Royce City superintendent fired, but ...

Royce City superintendent fired, but board won't say why

There are 141 comments on the Dallas Morning News story from Jul 27, 2006, titled Royce City superintendent fired, but board won't say why. In it, Dallas Morning News reports that:

After months of investigation into whether Royse City school Superintendent Mike Harris improperly took school district gasoline for his personal use, trustees fired him Thursday morning.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Dallas Morning News.

Bulldog Grandpa

Duncanville, TX

#121 Feb 15, 2007
It is interesting that Been there too will lash out at people not willing to use their names, but they do not reveal their name. Been there too also will jump on people for having to much idle time on their hands, yet they take the time to read this blog and respond.
Cathy

Brentwood, TN

#122 May 16, 2007
Mike Harris was hired as our new interim Superintendant in Alamogordo, NM. A little confused what to think. Our district is in a terrible mess. Any input would be appreciated.
ono

United States

#123 May 16, 2007
go back and read the previous 6 pages
what else can I say?
Bulldog Grandpa

Overbrook, OK

#124 May 22, 2007
Cathy you say your district is in a mess. The chance that Mike Harris will straighten up the mess is very slim. It was not just the gas issue that caused problems, but other issues as well. He is very egotistical and tends to spend a lot of extra money. He was not well repected by the employees and treated board members as though they were idiots. He may have been cleared by the DA, but there were people who saw him getting gas and they were never questioned by the DA. It was just to small a case for the DA to mess with.
Jerry

Garland, TX

#125 May 23, 2007
Maybe he was innocent. The point was that the board lost confidence in him because he never took the issue seriously. Nothing to do with gas.
Bulldog Grandpa

Overbrook, OK

#126 May 25, 2007
Jerry is probably right Harris was fired as much for his attidude about the missing gas as he was for the taking of the gas. With small amount of gas that was taken something could have been worked out if he had the right attitude. Another issue was trust, if he will take gas what else will he take.
Charlie

Forney, TX

#127 May 27, 2007
It was a matter of time that there would have been another issue from what I hear. Arrogance can be the downfall of many a good man. The school board had no other choice it seems, especially after Harris refused to admit to the petty crime. You sure can't have a man of questionable character running any school district. Throw in the arrogance factor and you have a double negative. Besides this man was in charge of millions of dollars of bond money. If he can't be trusted for stealing gas, how can you trust him with bond money? Good luck, but also good ridance.
Jami Harris

AOL

#128 Oct 6, 2007
Cathy.
This is Jami again, I'm just here to tell you that these people on this blog know nothing of my father. I hope by now that you have met him, he truly is an honorable man. I'm 16 now, I've grown up so much through this. Before, when I would've let these hateful comments about my dad bother me; now I feel almost bad for them.. If this is truly fulfilling to all of you, posting things about a man you probably have never met, keep it up. You aren't bringing yourself up any, and you aren't bringing my father down.
Jerry

United States

#129 Oct 11, 2007
Well Jami, I think your dad is a wonderful man and you are a wonderful daughter for sticking up for him. Me thinks that he just made an error in judgement. Anyone, even an honrable man, can make mistakes sometimes.
please help

Albuquerque, NM

#130 Mar 2, 2009
http://www.topix.com/forum/source/alamogordo-...

is anyone else willing to further comment on the firing of Mike Harris now that time has passed? I think it believed that he illegally hired a principal here but we are interested in hearing what Royse City has to say.
Mary Beth

Grand Prairie, TX

#131 Mar 4, 2009
What is happening now with Harris?
Lazybones

Grapevine, TX

#133 Mar 8, 2009
I attended Mr. Harris public hearing. There was little or no direct evidence of any wrong doing as far as the gas issue. The school board latter voted a no confidence vote and gave him the opportunity to resign rather than have him fired. Seems a loss of trust issue is what cost him his job. Mr. Harris is a fine man and even those involved wish none of it had ever happened.
floyd the barber

Dallas, TX

#134 Mar 8, 2009
Bulldog Grandpa wrote:
Jerry is probably right Harris was fired as much for his attidude about the missing gas as he was for the taking of the gas. With small amount of gas that was taken something could have been worked out if he had the right attitude. Another issue was trust, if he will take gas what else will he take.
this is an accurate assessment
Kioki

