Joe Palazzolo, the embattled whistleblower and former assistant principal at Arlington Heights High School won another round in his appeal to the Commissioner of Education to get his old job back and to overturn his firing by former Fort Worth schools superintendent Melody Johnson last year.  Palazzolo was fired after he and a dozen other employees of the school reported a litany of wrongdoings by adminstrators at the high school, including the principal, most of which were upheld by a district investigation.

Today, July 5, Commissioner Robert Scott ordered Palazzolo reinstated with back pay and employment benefits until such time as a new hearing can be set. Or, in the alternative, the district must pay Palazzolo “one year’s salary” as well as back pay and benefits, starting from the date on which he would have been reinstated.

That decision will be made by a board now working with a new superintendent, Walter Dansby. Johnson resigned unexpectedly last month after serving as superintendent here for nearly six years.  Dansby, a 37-year veteran of the district, was chosen by the board to assume the role of interim superintendent while it searches for a permanent one. When Palazzolo was fired last year, the board was split 6-3 in favor of terminating him. Dansby deferred comment until he has had a chance to confer with his board, he said.

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Palazzolo’s original appeal asked that he be reinstated to his old job with back pay. Scott’s first ruling did not specifically address “reinstatement” allowing the district to argue that it did not have to give him his job back or pay him back wages even though the commissioner ruled specifically that Palazzolo’s appeal of his firing had been “upheld.”

Palazzolo’s attorney Jason Smith appealed to the commissioner for a clarification of the ruling — and this afternoon he got just that.  

In a 16-page decision that clarified and upheld Scott’s first order handed down on May 13 that said the “petitioner’s appeal … is hereby granted in that there was a procedural irregularity which was likely to have led to an erroneous decision,” Scott wrote,  The Commissioner’s decision in this case failed to fully set forth the options upon reversal and remand” under the Texas Education Code. He then made his decision clear: “There may have been some confusion about the Commissioner’s action because … the Order grants petitioner’s appeal and remands the case. An argument might be made that the board’s decision to terminate Petitioner’s contract was not reversed but just remanded.  (Emphasis added.)

“To clarify the Commissioner’s actions,” he wrote, “the Order now provides this case is reversed and remanded.” (Emphasis added.)   A reversal in legalese means the original decision by a lower court (the hearing examiner) is wiped out by the appeals court (the commissioner.)

The “procedural irregularity” that overturned the board’s and Johnson’s termination of Palazzolo was the decision by the board to overpay the hearing examiner in his original case by more than $18,000. State education law caps payments to public education hearing examiners at $8,000. In the Palazzolo case, the examiner, Rick Rickman, a lawyer from Dallas, sent the district a bill for more than $26,000, which it paid. Scott ruled that such an overpayment could reasonably be seen as a temptation to “tip the scales of justice” in favor of the district. Therefore, he wrote, the additional compensation was “likely to lead to an erroneous decision.”  

In the latest ruling, the commissioner added the specter of an even more ominous reading of compensation that exceeds the law: “While it is possible that an independent hearing examiner could seek more payment than he is lawfully entitled to in return for a decision that favors the district, such an action is called bribery.” 

“It’s embarrassing,” Smith said, “that the last administration fired a whistleblower instead of fixing the problems at Arlington Heights High School so the kids there could get an education. …I hope the new adminstration will resolve this quickly so that the district can recover from this sad episode.” 

“The commissioner’s decision is consistent with the original ruling and I look forward to being reinstated,” Palazzolo said.



  1. This seems to be a textbook case of a school district’s getting in over its head legally. The Fort Worth ISD has been bleeding legal fees over the last half decade. I asked about controlling this in executive session but was told “you can’t tell how much things will cost when you start out.” The result of this is over a million dollars in the 2010-11 years for outside attorneys, ranging from $2900 for two lawyers to badger us on not talking to each other, to another $2000 to file a simple form, to a reported $300,000 on this wrongful termination case that is just getting going.

    Only a fool writes a blank check. Only after I sent a freedom of information request did it come to light that the cost of outside counsel rose from $300,000 in ’09-10 to over a million dollars in 2010-11. Our board has consistently refused to try to tackle this issue.

    Mr. Palazzolo’s case is a poster child for this mismanagement. It was obvious from the May 13 decision that Palazzolo needed to be reinstated.

