to examine the circumstances
surrounding the Carrier Parkway property and purchasing practices in general, because we
had split invoices on the Carrier Parkway property. What Mr. Hall and Mr. Pryor asked in
the initial meeting was if there were other indications of split invoices in the District. Dr.
Hull said she never authorized anything beyond the Carrier property, and that’s very
important in the event someone comes back and accuses her of authorizing an expenditure of
more than $50,000. The other most important part of it is, under that arrangement, Lynn was
working for the School District, the one she (Dr. Hull) serves as the Superintendent, the one
that Mr. Dyar serves as in-house counsel. She was never reporting directly to the Board. In
addition, she (Lynn) said to her (Dr. Hull) in the interview process, that the report, before it
ever became a report, which it is not yet, it is a draft, that it would come to her (Dr. Hull) and
Tom Dyar first. Mr. Espinosa interjected, “and not the Board President, correct?”

Superintendent Hull continued and said that we had a big day today – a big, ugly day today –
and her team handled it incredibly well, even though they got some push-back and some
complaints, her team handled it incredibly well, keeping our staff and our students safe. We
make good decisions. When we let an outside influence begin to act in the capacity of the
Superintendent, and we take away the Superintendent’s ability to make decisions about
personnel because of an investigation that seems to never end, we create a problem. Dr. Hull
said she doesn’t know what the answer is to this. She has never been in this position, but it is
very clear to her – very clear – that the outside attorney, that the Superintendent authorized
hiring, has overstepped her bounds if she thinks she reports to anyone other than the school
district.

Mr. Brooks asked why would any one of them say, “oh, give me the report.” To him, any
board member would say, “if the rest of the Board doesn’t have it, I don’t’ want it.” Simple
as that.

Mr. Espinosa said there are things that aren’t clear, saying the Superintendent says there is no
report as of right now. Mr. Pryor said it is a draft report. Superintendent Hull said it is a
draft, a very bad draft. Mr. Espinosa said there is a board member that has a draft and none
of the others have it. He told Mr. Pryor that is the problem and that is the complaint.

Mr. Brooks requested that right now, right at this minute, whatever documents Mr. Pryor has
from Lynn Rossi Scott, every document from Lynn Rossi Scott, that he turn over to Tom.
Now. Today. Tomorrow. Every document.

Mr. Espinosa asked Mr. Pryor if he would agree to that. Mr. Pryor said as he told them in
closed session, “no.” Mr. Espinosa repeated Mr. Pryor – that he didn’t want to turn in what
Lynn Rossi Scott has given him. Mr. Pryor said he would send the board members the draft
if they want, and asked what else is there, except some emails back and forth between him
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and Lynn. Mr. Espinosa asked about him sending those, as well. Mr. Pryor said he could
send those to the rest of the Board if they want. Mr. Brooks said Mr. Pryor told them two
board meetings ago that he had documents out in his car and that he would go get them and
show them to the Board. Mr. Pryor said a lot of what he has is information that Mr. Dyar has
provided – the FOIA requests from Lori Brown, the inspection report on the house, the press
releases on mold remediation. There are a number of documents Mr. Pryor has gathered in
the course of this – our purchasing policies. Mr. Brooks said Mr. Pryor told them he had
stuff from Lynn Rossi Scott that he would get. Mr. Espinosa agreed that Mr. Pryor said he
had that information in his car. Mr. Hall said Mr. Pryor said he also had invoices and
financials. Mr. Brooks said that is what Mr. Pryor said and he is taking him for his word.
Mr. Pryor said he would have to look at what he’s got. Mr. Espinosa asked Mr. Pryor if he
was willing to turn all that information over to them. Mr. Brooks said not to them. Mr.
Espinosa said to our legal counsel. Mr. Pryor said he can. Mr. Espinosa asked if he was
going to do that or not. Mr. Brooks said we have so much stuff to do in this District, we’ve
got so much important stuff…and we play with this piece of crap. Mr. Espinosa asked if he
was turning over the information or not and said “can” is a “maybe,” if he feels like it. (Some
of the conversation was inaudible since Mr. Espinosa and Mr. Brooks were talking at the
same time.) Mr. Pryor said he would turn everything over to Mr. Dyar. Mr. Espinosa
thanked Mr. Pryor.

Mr. King said as a School Board, an elected official, not only for his district, but for the
whole city, all the students, and everybody they represent; the Board has gone through so
much that now it’s in turmoil and could be misconstrued or misrepresented. He believes
there is a lack of trust, a lack of faith in our Board President. Mr. King called for a
reorganization of the Board.