Ashburn, VA

#135 Apr 15, 2009
Mr Harris is accused of lying on his application to both the Alamogordo School Board and the state school board in NM. He is also accused of illegally hiring Mrs Harris as an assistant principal at the local high school. His hearing was tentatively scheduled for late April.
UNAMBIGUOS

Albuquerque, NM

#136 Apr 18, 2009
Former RC superintendant in hot water at new post
Mike Harris faces license revocation hearing in New Mexico
Karl Anderson - Special to the Herald-Banner
Royse City Herald-Banner
A license revocation hearing, which was originally scheduled for March 2, has been rescheduled for April 28, at which Alamogordo Public Schools Superintendent Mike Harris will answer to officials of the Public Education Department (PED). The hearing is a result of a lengthy investigation into complaints and evidence that point toward a trail of willful violations.

The hearing will take place in Albuquerque at the PED’s state office.

“We have the evidence that indicates Mr. Harris lied on his application for the position of superintendent in Alamogordo,” said Bruce Berlin, from the General Counsel’s Office with PED in Santa Fe.“We also have evidence that he lied on his application for state licensure.”

Harris’s application for the position with APS is dated March 30, 2007. His application for state licensure with PED is dated January 8, 2007.

Harris, one of several applicants vying for the position of APS Superintendent after the resignation of Dr. Philip Knight, was appointed Interim Superintendent by the APS Board of Education in May 2007.

But in an e-mail from Harris to APS School Board member Allan Rickman, dated April 9, 2007, Harris asked “Do you still need to meet with me tonight?” He went on to state to Rickman that he (Harris) had been unable to locate the online job announcement for interim superintendent that was being made available to him.

The charges stem from an incident that allegedly occurred when Harris was superintendent for the Royse City Independent School District, the position he held before coming to Alamogordo. Harris was suspected of stealing gasoline from the district’s pump for use in his personal vehicle. He was receiving an annual salary of $140,000 at the time, a cell phone allowance, and a gasoline allowance.

A Grand Jury was being assembled on the case when Harris was allowed to resign in lieu of termination for the allegations of misconduct. Harris received the remainder of his salary as a term of his resignation. The Royse City ISD Board had unanimously voted to terminate his contract.

On the application for the position as superintendent with APS, one of the questions asked of the applicant reads:

“Have you ever resigned from any position or accepted a settlement in lieu of any allegations of misconduct?”

Harris answered the question “No.”

On his application for licensure with the State of New Mexico, the same question was asked. Harris also answered this question with a “No.”

It states on the last page of both applications that “any answers made falsely shall be grounds for revocation of this license.”

Not “could” or “may”– but “shall.”

“Our issue with this matter is not whether Mr. Harris did in fact commit the alleged crime or not,” Berlin said.“It is because he was not forthcoming about the allegations in Royse City. He lied on both applications, and we know this.”

The reason Harris gave on his application for leaving RCISD in Texas was “retired.”

But the charges against Harris don’t stop there.

Berlin said he (Harris) is also charged with unethical hiring practices.

Both Alamogordo High School Principal Leslie Kilmer, and her husband, AHS Football Coach Edwin Kilmer, worked under Harris in Slaton, Texas.

Leslie Kilmer was one of several applicants interviewing for the vacant AHS Assistant Principal position. When qualified applicants for the position were being interviewed, one of the applicants who was later contacted, stated that Leslie Kilmer was on the panel of persons who interviewed the applicants in the afternoon session.

