Dallas City Council Candidate McGough Being Investigated by Highland Park ISD | Unfair Park | Dallas | Dallas Observer | The Leading Independent News Source in Dallas, Texas


Dallas City Council Candidate McGough Being Investigated by Highland Park ISD

If not for Adam McGough's residency issues, the race to replace Jerry Allen in District 10 would be, far and away, the most boring bout on the 2015 Dallas City Council card. McGough and his opponent Paul Reyes are both longtime political operators. McGough was Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings chief of staff until earlier this year, and Reyes is the longtime general counsel for Associa, former state Senator John Carona's real estate company, and it shows. See if you can watch the first 20 minutes of this video of Reyes and McGough at a candidate's forum without falling asleep; the salient issue of the 2015 campaign, the Trinity toll road, isn't mentioned once.

Still, every time Unfair Park is about to write the race off, new details emerge in the curious case of the McGough kids attending Highland Park schools for two and a half years while Dad lived in District 10.

McGough says his wife, Lacy, and their three kids -- a newborn among them -- lived in a one-bedroom condo while he stayed behind in the 2,800-square-foot Lake Highlands house the McGoughs bought in 2006. Because Lacy McGough never claimed a homestead exemption on the Highland Park condo -- she'd filed one on the Lake Highlands house shortly after its purchase -- it seemed that the McGoughs either lived together in Lake Highlands, against Highland Park school district rules, or continued to claim a homestead exemption for which they weren't qualified.

See also: Dallas City Council Candidate Answers Residency Questions, Creates More

Now, the Highland Park district has launched a formal investigation into the McGough kids' attendance at Bradfield Elementary. The investigation is based on at least one complaint against the McGoughs received by the district from residents.

An independent investigator will look into things like leases, water bills and driver's licenses in addition to talking with school administrators, school district spokeswoman Helen Williams told the Lake Highlands Advocate.

If the investigator finds any wrongdoing, the McGoughs could be subject to paying tuition for the years their kids attended Bradfield when they shouldn't have. They would also be subject to criminal fraud charges, but Williams says the district has not pursued criminal charges in the past.

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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young

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