By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
When word leaked to some trustees and Dallas business community members that Harden, who refused to resign, was feeling threatened by Gonzalez and her allies, they rallied to his support.
"There had been a concern that he was not as well-regarded as we had hoped," says Erle Nye, chairman of the Texas Utilities Company and a former member of the superintendent's advisory board. "A number of folks who have known him over the years wanted Gonzalez to know that he had done a good job."
Trustee Yvonne Ewell says, "I heard a rumor that she was pressing him." Ewell left voice mail messages alerting all of the trustees about her concerns. "[Gonzalez] was very put out with me for doing that," Ewell says. "But I was concerned."
The campaign by outsiders to protect the district's chief financial officer succeeded. Gonzalez no longer is talking to Harden about quitting.
For his part, Harden has declined to comment in detail on efforts to fire him. "I feel I have the support of the board that I have been assigned to look out for the best interests of the district," he says.
Three trustees, however, speculate that the superintendent may have intentionally hyped her security concerns to overshadow any scrutiny about who put the tracking device on Harden's car. That such doubts exist at all indicates that Gonzalez is no longer granted the automatic benefit of the doubt by her board, as she was in the harmonious few months after the May school board elections.
"Although I opposed her appointment, I have tried to be as supportive as I can," trustee Ewell says. "But it doesn't look good.