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Dallas Superintendent: Hiring Process Might Change After Another Top Aide Resigns

Bill Zeeble

Dallas School Superintendent Mike Miles tells KERA that it's time to review and improve the process for hiring his cabinet members. This follows the resignation of yet another top administrator: his chief of staff, Jerome Oberlton.

The move came after Oberlton told Miles he expected to be indicted for actions tied to his work in the Atlanta school system from 2004 to 2007.

Miles says he was shocked and angered by the news, and asked his chief of staff to resign.

The superintendent says he was satisfied by the background check at the time Olberlton was hired. That check also turned up news that Oberlton spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on controversial purchases while working for Baltimore schools before moving here.

“We did more than what we usually do," Miles said Tuesday afternoon. "We had human capital management doing the background  check, criminal background, we did a credit check. We did a thorough background check and thorough investigation and we were satisfied with that background check."

Still, Miles says that whenever there’s an incident like this, it’s time to consider  changes.

“It would be appropriate for this cabinet and me to look at our hiring practice to see if there’s a way to strengthen it so we have a strong and  stable leadership going forward to the long term,” he says.  

Miles wouldn’t say how long that evaluation process would take, who would fill the chief of staff position in the meantime, or whether there’ll be a national search. Miles did say former chief of staff Alan King, who resigned in October and then was hired by the school board to be the district’s internal auditor, would not return as interim chief of staff.  

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.