Judge Dismisses Claims Against HISD, Trustee Marshall In Bribery Lawsuit
by: Laura Isensee, November 19, 2013 5:11:00 pm
For three years, the Houston Independent School District and trustee Larry Marshall have been fighting a legal battle.
This week a federal judge dismissed all the claims against them.
The civil suit accused Marshall, HISD and two construction companies of engaging in a bribery and kickback scheme involving lucrative school district contracts.
Elneita Hutchins-Taylor is general counsel for HISD.
“We are elated at the judge’s ruling. We were extremely pleased. We have believed all along that there was not any merit to these allegations. But it has been a long process — over three years — having to defend against them.”
The three-year legal battle has cost HISD more than $1.5 million.
Hutchins-Taylor says the district will try to get reimbursed.
The judge’s ruling comes at a time when HISD is awarding millions of dollars in new building contracts.
“The public recently passed the largest bond issue in the history of the state by nearly a 70-percent margin. And we believe we have earned the public’s confidence in that regard. So we certainly hope that the dismissal of these claims will bolster public confidence in our ability to manage public funds appropriately.”
While the claims against the district have been dismissed, there are still pending claims against two construction companies named as defendants.