By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
This mess has torn down teacher morale. We are still there doing more than 100 percent. We would just like someone to remember we exist. Does anyone care? Are the teachers the only ones who care?
I find it somewhat amusing that the Dallas Observer has spent such extensive time reporting the DISD debacle so long after the facts. I always thought the job of an investigative reporter was to report a story before the general public already knew all of the facts.
The North Texas Leadership Council initially became aware of the scurrilous behavior of Yvonne Gonzalez in August of 1996. I received a call from a nationally recognized public interest law firm that was considering representing a former Santa Fe ISD employee who had incurred the wrath of Yvonne. My 30-day investigation revealed accusations of adultery, sexual harassment, alcohol abuse, retaliation against district employees, breach of fiduciary responsibility, and a well-crafted campaign of misinformation to the board. This is all in addition to the fact that "Yvonne the Terrible" committed Furniture Gate when she outfitted her Santa Fe superintendent's office with a set of Japanese-motif Rosewood furniture.
I do have to give the Observer credit for one earth-shattering revelation made during the Gonzalez saga. It was laudable that you pointed out the irony of the DMN reporting that Yvonne was a petite woman. The intellectual giants who covered this story on your behalf did neglect to mention the fact that the obnoxious skirts that Gonzalez wore while parading around in her short-lived empire were actually in violation of the district dress code policy.
I trust you do not feel too bad about missing the boat on the greatest scandal in school district history. You are in good company with the rest of the local media lackeys who all sat mute until they received permission to report the truth from the powers that be. I forwarded the results of my investigation to representatives of the Observer, DMN, KRLD, WBAP, KXAS, WFAA, KDFW, KTVT, Dallas City Council, Dallas County Commissioners Court, and last but not least, the DISD board.
To the best of my knowledge, Hollis Brashear was the only one responsible enough to follow up on the broad-ranging accusations coming out of Santa Fe. I know he followed up with every name and phone number that I provided. His subsequent public request to dispatch teams to conduct field investigations on the five finalists for the superintendent's position was squashed by the white downtown power brokers and their pawns on the DISD board.
The most disappointing point of the entire episode occurred with former DISD President Bill Keever. His lame response after I disclosed all the facts from my investigation was to say, "All that doesn't matter; we are hiring Yvonne anyway." It should be noted that this conversation occurred in October of 1996, well before the January hiring of Gonzalez.
Mister Nobody, Bill Simpson
Editor's note: Bill Simpson makes it his business to know everything about everyone. But tossing a few accusations isn't the same as having the facts. If Mr. Simpson ever had any solid information to offer to the Dallas Observer about our former Dallas public schools superintendent, no one here recalls ever receiving it.