In the 2012-13 school year, the Fort Worth school district cut about 300 teachers from its payroll, despite growing enrollment numbers. Those and other cuts saved the district roughly $20 million. However, a little more than $900,000 has been allocated for more than 100 administrative raises, over the last year.

The most recent round of raises came last week, as nine of the district’s central office employees received bumps in pay.

Trustee Ann Sutherland, who was censured at last Tuesday’s school board meeting, posted her reaction to the raises on her blog, adding that she was “sorry” to report the news.


In a letter obtained by Fort Worth Weekly, Sutherland noted that district policy requires the board to approve any increases in salary given to senior staff.

Sutherland raised questions as to whether or not the board had approved all the senior staff pay increases; she said she has no memory of approving roughly half of them. A document obtained by the Weekly shows a list of all the central office raises. All of the senior staff raises are marked “Approved by BOE” for “board of education.”

On her blog, Sutherland said that neither Board President Judy Needham nor Superintendent Walter Dansby had placed the raises in question on the board’s meeting agenda.

“No plans were announced either by President Needham or Superintendent [Dansby] to have these approved by the board as required by board policy,” she said. “(Some … raises given as far back as January 2012 have also not been presented to the board for approval.)”

Superintendent Dansby could not be reached immediately for comment.


  1. This is a pattern that they craft when it comes to doing what they want and then claim it was approved. Hence when the new promotions were done but not posted like any other. When people raise a question then they automatically appear. They are wanting to hide as much as possible to avoid scrutiny. They hate that everything is out in the open because transparency is not in their vocabulary. We hope that it all comes out because the taxpayers of this city deserve to know how their money is being used.

  2. It’s amazing; I don’t think I’ve lost this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, since I started learning about the corruption at FWISD 3 years ago through the Palazzolo case! I continue to feel this nauseating tug every time I read about shit like this! I deduced 3 years that this district had deep roots of corruption and unfortunately, it’s right on the money. This Board of “Tees”, minus the Trust, NEEDS TO COME DOWN! And when it happens, I, along with thousands of this district, will rejoice in the streets! Does anyone see how arrogant and cocky this board and Superintendent are? Does anyone care that our district is being run into the ground with their games and deal making bullshit? This article isn’t saying anything new, just more crap about the same thing…FWISD administration SUCKS BIG ONES!!! They pat each other on the ass for a good job that only seems to be noticed between them. While teachers and other professionals are busting their asses during the year to make sure this district “makes the grade”, you assholes are only watching the “letters and numbers”, so you can reap the monetary benefits, in terms of BONUSES! WTF??? Where the hell are we living anymore? Who can we go to bring down this house of cards? Someone has to come forward immediately! IT’S TIME FOR ALL THESE CORRUPTED SONS OF BITCHES TO GO!!!!!!

  3. It’s time for all the friends for truth and justice to come out of the woodwork and help us save this district from itself. Mr. Ramos: It’s time for you to shine, along with your other freshman trustee. Help us to bring accountability and true transparency to this district. As a taxpayer and parent, you must be outraged as we are. You must know people in your industry who are not related to or have been to bed with some of the board members or the super.

  4. You laid off teachers and now pad pockets of a worthless pile of fools. Bye bye Dansby Vote of no confidence needs to happen do not even try to ask for a tax increase! It does stink bringing new meaning to funky town

