The Houston Independent School District’s chief audit
executive has filed a lawsuit on claims the school district suspended him for
reporting alleged splitting of job order contracts and misuse of district
In court papers submitted Aug. 5 before the Harris County
295th District Court, Richard Patton, a six-year HISD employee, explains that
he informed the defendant’s police department, the Harris County District
Attorney’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the purported
violations of law. Patton reported said violations “in good faith,” the
original petition asserts.
HISD suspended Patton with pay last March to which the suit
argues went against the Texas Whistleblower Act. The suspension was for “allegations
that did not require suspension or even an investigation at all,” the suit
Patton adds that HISD Board President Diana Dávila spoke to
the media about his suspension to the point of damaging his reputation.
Patton returned to duty earlier this month, but the school
district stripped him of several responsibilities, including but not limited to
those pertaining to ethics and compliance, the suit says.
The school district reportedly did not renew Patton’s
contract, which is set to expire on Aug. 31.
A jury trial is requested.
Attorney David M. Feldman of the law firm Feldman &
Feldman in Houston is representing the complainant.
Harris County 295th District Court Case No. 2016-51917