    Let’s recount:

    1. Before embarking on this highly charged case, did we evaluate the likelihood of winning the case?

    2. How much did we spend arguing this case, hiring a private investigator, dredging up irrelevant background information?

    3. Management withheld significant information from the board when asking us to terminate Mr. Palazzolo. Have there been any consequences to these personnel?

    4. is Walsh-Anderson liable for failing to know it was illegal to overpay the hearing officer, a fact that is clearly explained in the education code?

    5. Who authorized us to contest Mr. Palazzolo’s application for unemployment?

    6. Who authorized staff to appeal the granting of his unemployment? (I understand Mr. Palazzolo immediately set about finding another position, thus limiting the amount of unemployment he received to $3800.) How much has the appeal cost, including the request for two hearings?

    7. What is the likelihood of prevailing in a second hearing on his unemployment?

    8. Mr. Palazzolo has filed a whistleblower suit which will come up shortly. How much will it cost to fight this case? What is our likelihood of winning?

    9. Does anyone else think we need some personnel actions in the central office and different contract attorneys?

  2. Congratulation to Palazzolo! Justice will prevail.

    Johnson is gone but the district lawyers are still with the district as well as the chiefs who orchestrated the moved. What would happen to them? They continue in their job with more power than before. Mr. Dansby best contribution to the district and to the new superintendent should be to CLEAN THE HOUSE. He has not done anything to remove those staff members who have been involved in this case.

    We have been asking for cleaning the house. Mr. Dansby won’t do it; he is part of the “old boy” group. A very nice person with a good reputation but he can shield the incompetents. Robert Ray decided not to retire, he is gambling his retirement. Reina wanted the Super job and she played the game to put the district in this fiasco. What will happen to the district lawyers? Does Mr. Dansby listen to the lawyers advise?

    When the whistleblower case is on trial in the civil court before an independent jury that is when the show begins. All these people are going to be called to testify and they will have a hard time explaining how they played power. Torture in a civil court is really expensive process. Palazzolo’s reputation and career has been destroyed thanks to the incompetents. When you jeopardize somebody career that cost a lot of money.

    The school district has procedures that has to be followed. We know several people that have been denied from due process and that is a challenge that could cost a lot of money to the taxpayers.

    There are more cases coming due to the abuse of power. Stay tuned.

  3. Congratulations to Mr. Palazzolo. “In your face” to his detractors. I have felt all along that once outside eyes begin looking into FWISD’s business, a number of decisions will be reversed— with penalties ($) against the District (taxpayers) because of its history of hiring incompetent, unqualified middle managers (and in-house attorneys). We can now look forward to the Star-Telegram writing another scathing opinion against those three board members who, all along, supported Palazzolo and didn’t hang tight with their blind, Johnson devotees. Thank you Betty Brink for being the conscience of Fort Worth ISD.
    I, too, hope that Mr. Dansby can “clean house”. If not, it would be great to transfer some of these folks to the Siberia of FWISD— the warehouse! What’s that saying, “Be nice to everyone on your way up, because you’ll be passing them again on your way back down”.

  4. Amen to all of the above. A good house cleaning needs to take place. Please Mr. Dansby do it now rather than later.

  5. We are all waiting to see what Dansby does with the Palazzolo case. A coalition of people including many teachers, came together to get rid of Johnson after what she did to him. Now it is up to Dansby. This is your fourth week……… And why is Robert Ray still around? What abou the $10,000 gift he gave to the investigator in the Office of Professional Standards in the midst of the Palazzolo investigation. They fired Boyd for accepting half as much. Ray needs to go along with Reyna.

  6. Teacher in comment 5, please fact check before posting your ignorance. Apparently you have taken what you have “heard” and ran with it. This would mean that you have assumed. We all know the assume saying! In addition if you “KNOW” this information why not put your name so that you are able to be contacted or interviewed regarding this information that only you have. You should know that you are misinformed before going on record ANYWHERE and making a donkey out of yourself.

  7. If you have been reading the Weekly Blog, you would know this has been reported several times. Struck a nerve I guess.

  8. Response to Ann Sutherland

    You definitely hit the nail; this is a court case for textbooks. The district does not have a mediator that could prevent illegalities. The cases you have seen is a product of bullies administrating the taxpayers funds and believing that nobody will care about funneling the students’ fund to show their power. The attorneys advising the board and dealing with the legal issues have demonstrated that they do not have any common sense. They forgot that they are not serving the interest of some administrators instead they should be proecting the taxpayers and students funds.