  5. Dansby has taken another page from Tocco’s playbook. If you can’t get your employees loyalty by leading buy it w/ raises. Tocco did it w/ Dansby and Linares and he’s doing the same thing. Walter is consolidating his control w/ money and just as Gary Manny and Tocco controlled the board then, now he and Needham are doing it now. Just like w/ Manny and Tocco, we’ll begin to see backroom deals on property purchases, just as we’re seeing raises that were not approved by the board. I’ve lived my entire life in Ft. Worth and I’ve seen a # of the kind of messes that we are experiencing now but the Board of Trustees for the Fort Worth ISD have picked 3 losers in a row to lead this district and without a doubt it is time for the people of Ft. Worth to do something about it. Taking into account that those on the inside, that really know what is happening, that could bring real proof of fireable proof of wrong doing, need to make a living, there has to be someone with enough moral fiber to bring that evidence to the public.In the comments section of these articles there are a # of rumors and inuendo but no one has provided any proof. It is obvious that some of you who respond to these articles on the district’s mismanagment know things that could help clean up this mess. It’s time to bring any proof you have out in the open. I was ok w/ Dansby at 1st. I believed he’d stick around a couple of years boost his retirement get the prestige of being the district’s 1st African-Am. super then move on so we could get someone who could really do the job. But that’s not happening and he needs to go. I ask for those of you can make that happen come forward, please..

  6. You don’t have to have lived in Ft Worth all your life to recognize FWISD only mirrors FW as a whole in regard to corruption, secrecy, etc. Sounds like from the history of the city itself, it’s always been a place where outlaws and saloon girls could practice whatever as long as it paid well and the right people got their share. Look at where a big percentage of folks receiving wages from both TC and FW do NOT live and pay property taxes. Wouldn’t you think there’s a reason for that as well as so many local/native sons and daughters, eating bologna sandwiches so they can get out of the area and state?

    • I’m a native here and yes, there has always been resistance to “outside” influence or knowledge. Whether symbiotic in nature, some might even say (s culture) incestous features or self-serving at best, FW and FWISD will likely always remain the same. It will take many decades and a miracle to significantly impact just the mass local/state illiteracy now.

  7. Reader, while you are obviously not from Fort Worth, are your comments contructive or merely an opportunity to criticize. I’m asking for help to correct a problem. Perhaps you just felt the need to vent. I noted that you did not mention where you are from but people being people I’m sure wherever you are from had it’s own share of similar problems.

  8. I think the consensus is the same, regardless of the fact if you have lived in FW or not…FWISD has espoused corruption and greed for decades. The only reason we see it surface with a vengeance, is because only one paper (The Weekly) has the guts to print about it, unlike the soft puff piece developer (Startlegram). Eric is writing about the TRUTH about this district, as did his predecessor…and it doesn’t like he’s going anywhere people! To those who have said that most all of the comments here are suppositions, mere allegations and no proof is being delivered; read on, it’s coming! There is so much we can divulge on comments; however, we make these so called “suppositions” for a reason! Believe it or not, there is a method to our madness! This insidious hoopla with Palazzolo started 3 years ago and those of us behind the scenes have not rested one minute since, to keep the pressure on FWISD! We cannot afford to let this be buried or swept under the carpet like it has been done for years. WE NEED CHANGE AND WE NEED IT NOW! If anyone out there has substantiated information on the wrongdoings of FWISD to bring to the table, please contact Eric Griffey ASAP! It’s going to take ALL OF US create change!

  9. Dansby has always broken policies to achieve his agenda. He has abused his power. I have presented every single school board member with an issues concerning abuse of his power by Dansby. Not a single school board member contacted me regarding my issues.

    He want to turn around Dunbar High School. It’s ok to turn around Dunbar High School but by hurting good teachers.

    Warning: UEA protects Dansby.

  10. The “jury is till out” so to speak, to jump on Sutherland’s bandwagon. However, I think she is quickly understanding what it feels like to be targeted by this unethical board! It’s going to take your political skill Dr. Sutherland, to bring this board and Dansby to their knees. You will make me an avid supporter, if you do the right thing by not only fighting to save yourself, but also to save Joe. You know he has been a target for the last 3 years; they don’t want him back, because they are afraid of what he knows and who the players are. Who would want someone like that back in the ranks right? Joe (and AHHS) was the catalyst to bring corruption to the surface. And there is a lot more that needs to surface! Look at what is being done without consent, such as these raises.

