Keep Dallas Observer Free

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."

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

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

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.