    You are dealing with a bunch of fools who believe the board members are deaf or blind. It appears that they could get away with almost everything because they thought the board won’t ever know.

    Our response to your recount and questions:
    1. We have a bunch of incompetents who don’t have common sense and do not follow policies
    2. they were defending the personal interest of some chiefs who have messed up everything. Pass the bill to them.
    3. you have a bunch of liars lead by the former boss. The big liars are still in their offices.
    4. ask the internal lawyers what were their role in watching the process. This was a gift to the hearing officer for giving the results they expected.
    5. the internal lawyers, they advise how the business should be conducted
    6. the response to question # 1 answer this question
    7. minimal likelihood of prevailing, somebody made a mistake that affected the plaintiff’s career and reputation
    8. based on settlements and court case rulings, we are talking about several millions, unless the district declare itself in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is an unthinkable choice for the district
    9. All personnel who were involved in decision-making in this case should be fired. The only way the district can stop the bleeding is allotting a “juicy” settlement. Settlements in whistleblower cases are not part of the protocol because the plaintiff can get most of everything.

    The board members who voted to dismiss Palazzolo need to open their eyes and realize that they have been betrayed. Never give the power to incompetents in public offices because the public would pay the price. If this issue would happen in a private company, some people would be in jail already.

    You, Dr. Vasquez and Rangel did the right thing in this case. We picture Dr. Johnson smirking at the former servants. If this case goes to civil court, she is still liable.

  9. Ann voters in Southwest Fort Worth elected the best public servant in the metroplex when they chose you! I’m stuck with the buffoon that is at the center of this case, Needham! You are asking all the right questions. On the one hand the district críes about the financial crisis and then has incompetent idiots like Reyna authorizing witchhunts! Lawyers see a cash cow and like bloodsucking parasites latch on. If Dansby wants to save face it’s time that he clean house! Taxpayers have had enough of this fiasco!

  10. Teacher, (if you are an actual teacher) then I would hope that you knew just because someone “says or reports it” doesn’t mean it’s the truth. If I report that you are an incompetent educator does it mean it is so? I will let you answer that! I understand that you feel that whomever originally wrote this article did their fact checking before putting out this information but perhaps you should confirm before also making a fool of yourself! By the way, would you put you job on the line for this information? Just a thought!

  11. To; “Annoyed by Ignorance”. Obviously you selected this name when looking into the mirror. Look Moron, this is no BIG secret. EVERYONE in the Administration Building knows about Ray and his “friend” in OPS. How else has this person been moved around three times in the past three years? How convenient that this all went on during the bogus “investigation” by OPS on Palazzolo. After all, Ray was at the heart of the initial cover-up. And unlike you, I work for a living – I AM a teacher.

  12. The eyes of every Teacher, staff member and employee of FWISD who has followed the Palazzolo case are on YOU Mr. Dansby. Do the right thing. Next, get rid of Reyna, Sorum, Davie, Whatley, Menchaca, etc., etc. If you do not clean house now, they will undermine you as Reyna has already begun to do.

  13. Also, a second hearing MUST take place before FWISD can attempt to invoke the second “alternative”. There has to have been a valid hearing – which the Commissioner had ruled there was not – before FWISD can attempt to kick him to the curb. I particularly like the Commissioner’s quote: ”While it is possible that an independent hearing examiner could seek more payment than he is lawfully entitled to in return for a decision that favors the district, such an action is called bribery.”

  14. It is amazng Mr. Palazzolo’s case has taken a year to come to this fork in the road. If you will imagine bringing information to your boss that your company is committing a crime as well as breaching ethical boundaries then being fired. This is basically what has happened. Joe honestly felt once officials in administration were made aware of the attendance fraud, the theft of athletic funds exposed, improper relationships between administrators and teachers, lewd language by several teachers toward students, alteration of credits to bump up graduation rates, and mistreatment of minority students, the Superintendent and her deputies would address the problems, Attendance fraud and falsifying graduation credits are FEDERAL offenses. Just as the scandal in Atlanta Ga. is becoming known to the public, everyone who cares about education of the children of Fort Worth should continue to demand CHANGE within the ADMINSTRATION at Central Office.. I truly believe Mr. Dansby will take action. Let him get settled in his new position. He is a wise man, He will see through the lying liars.