    Read for yourself:

    And they (the board) has the audacity to censure someone for asking too many questions? And breaking policy? Is this a joke? Or is this a way for them to prepare the newbies and forewarn them NOT to ask too many questions too? So far, I have to say that Avila doesn’t have my support for voting on something he has NO IDEA about, and I applaud Paz for abstaining from the censure vote. Paz and Ramos are going to ask A LOT of questions board, so be prepared to censure them as well! To Dansby: We have all been onto you from day one, but now the public is going to see what we’ve been fighting for the last 3 years…and that’s to remove your ass from this district and free it from the biggest bully ever! The raises listed on the list are despicable! To set aside, or maneuver as it were, almost a million dollars for admin raises, is ludicrous and criminal! You will pay for your evil deeds…start packing brother Dansby! BRO-NO-MO!

    • What is perhaps the most insulting act of all was promoting Jason Oliver. This fool (who is related to someone) has left a “trail of bodies”. His promotion is proof positive that Dansby, Ray, Luther Perry, Sims, even Tatum use race when and if it suits them. The majority of SpEd kids Oliver victimized at AHHS were “Black, Brown or Tan”. Did it matter?

  11. Disquieting and disgusting to see everything we try to teach students not to do, our Superintendent and BOE do!!! Karma has a way of coming round and I just hope I live to see it for all of you. Those of you on the BOE being quiet and watching it all happen are just as guilty as the ones doing it. I think most of you started out good hearted, with morals but this thing has taken over your goodness! Speak up and restore the dignity that comes with the post. People trusted you when they voted you in. How do you folks sleep at night???

  12. Still more of the same ranting and none of the proof. Let’s see the proof. Justice you talk but give no proof. I believe that you may have some but after 3 years of Joe’s problems and the other problems from this board don’t you think it’s time to get it out. How much more damage needs to be done before those of you that have proof of wrong doing bring it out in a forum that will make change possible. If it’s indictable proof go to the feds because you know you can’t trust anyone in the DA’s office. If I sound impatient it’s because I am. I vote when I’m allowed to, not this board election because Avila got in w/o an election, gee I wonder who set that up. Maybe the people he voted with to censure Ann. If you need help tell me how I can help and if I can I will.

  13. Wouldn’t raises with our Board approval be proof? Appointments without posting? Serious question, “Are those things illegal, unethical or just sneaky?”

  14. Those are only actionable if the board decides they are so w/ Needham and Dansby in cahoots and since she controls the board, nothing will be done.There has to be proof of of a statutory violation under either state or federal law. W/o a doubt there has been but until someone comes forward w/ the evidence nothing can be done.

  15. To fed-up: You sound very knowledgeable about what needs to happen and the type of proof needed! One would say you are somewhat “vested” in getting Dansby and Needham removed. Where have you been “fed-up”, when we needed your voice the last 3 years…from the beginning? I don’t think we need someone to remind us what is needed to legally nail the unethical ISD board and administration! WE KNOW what is needed and you bet your bottom dollar that IT IS COMING out in Joe’s trial! Stay tuned “Fed-up”, you will have ALL the proof you need!

  16. So they all just work under the table but know the law. They might think they will never be caught but someday we all answer for what we have done.

  17. Justice, I’ve been right here suffering through Tocco, Johnson and now Dansby. I’ve kept track to the best of my ability what’s been going on but I’m not an insider therefore I have no evidence to contibute. If I did I would have presented long before now. As I tell the young people that I interact w/ 9 months a year when they promise to do something, show don’t tell.

  18. Rumor has it that Mr. Dansby tried to tell the Weekly the truth yesterday and was told that isn’t a story. Did the Weekly try to interview him yesterday, as he said, according to rumor?

    • He certainly didn’t talk to me, and our editor is out of town, and the other staff writer was cranking out a cover story. So I don’t know who it would be he allegedly spoke to.

      And I assure you, anything Mr. Dansby wants to tell us would be considered a story.

  19. The sad part is, Dansby, Ray, Sims (the sleeping Dinosaur), Moss, Perry, Tatum and the rest will all play the race card. What is even more tragic is that as FWISD continues its decline, it is the children of the Black community who these crooks and liars are really betraying. Never heard such ignorance as on that audio of the Board.

