Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » BRIBERY CONSULTING UPDATE

    Filed at 12:12 pm under by dcobranchi

    The Dallas News has a great example of why Superintendents should not be permitted to consult for companies doing business with their districts; it’s just way too easy to fall into a conflict of interest.

    Yvonne Katz earns $250,000 a year as superintendent of suburban Spring Branch ISD in Houston. She also moonlights for an energy conservation company that began contracting with the district after she got there.

    On Nov. 25, 2002, four months after she assumed administrative control of Spring Branch, school trustees approved her recommendation to hire Energy Education Inc. The Wichita Falls company helps school districts save money on electricity, natural gas and water bills.

    Spring Branch trustees didn’t know of Yvonne Katz’s EEI ties. EEI uses retired superintendents and sitting superintendents, including Dr. Katz, as paid marketing consultants to generate new business. Company officials would not answer questions about how consultant fees are calculated.

    She claims that she didn’t receive any money for steering business to her employer. Who knows? She may even be telling the truth. Still, it looks pretty bad. I imagine that the folks paying the taxes in her district will think twice before approving the next bond bill. Hey, come to think of it, maybe we should encourage all Supers to moonlight.


    Comment by
    July 26th, 2004
    at 4:33 pm

    She makes $250,000 and its not enough for her? I wonder why most of the EEI marketing consultants are retired superintendents and sitting superintendents? (Sarcasm)

    EEI doesn’t sell any conservation equipment. It bills itself as a unique “people-oriented” program that works by modifying the behavior of school employees. A real world business does not hire a company like this or pay its employees more money for ordinary procedures to save energy. I’m taking this article to say that some school districts’ personnel don’t have enough common sense to turn off a computer when they’re through for the day.

    Once again, the schools are scamming taxpayers.

    Comment by
    Appalled in Texas
    December 15th, 2004
    at 10:44 am

    Update on Bribery/consulting Update
    Yvonne Katz “retired” from Spring Branch in August under the cloud of this conflict
    (see Paper: Houston Chronicle Date: FRI 09/03/04
    Section: B Page: 1 MetFront Edition: 3 STAR
    Why did Katz scat? By RICK CASEY)

    TEA commissioner Proclaims December 6, 2004
    “Yvonne Katz Day”
    (see Paper: HOUSTON CHRONICLE Date: SUN 12/12/04
    Section: B Page: 1 Metfront Edition: 4 STAR
    Katz week: Bill and `day’ By RICK CASEY)

    The saga continues in Texas.