    As to legal fees. I suspect this occured under Johnson’s watch. If you surrender your legal matters to an attorney but do not ask the correct questions of your lawyer or if you are not tracking timelines on every case you send to your attorney then you cannot expect your attorney to be pro-active in your defense.. It takes due diligence by the district attorneys to “watch the hen house”. Again I believe Ms. Whatley and Ms. Dawson should be given a “needs improvement” on their next evaluation. Someone with authority should be asking the lawyers they hire for monthly status reports on every case before the district. The problem of rising attorney fees is not isolated to FWISD. This is a problem for every state. Unless and until the tax paying public rise up in protest, we will continue to see increases in our tax rate for public education.

    Meaningful CHANGE is a slow process but I feel certain Joe will prevail and what is learned in a courtroom will force the bad apples within administration to take their leave just as MJ did to avoid the embarrassment and exposure.

  15. Teacher, it would be ignorant of me to keep going back and forth with you as you DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT!! What I do is NONE of your business but again you have assumed WRONG, I do work!! I see that you are unable to have a conversation without calling anyone names which again shows the depth of your intelligence. As for your fact checking IF you did so, you should stay with your daytime job because you are not a good investigator. My purpose in responding to you was simply to educate you that rumors are started by people who think they know more than they do! Happy Teaching, prayerfully the children don’t pick up your inability to properly decipher truth from lies. I asked before and I will ask again, Would you put your job on it?

  16. Allow me to answer this Teacher. Sad to say, Robert Ray was at the heart of the cover-up at Heights. He has known of Judy Needham’s double-dealing for some time. It was he who held up the investigation at Needham’s request until over 21 students graduated without enough credits. All of this will be exposed by the Dept. of Education investigation. Too bad they do not investigate obvious issues of ethics. Robert Ray needs to go. Who approved his retraction of retirement anyway?

  17. To teacher and Annoyed by Ignorance (ABI). I have been reading FWW articles on the Palazzolo case since the time this whole debacle began! The bloggers who have commented have ALWAYS been very savvy about what they post…sometimes; they are TOO savvy it’s scary! I am going to make a bold statement…and please correct me if I am wrong. Most of the comments posted on any given article written by FWW about Palazzolo and FWISD, have been extremely accurate. I believe most of the bloggers are insiders, who have either personally lived through this mess or are very close to someone who has! I consider myself one of the insiders, b/c I am a district employee and know what I blog is truth, rather than rumor. I check my facts before I post; I mean, why bother putting something out there, whether in a blog or in an article, if it doesn’t have semblance of truth?

    Here is a little advice for both ABI and teacher! Heed the info that Betty Brink painstakingly researches and writes about…IT IS ALL TRUE! Additionally, pay attention when Dr. Sutherland comments; she has been upfront and honest about what she writes…it is also all TRUE! I know she speaks the truth, b/c she, Vasquez and Rangel have been the only three sane board members that have made any sense during the surfacing of this intricate venality scandal! I would also listen carefully to what Linda LeBeau writes, b/c she acted as mediator between Palazzolo and the district. When these ladies, and other well-informed bloggers write a comment; I pay attention carefully, b/c they know what they put out there for everyone to read, is FACT, not hearsay. I for one am grateful to FWW and Betty Brink, for being instrumental in reporting Palazzolo’s unsound firing and FWISD’s wrongdoing.

    As Clarity stated in her blog; it is sad but true, in regards to Ray being a part of the cover-up at AHHS, and even sadder still (sorry ABI, but Teacher was right), Ray DID in fact give an OPS staff member named “Harold”, 10K to pay for his house payment (s). Harold and Ray are friends; they go to the same church and his children are godfathered by Ray! Yes, the “gift” was given during the Palazzolo case. Harold kept Ray informed as to what OPS was doing with the investigation. Was there more to the “informant role” than we know? No one knows that for sure, except Ray and Harold. Suffice to say, it was a little suspicious that OPS investigations drudged erroneous and outdated information to pin on Palazzolo. As for the “gift”; I surmise the cap for a generous gift from one person to another is 10K, without having to claim the taxes on it as the giver or the recipient. I could be off base here, but if indeed this little tax clause is right, then there isn’t any notable paper trail, unless you look at the person’s bank account. This will all come out in court, when they recall all the players involved and truth will triumph.

