By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Albatross necklace: So what was the late political commentator Rufus Shaw talking about when, in the weeks before his suicide, he wrote a blog post bemoaning what he called "the purveyors of hate and personal destruction" in the community?
Here's one possible example: Halice Furtado was executive principal of Redirections at Village Fair, an alternative school in DISD, before she resigned early last year as part of the district's investigation into poorly monitored spending by employees. Furtado was never charged with a crime, though the district's investigators found evidence of a boatload of poorly documented, dubious purchases made with district-issued procurement cards, called Pcards.
According to a report by the district, Furtado was hugely fond of tchotchkes. Photographs of her former office make it look like the sewing room of your craft- and doll-loving spinster aunt, and the investigators questioned whether some of those "decorative items" were purchased with her Pcard. "Notably, even though Ms. Furtado stated that the vast majority of decorative items were purchased with her personal funds, the audit report indicates that, of the $40,000 in receipts for non-educational items collected, the vast majority were made with Ms. Furtado's Pcards...," district investigators reported.
So she quit, and the Pcard scandal is old news and everyone moves on, or so Furtado might have thought until a couple of people in our office got messages pointing out that Furtado is now working for Dallas Black Dance Theater. They passed the info on to Buzz, who is all about purveying as much personal destruction as we can get our hands on, even if it's kind of old.
We called Furtado at the dance group, and she referred us to Ann Williams, the theater's founder, who blamed a disgruntled ex-employee for spreading the news about Furtado's contract to help the theater produce an upcoming gala.
Williams told us that Furtado was "completely cleared" by DISD. (Well, not exactly, but close enough.) "People gotta work somewhere," Williams said. "I need her here because she can make my employees work." Williams would even like to hire Furtado full-time as operations manager.
Good for Furtado and good for Dallas Black Dance Theater, because at least Furtado isn't tasked with decorating the troupe's offices. (Stuffed bears and Raggedy Ann dolls? Gack.) Everyone deserves a second chance, though personally, if Buzz ever needs a second chance at restoring our reputation, we think we'd look for it in a less vindictive city, a town without a Buzz to help others dish dirt.