“I thought this was very strange that one of the people who interviewed me for the position was the one who ended up being given the job,” said applicant Adam Daniel Torres.
UNAMBIGUOS

Albuquerque, NM

#137 Apr 18, 2009
One of the big concerns expressed by teachers and administrators at the time was nepotism, as Edwin Kilmer was coaching at the high school where his wife would now be in a direct supervisory position over him. Another administrator confirmed Sunday that at one point, Harris called one of the panel members and directed them to hire Leslie Kilmer, and at that point, Harris advised that the interviews were over.
“Another of the charges against Harris is that he hired Edwin Kilmer even though he knew Kilmer’s coaching license had been suspended in Texas and that he did not have a current coaching license in New Mexico,” Berlin said.
Kilmer was questioned by this reporter on Sept. 20, 2007 about his suspension in Texas. He stated he assumed his prior coaching license in New Mexico was a lifetime license, but PED had already confirmed he had no coaching license on file at the time. When questioned about Kilmer, Harris stated everything had already been taken care of with regards to Kilmer’s New Mexico coaching license. But Kilmer’s subsequent application for a New Mexico coaching license was not submitted until Sept. 20, 2007 — the same day he had been questioned about it, suggesting he did not actually submit the application until the day he knew someone was aware he did not have one, and had already been coaching for several months at that point.
Harris had previous knowledge of Kilmer’s suspension, as he stated “I knew all about it, and I stood by him and supported the man (Kilmer) through all of this. He didn’t do what he was accused of doing.”
The reason given for Kilmer’s suspension in Texas was “inappropriate contact with an official.”
On Kilmer’s application, one of the questions asked is:
“Have you ever had a coaching license suspended anywhere?”
Kilmer initially checked “yes” but then scratched that answer out and marked “no.”
The day before the story ran in the Alamogordo Daily News about Kilmer’s suspension in Texas, Harris called a special meeting for all faculty and staff at AHS. Several teachers felt that Harris threatened them, and stated that he (Harris) said he knew someone at the high school had leaked the information about Kilmer to the newspaper.
A total of 19 teachers at AHS told this reporter that Harris said if he found out who had told the media about Kilmer’s suspended license, that he would “consider them part of the problem, not part of the solution, and they wouldn’t be working there.”
“Numerous faculty members have been contacted by our office,” Berlin said.“They feel that Mr. Harris openly threatened them, and we are very concerned about that, too.”
PED received numerous formal complaints on Harris over one year ago, and no one was being told that any action was being taken. But PED did confirm to this reporter that Harris had been under investigation during that time, and that he was still under investigation as late as July of 2008.
While it is known by PED in Santa Fe that Kilmer had been coaching in New Mexico without a license and that he had lied on his application when it was finally submitted, no PED official ever stated that Kilmer had been disciplined in any way for these infractions. Kilmer is still coaching at AHS.
If Harris is found guilty by PED officials on any or all of the charges, he could face permanent revocation of his licenses to ever teach or be a superintendent in the state of New Mexico again.
Harris’s legal fees are believed to be coming from public funds. If that be the case, then taxpayers are paying for his defense.
“It makes sense that those fees would be coming from the district coffers,” one administrator said.
“Mr. Harris’s attorney had hoped to reach a settlement agreement with us,” Berlin said in an interview last Friday.“But it became apparent at one point that this was no longer possible, so it is going to a public hearing.”
Susan

United States

#138 Apr 18, 2009
Trouble just seems to follow him.
Bill

Dallas, TX

#139 Aug 21, 2009
Only an idiot would take a job in Royse City, only to have your reputation and career destroyed by some small town vendetta.
Missing common sense

Rockwall, TX

#140 Aug 21, 2009
Jami Harris wrote:
Cathy.
This is Jami again, I'm just here to tell you that these people on this blog know nothing of my father. I hope by now that you have met him, he truly is an honorable man. I'm 16 now, I've grown up so much through this. Before, when I would've let these hateful comments about my dad bother me; now I feel almost bad for them.. If this is truly fulfilling to all of you, posting things about a man you probably have never met, keep it up. You aren't bringing yourself up any, and you aren't bringing my father down.
I met your dad and I said all along this was some type of setup. Your father was a superintendent who used comon sense and did not let these moron lawyers run the district. Hope he is doing well, Go Texas Tech
Want to Help 2

Albuquerque, NM

#141 Aug 25, 2009
Missing common sense wrote:
<quoted text> I met your dad and I said all along this was some type of setup. Your father was a superintendent who used comon sense and did not let these moron lawyers run the district. Hope he is doing well, Go Texas Tech
Would you like to see the actual documents??

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