    I agree there are still so many minions left in the cabinet/board, who have been sleeping with the devil, like Griffith, Kaufman, Sorum, Reyna, Menchaca, Ray, Needham, Dickerson, so forth and so on! I too have questioned as to why they are still here. However, I am going to give Dansby the benefit of the doubt, if he indeed is consulting and/or conducting his own non bias investigation to get up to speed as to who should go and who should stay. Given all the messy lawsuits, I don’t blame him if he is cautious who he fires right now, without concrete proof of wrongdoing. Maybe he too is waiting for the day in court, when some of these people will be exposed. The best thing he can do as interim is to turn up the heat on the instigators and see if they jump!

    Palazzolo has been a scapegoat…period! He uncovered deep roots of bribery, bullying, fraud, and the list can go on and on. I applaud him for sticking to his guns and fighting the fight for this long…he will be victorious, as other employees out there who have been conveniently reassigned (also known as FWISD’s nice way of retaliation), or also fired unjustly for speaking their truth!

    Lastly, since I am on the subject of “truth”; I am going to throw in this last fact, which is unrelated to this article. However, it must be shared, b/c it has bugged me since I learned about it in June. Perhaps someone out there can enlighten me, but why was there such a rush to move Dansby to Superintendent and apparently retract MJ’s original resignation of Sept 19th? As far as I know, she is on “leave” and still getting paid her salary until December 30, 2011! I received this info from a reliable source in Administration and I have a major problem with this, when it comes down to dollars being overspent in our district as it is! Dr. Sutherland; I know you can’t give specifics, but why was this deal made (and approved by the board), when MJ was going to retire in Sept anyway? So instead of only paying her through Sept, now the district is paying her an extra 3 ½ months of her salary, at approximately $1000 a day (divided her salary by contract days)! Why this new re-negotiated resignation wasn’t mentioned publically anywhere, is beyond me. And as far as “leave” goes, I thought you had to be EMPLOYED (not newly resigned) in order to qualify for FMLA, since her excuse to leave the job was to spend more time with her gravely ill family member. Furthermore, if her “leave” is not FMLA, but vacation, wasn’t this already included when she originally resigned effective Sept 19th? Now all of a sudden, Dansby is brought in as interim immediately, and MJ miraculously extends her resignation??? Why not use the “leave” excuse (FMLA or vacation) from the onset, if her family member is that sick? Instead, she waits until the iron is really hot and burns the district for more money, by renegotiating her resignation!? In other words; I feel as though she knew they wanted her out immediately, so why not make them pay right? I say fine…pay her to the end of Sept 19th and tell her “Thanks for the memories and don’t let the door hit ya, where the Lord split ya!” This makes no sense to me! I understand if it were plain ole me resigning by a certain date, I gave notice, yet my employer didn’t want me around for the whole time; they have the right to pay me off (or not) for the time of my notice. A notice, technically, is a courtesy of the employee to the employer; it does not have to be honored! Is it different for high paid administrators than any other employee of the district? Why publically give one date and then change it to another, unless there is yet more covering up and the extend time is considered hush money!

    I believe it’s unfair to keep feeding the Lion that caused this mess in the first place! And I will also add this…AND the district has the audacity to fight Palazzolo’s reinstatement and claim being paid for his lost time? This chaps my behind; I want some answers here; I think the taxpayers deserve to know why we are still allowing this continued abuse of power! The explanation to my concern may not be as easy as I think it is considering how convoluted this district has been thus far!

  18. So if the Commissioner of Education FOR A SECOND TIME granted his appeal and reversed the termination pending a new hearing, WHAT IS GOING ON? The decision was issued on June 29th, so why has he not been put back on the payroll until the Board and Dansby decide what to do next?

  19. Reply to Frustrated and Curious;

    To Frustrated re the time of MJ’s actual severance: She would have had her vacation time added to the Sept. 19 date anyway. Putting her on leave rather than keeping her in the saddle as a “lame duck” enabled us to begin rebuilding sooner. I believe there was no added cost to this move (aside from the raise given to Mr. Dansby0.

