Last week, the Observer received and wrote about a copy of a letter Dallas school board President Lois Parrott sent to DISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa in which she told him someone was purchasing frivolous merchandise in her name and charging it to the district. Parrott wrote that on two occassions, packages from the Oriental Trading Company--located, naturally, in Omaha, Nebraska--were sent to the DISD in her name. Up for re-election next month, Parrott was seemingly the victim of a campaign prank, almost as vicious as it was stupid.
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When we received the copy of Parrott's letter, we tried to do our due dilligence and confirm with the school district if Parrott really received two packages she did not order. This is a process journalists refer to as corroboration, and given the stakes involved you'd think the district would want to confirm or dispute whether a school board member was made to look like the felonious Yvonne Gonzalez. Kind of a big deal, huh?
Well, no. After being shuffled through a tangled web of PR flunkies, legal drones and low-level bureacrats, I was told our very simple request for information was tagged No. 5277. Nearly 10 days later, after we already independently confirmed the veracity of Parrott's letter and wrote about it, attorney Leticia McGowan gave us the documentation we already had, including how much DISD actually paid for some of the merchandise Parrott ordered. Thought you'd like to know what exactly DISD thinks your property taxes should cover:
- 5 Mini Smile Face Buttons 3 Hula Bears 14 Graduation Autograph Dogs 2 Foam Face Footballs 2 "Patriotic" Tote Bags 1 Mini 60's Bubble Bottle 1 Smile Face Graduation Pinata 15 "Patriotic" stovepipe hats
DISD check to the Oriental Trading Company:$319.36 Not being able to come up with the punch line to an obvious joke: Priceless. --Matt Pulle