Reader beware

Combatants in DISD's political battles play spin-the-media

For his part, Harden and his lawyers from the aggressive downtown firm of Bickel & Brewer insist that they know of no FBI investigation of Harden.

Neverthless, Harden and his lawyers have tried to counter the News' coverage with other media outlets. When the newspaper ran a front-page story on December 21 stating that Harden had approved the award of $1.4 million in improper contracts, the DISD chief financial officer gave an exclusive interview to WFAA for the following evening's broadcast. He had not approved the contracts, Harden told Channel 8 reporter Doug Wilson--he had simply signed requisition forms that allowed the bills stemming from the contracts to be paid.

Harden says he had tried to tell News reporters about the distinction several times. "For them to imply that I had approved them was erroneous," Harden says.

Has Harden hired a criminal lawyer? His civil attorney Bill Brewer says no. "He told us he can't even remember if he ever took a pencil," Brewer says.

Asked why he hasn't hired a criminal lawyer, given how frequently his name appears in stories about FBI investigations, Hardens says: "I don't have a need to.

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