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Investigation Finds DISD's Miles Violated His Contract, Has 'Good Cause' For Dismissal

Bill Zeeble

Dallas schools Superintendent Mike Miles twice violated the terms of his contract during an investigation of him, a report turned in Friday concludes. “Under the terms of his employment contract," the report says, "violations of Board policy constitute 'good cause' for dismissal."

The 49-page independent investigation, led by former U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins, was not released officially. But Dallas school board member Carla Ranger posted the full report on her blog.

Coggins' report says Miles broke no laws, but concluded that this outside investigation would never have taken place if he had followed the advice given him by at least three district officials to allow the underlying Office of Professional Responsibility investigation to go ahead. But Miles suspended the OPR investigation and ordered the district's legal department to take records gathered during that investigation. The report says, "For a target of an investigation to suspend the investigation raises troubling issues, and any damages to Superintendent Miles’ standing with the Board, the District or the community at large were self- inflicted.”

The report also found Miles may have violated his contract by helping a former DISD operations chief, Kevin Smelker, write a resignation letter that disparaged the school board and praised Miles.

Also, the investigation found that an outside vendor, Concilio, violated board policy by meeting with school board member Mike Morath.

No violations were found in accusations that Miles bullied his former communications chief, Rebecca Rodriguez, or pulled an item from the agenda at the last minute.

The board will still schedule a meeting to discuss the report and Miles' future.

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