Newspaper Article Regarding Investigation of KISD by Ft Bend County Attorney

Posted: Friday, May 20, 2005 12:00 am | Updated: 12:22 am, Mon Nov 22, 2010.

District Attorney looking into KISD school board race By Ahmard Vital, Staff Writer Houston Community Newspapers

The Texas Election Code prohibits the use of district resources to aid in political campaigns and, if an individual is found guilty of violating state law, they could be charged with a class A misdemeanor and face fines from the state election commission. According to KISD spokesman Steve Stanford, the school district requested the district attorney's office look into the allegations of wrongdoing. The district is proceeding in doing their own investigation as well.

"We're not trying to be the judge of this, we're just basically going through and looking at things that look like they may run counter to what the policy says," Stanford said. "Let (a) third-party (DA's office or Ethics Commission) be the final say on this.

Stanford said the district is providing full cooperation to the investigation and will turn over any materials requested. In the meantime, the district will continue its own investigation and will turn over any additional information uncovered.

"We turned over the information we had as far as the incidents at the time we had knowledge of," Stanford said. "The memo was all we had to turn over. Basically anything that we think might be in violation we are turning it over and letting them (Fort Bend DA's office) make that decision."

"The memo" in question is the most publicized instance of KISD resources apparently being used for political purposes. Executive Director of Secondary Education Ronald Jetton sent out an April 20 memo using the Katy ISD email service. In that memo, Jetton advises KISD principals to let teachers out early or come in late if they voted in the election-and for the three incumbents.

"Remember, the stress level can go up…if the wrong person was [sic] elected," Jetton states in the memo. "Do what you can to get your people out to vote…the district employees alone should be able to elect their choices if they vote."

The Katy Sun asked for a statement from Jetton and his secretary said he was not available for comment and directed questions to KISD's communications department.

Healey confirmed the investigation during a conversation Tuesday morning, saying the information already discovered by the school district had raised concerns.

"Generally, (it was) that (information) which has been already made public by Katy ISD," he explained, "which involves several employees and the use of computer equipment that is believed to be owned and controlled by Katy ISD."

The district is also looking into another possible allegation with the Katy High School swim team booster Web site, At one point, the site included an open letter in support of the incumbents, as well as a link to the KHS Web site. That page and the link has [sic] since been removed. is a personal Web site and was not a Katy ISD Web site, but because of the endorsement of the candidates, the link to the KHS site and a link directing feedback on the site to a KISD E-mail address, officials disclosed the existence of the site to the district attorney's office.

"Anybody could probably figure out that that was not a Katy ISD website," Stanford said. "But because there was no disclaimer and it was linked directly off of the Katy High Web site, we felt it was inappropriate. Now whether or not the Ethics Commission or the DA's office feels the same way, we don't know. We just felt it was one of those things that we needed to be up-front with."

As of Monday, Stanford said he had not gotten an update from the Fort Bend DA office.

School board challenger Kari Crow was contacted and appeared to be surprised about the investigation. Fellow challenger Stephen Wesolick, on the other hand, welcomed the investigation.

"Integrity needs to be restored to these elections. Perhaps then voters will feel that they matter in the process," he said. "An investigation by the appropriate independent authorities will be a good thing."