Mr. Pryor asked Mr. Dyar and Mr. Leasor if this could be done at this meeting, or if it needed
to be put on the March agenda, stating it wasn’t posted. Mr. King said said that was a
motion. Mr. Hall repeated that it is a motion. Mr. Pryor said it also wasn’t posted and we
normally post that. He said he was fine either way and told legal counsel they just need to
tell him. Mr. Leasor said stemming from the conversation in closed session, they could
reorganize the Board. The perfect decision would be to re-post it and do it again at a later
time, but tonight is fine. Superintendent Hull said fewer meetings are better for her. Mr.
Pryor said he was opening up the floor for nominations for Board President.

Mr. Hall, Mr. Brooks, and Mr. Espinosa said there was already a motion on the floor for
reorganizing the Board. Ms. Carrillo believes this is not the appropriate time to do this. She
thinks we need to post it properly. Mr. Espinosa said they need to take care of the first
motion.

Mr. Pryor stated we had a motion by Mr. King and called for a second. Mr. Espinosa
seconded Mr. King’s motion. Mr. Pryor called for a vote on the motion.

Mr. King, Board Secretary, took a roll call vote:


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Mr. Brooks – YES


Mr. Hall – YES
Mr. Pryor – ABSTAIN
Ms. Carrillo – NO
Mr. Espinosa – YES
Mr. King – YES

Motion carried 4-1-1!

Mr. Pryor said they would now reorganize the Board. Mr. Espinosa said they could repost
and asked if they were going to do it now. Mr. Pryor said the motion was to do it right now.
Ms. Carrillo repeated that this is not the appropriate time to do it.

President Pryor said they had approval to reorganize the Board. Mr. Brooks asked for
discussion, addressing Ms. Carrillo, who was trying to make a point.

Mr. Carrillo said she does not believe this is the appropriate way and time to do this. She
thinks they are opening up a big can of worms that may come back and bite them. She
believes there is a lot of emotions out here. Mr. Espinosa said we have had a lot of resistance
with this process. For the leadership of this school district, if the can of worms is what she is
worried about…Ms. Carrillo said what she is worried about is the fact that they are doing this
tonight. If they are going to do it, she believes they need to post it and the community needs
to be aware of it, needs to be here. That’s her feeling.

Mr. Hall said he agreed with Ms. Carrillo to a certain extent. There is never a good time to
have to reorganize the Board before June. One thing that is obvious, and it would be obvious
to anyone sitting out there – and he doesn’t think Mr. Pryor would disagree with this
statement – there certainly is some distrust here and some concerns. That being said, Mr.
Hall believes it’s a good idea for the Board to move on. However, it does agree that it’s not a
good time now, and it’s not going to be a good time next month. This is not a good thing.

Ms. Carrillo said the community is not here tonight and they need to be here. Mr. Hall said
this is a Board decision, and Board decision only. She said she understood. Mr. Hall said
this is what our Board wants to do and our leadership here. Mr. Espinosa told Ms. Carrillo
she needs to understand there is resistance going on. She said she understands – it is very
obvious to anybody here and there that there is resistance, and there is a lot of emotions. Mr.
Espinosa said that there is not trust. The thing is, she doesn’t have a report right now. She
said that is correct, they don’t, and they’ve been waiting for it for a long time. Mr. Espinosa
said she doesn’t even have a draft and she said that is correct. He said that is the whole
reason they are doing this – there is distrust within our Board. Right now, someone has a
legal document draft. Who they are providing that information to is the question. Who is
getting this information? Mr. Espinosa said he doesn’t know who that person is giving the
information to – that is the distrust that is going on. Who is it being passed on to, or who is it
being leaked out to? He said he doesn’t have it and can’t tell her; can’t tell her anything right
now.
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President Pryor opened the floor for nominations for Board President.

Mr. King made a motion to nominate Mr. Terry Brooks for President of the Board. Mr.
Espinosa seconded Mr. King’s nomination. There were no other nominations.

Motion carried 4-1-1! Mr. Pryor abstained and Ms. Carrillo cast the dissenting vote.

Mr. Pryor turned the seat of Board President over to Mr. Brooks.

President Brooks asked legal counsel if the Board needed to address the other officer
positions. Mr. Leasor said the decision was the Board’s.

President Brooks opened the floor for nominations for the position of Vice President.

A motion was made by Mr. Espinosa nominating Ms. Carrillo as Vice President. Mr. Pryor
seconded the motion. With no other nominations, Ms. Carrillo was named Vice President of
the Board.

President Brooks opened the floor for nominations for the position of Secretary.

A motion was made by Mr. Espinosa nominating Mr. Hall as Secretary. Mr. Pryor seconded
the motion. With no other nominations, Mr. Hall was named Secretary of the Board.

Mr. Espinosa asked about his complaint and if it ends here or what happens. President
Brooks said it’s done.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting adjourned at 6:08 p.m. on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 by the president of the
Board of Trustees, Mr. Terry Brooks.