    To Curious; The Commissioner remanded the decision to terminate Mr. Palazzolo without deciding whether his appeal had merits because the district paid the hearing officer $18k more than the $8K allowed by law. In an apparent oversight, the 43-page decision did not require his reinstatement. When the district did not reinstate him, but instead appealed the decision, Mr. Palazzolo’s attorney asked for his reinstatement. The second decision from the Commissioner requires either his reinstatement or the payment of a year’s salary and benefit.

    I am not clear whether another hearing is required. I anticipate a thorough review on Tuesday july 19th in executive session, presumably followed by some action in open session (but I am guessing here; I have no specific knowledge).

  20. Dr. Sutherland: Thank you for your reply! Let me see if I understand your explanation correctly about the “Lame Duck” methodology, in regards to having MJ exit in the manner she did. MJ gave her notice publically for Sept 19th, as her last physical day on the job; however, internally, for severance and financial accountability purposes, she had leave accumulated (which was not publically noted) until December 30th? Is this correct? In other words, instead of allowing her to sit in “Lame Duck” status for 4 months (officially), you all moved to hire Dansby to move into the role as super; to ensure she (MJ) wouldn’t be allowed to cause any more damage (my insight). This would make more sense to me, if this assessment is accurate. If this is the case…I applaud the board members who thought it would be in the best interest of the district to make the move (s) it did!

    While we are on the subject of resignations; can you shed some light (if you are allowed), on how Robert Ray was also supposed to be gone and now supposedly he isn’t? Was this decision board approved? Given the information supplied in the initial post by “Teacher”, and later confirmed by “Clarity” and me; shouldn’t someone be wary about allowing a key player in MJ’s AHHS posse to return to his position as Chief of Schools? As you may have also read in my previous blogs; I feel very strongly about the players involved in the AHHS fiasco, especially the innocent ones, like Palazzolo, who has been riddled with false accusations and character maligning. And others who also came forward in his defense, only to be treated with disdain, or conveniently have their jobs eliminated, such was the case with Sharon Herrera! I would love to think Dansby WILL clean house eventually, reinstate Palazzolo and put people like Ms. Herrera back in the job that obviously made a difference, so the district can move forward and put the “S” back in ISD! I know this arduous task will not be addressed overnight, b/c it didn’t get this messy overnight either! Thanks again Dr. Sutherland, for taking the time to reply. I hope you, Dr. Vasquez and Mr. Rangel, continue to keep the lives and futures of our students at the forefront of your agenda.

  21. Sorry Dr. Sutherland, but that is not quite right – though it may be what Walsh Anderson is telling the Board. Palazzolo’s appeal was GRANTED the first time around. His termination was REVERSED and the matter was REMANDED for a new hearing. FWISD defied the Commissioner’s first order and then appealed. Now he has clearly again, REVERSED and REMANDED as well as specifically ordering REINSTATEMENT. He gave FWISD the one year option, but in order for you to opt for that, he has to have been fired and allowed a free hearing – ALL OVER AGAIN. The other members of the Board like the ever-corrupt Judy Needham and sleazeball Ray Dickerson have left every employee wondering “Who’s next?” This is not going to go away, though more and more teachers and Staff are leaving. We all know the Reyna report is a fraud – we live through it. Do the right thing and reinstate him. Why is the District cutting coaching stipends on one hand and spending thousands of dollars on legal fees with the other?

  22. To Frustrated and Curious: Your postings are “spot on”. Let me encourage everyone to keep posting. It is important to hold FWISD Administration feet to the fire. Currently there is much manuvering within the ranks of the “no-good-niks” already “lying” to Super. Dansby about Mr. Palazzolo’s circumstances. Don’t let them get away with this!

  23. Thank you Linda! You are so right about the leftover minions already starting to do the proverbial FWISD tap dance around Dansby! This reminds me of little kids playing baseball outside and someone breaks a neighbor’s window. Fear begins to creep in; the finger pointing, and made up excuses ensue! This is exactly what is going on right now at central, except the players aren’t children and the window is replaced with a shattered reputation…Palazzolo’s! I pray Dansby and the 3 cavalier board members do not allow those minion bullies the opportunity to continue the corrupted masquerade.

  24. Every employee in the District will be watching Tuesday night. Are we REALLY going to be transparent? Have we turned a corner? Will house finally be cleaned? Or did we “meet the new boss – same as the old boss”?