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Keep Dallas Observer Free
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DISD's Spokesman Doesn't Live in Dallas. Or Dallas County, Even. Yeah, We Know. What Policy?

This may seem like we're being petty here, but bear with us: Celso Martinez, the DISD flak who said I may have broken the law when I toured a public school with a parent, is himself in violation of school policy. Martinez, hired by the DISD in June, lives in McKinney, outside district boundaries. But board policy says that members of the executive staff have to reside inside the district boundaries within six months of their hiring.

So that means that Martinez, who is an associate superintendent, is in violation of the board's residency requirements, yes?

"Technically, your right," Martinez conceded.

Actually, we're not just technically right. We're completely right.

Martinez could have followed the policy simply by asking Hinojosa for a waiver before the six-month window expired. Martinez, though, has an excuse: He says that he was waiting on a letter from the district's human resources office, which typically precedes a waiver request. Turns out, he says, they notified him late. How come?

"I don't know if H.R. is all that concerned about the residency requirement," he says, "as it is in filling open spaces in math, science and bilingual education."

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OK, we get it. There are bigger issues facing DISD then where its chief spokesperson lives. But since when can you disregard a policy because you don't think it's important? Would that excuse fly if a teacher's assistant failed to file a receipt after she purchased $10 worth of Magic Markers?

And if you're going to send an e-mail to a reporter telling him to await a call from the District Attorney's Office, then it doesn't hurt to be above reproach.

Martinez has now filed a waiver with Hinojosa asking for at least a temporary exemption from the district's residency requirements. He says that when Hinojosa makes his decision, I'll be the first to know.

Somehow, I doubt that. --Matt Pulle

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