By John Pape· OCTOBER 29, 2010 · 6 COMMENTS

The man who ran against Katy ISD Trustee Joe Adams during this May’s school board election said he knew parental telephone numbers were available through a public information request, but refused to use the information in his campaign because he felt the practice was “unethical.”

In an exclusive interview with InstantNewsKaty Friday morning, Henry Dibrell said he was told he could obtain parental telephone notification numbers by submitting a public information request, but felt parents never intended those numbers to be used “for political purposes.”

Adams has been identified as the person who obtained the telephone numbers from Katy ISD records that were ultimately used by the Team Katy PAC for its controversial “robo-call” telephone campaign this week to promote passage of the school district’s $459.7 million bond issue.

According to information released by the school district yesterday, Adams obtained the phone numbers last April by filing a public information request. At the time of the request, Adams was running against Dibrell for his seat on the Katy school board.

Adams’ request was listed on the school district’s public information request log.

Dibrell said he was told the numbers could be legally obtained through a public information request, but refused to use the district information for his campsign.

“I just didn’t feel that it would be ethical. When parents give their contact numbers to the district, they do it with the expectation those numbers will be used only if there was an emergency involving their child, not for political purposes,” Dibrell said.

He also said he was “appalled” school district information would be used to promote the bond issue, particularly after so many statements by trustees that state law prohibited the use of district resources for such purposes.

“They repeatedly said they couldn’t talk about the bond issue because of legal restrictions, and school district resources couldn’t be used,” Dibrell said.

Dibrell also called for a full investigation into the release of the information.

“I think there needs to be an independent, outside investigation into this whole matter. We need to know who was involved, what school district resources were used and if this was done in a legal fashion,” he said. “Obviously people are upset over this and there’s at least the appearance of impropriety. There needs to be a full accounting.”

InstantNewsKaty has attempted to contact Adams for comment. He has not returned multiple messages.

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MB OCTOBER 29, 2010 AT 1:13 PM

The fact of the matter remains that this information was obtained in violation of federal law. The law is clear, even if Katy ISD does not know how to interpret it correctly.

Parental contact and emergency information is NOT part of the student’s “Directory Information” and therefore it is part of the student’s private “Education Record” and thus protected under the FERPA law and not allowed to be released under the Texas Public Information Act.

Just Wondering2 OCTOBER 29, 2010 AT 1:46 PM

Okay you were speeding, you know you were speeding, I saw you speeding, but unless someone steps up and writes a speeding ticket nothing happens.

I agree something has happened. We all know it happened, but unless someone with the authority to investigate steps up and “writes the ticket” nothing will happen.

Somehow I suspect those in power will conclude they have bigger fish to fry not realizing that by taking care of the “smaller issues” the larger ones will occur much less frequently.

KatySignIDIOTS OCTOBER 29, 2010 AT 2:24 PM

First, I think Joe should resign.

Second, there needs to be more investigation as I believe there is some cover up.

Before some of the other postings on this and other sites bring up the fact that Joe only asked for and “supposedly” only received certain zip codes in KISD, and not ALL of the KISD area, I had already thought Thursday something was still not right.

I know of several yesterday who said, “You know, I never remember getting a call back in April or May?”

I know PERSONALLY that someone who WAS called 2 days ago on their private cell and work phone, did NOT receive calls from Joe’s “supposed” list back in April/May.

So, hmmmmm a pattern.

What list does Joe have, and what list was actually called in this Huntoon/ReMax/KISD/Joe Adams/Pro bond pushers debacle?

I think there is more to it.

I think there is a cover up at KISD or somewhere? This doesn’t match up.

I personally believe, the list that Huntoon was given was a NEW LIST that someone got from KISD for THIS bond election.

That it blew up and is now in the media and is exposed, I believe it is just convenient as well as LUCKY for the KISD/pro-bond side that Joe DID make some public records request and had a list.

It now gives them an “excuse” of where this list came from.

I believe it is NOT the list Joe got back in April. I believe this is a totally separate and NEW list.

There are too many people who got calls now, who DID NOT back then..from “supposedly”, this exact same list?

Which would mean these are 2 totally separate instances and 2 totally separate list!

I think they are all just LUCKY Joe DID get a list back then. As there would be NO COVER where THIS list came from.

Didn’t they already admit..that the list Joe got back then was just raw data..and no way to know if it was a cell or work number? So how could have Joe “redacted” all the numbers back then?


MB OCTOBER 29, 2010 AT 2:44 PM

The Fat Lady is a long way from singing on this story. It is becoming abundantly clear that Joe’s request in April was NOT the source of data for the calls made, but it was a convenient excuse for an end of the day press release yesterday.

Now the question begs: Who got the list and how did they get the list?

Folks, your hand has been caught in the cookie jar. It’s time to fess up and stop the cover up before more laws are broken and even more people lose their jobs.

westsidebill OCTOBER 29, 2010 AT 8:32 PM

I’d agree, but I’m still waiting for the FIRST person to lose their job.

Bill Proctor OCTOBER 30, 2010 AT 7:18 AM

Mr. Dibrell took the high road morally and ethically and lost. I admire him following his principles of decency and respect. He did not take the position, which is all to prevalent in many elections, of win at any cost.