    • No. This is the first I’ve heard of it. I called him for comment last week, and his assistant directed me to Clint Bond, who has never gotten back to me.

    • Dansby said all he had to say on the audio. He said he wants to go to trial. Hopefully Joe will grant Dansby his wish.

  20. These “rumors” are nothing more than just that…rumor! Dansby’s camp is throwing little tad bits of info out here to create a malicious stir! ALL of these corrupt jerks are liars! Why else do you think they have dragged this Palazzolo case for 3 freakin’ years??? They are knee deep in crap and they know it! Like HELL Dansby is ready to go to trial! He wasn’t ready in June and he certainly isn’t ready now, especially since he was probably the one who ordered the audio be done! Their set-up failed! Let’s see how kindly the judge takes to people making a mockery of his courtroom, by negotiating with Palazzolo in bad faith! Whether the audio was planted, rehearsed or whatever…the fact remains, someone is going to pay…and they are going to pay BIG! Oh and Eric, don’t go wasting your time chasing “Dansby rainbows”, b/c he would rather have his cajones removed than to tell the truth about ANYTHING, especially information that would benefit Palazzolo in any way! Dansby and this god forbidden board ARE IDIOTS and “couldn’t find their asses if they were spotted a cheek”!

  21. shame on them when the backbone of the district the centra services all took paycuts and others where force to retired and some got fired. they took our money to fill their pockets.

  22. shame on them when the backbone of the district the centra services all took pay cuts and others where force to retired and some got fired. they took our money to fill their pockets.

  23. What is amazing is Mr Dansby stood in front of a large group of employees and tried his best to justify his actions. Little does he know they all walk out laughing at him and talking about how evil he is.

  24. It is time we all came together to clean FWISD up once and for all. Dansby has turned this District into a “third world” ISD. He needs to take Ray, Monge, Mendoza, Breed, Sorum, Bond, Griffith, Green and all of the other corrupt capos with him out the door. Come on parents. No renewal. This time a real search! Then we need to clean out the Board starting with Needham, Sims, Moss and Jackson.

  25. Wow, just when you thought it was “safe to go in the water”! Actually, it’s FWISD and considering all the sharks… it’s NEVER safe! It never ceases to amaze me how this district continues to make idiotic decisions that make people like me ask “WTF are you thinking?” First I learned that Jason Oliver, former principal at AHHS, who took over after the failed Neta Alexander, gets promoted to a director’s position, in spite of his own failed direction at AHHS. Then, the district leaks an audio of their not-so-secret executive session, where they spoke about how they discussed blatantly about setting Joe Palazzolo up to fail…AGAIN! We then ALL learn through the Weekly, about how nice big juicy raises and promotions are given to chosen staff, without board approval! Oh, but wait…there’s more! As recent as this past school year; Joe Dugan, former Trimble Tech Principal, was ousted after one of the district’s closers, Paul Galvan, supervised him (more like investigated him) and reported back to Dansby, causing Dugan to be dismissed. I remember reading that the district claimed he (Dugan) acted inappropriately with someone at his school! I don’t know if Dugan proved that info to be true or not. Conversely, the district apparently thought the info on Joe WAS damaging enough, to refer Dugan’s case to the State Attorney General! Knowing this district, I remember asking myself what might’ve precipitated the “supervision” of Dugan in the first place and later causing his demise! Again, from what I read; Dugan apparently said something negative about the idiotic board of trustees in some comment he wrote on an article. Are you with me? Does this sound “retaliating” familiar? Well, it gets better folks! Now I learned today that Mr. Dugan cut a deal with the district and was reinstated and promoted to an administrator job, as Director of Athletics for OUR district!

    Let me see if I have this correct.

    1.Jason Oliver is assigned to AHHS after Alexander, to do damage control; he keeps producing fear in the past and present teachers, especially the ones involved in the AHHS scandal. Oliver worked off campus a lot, studying for his superintendents certificate on school time, had a pedophile teacher working under his nose (and Oliver’s wife, a teacher for our district, recommended said pedophile be hired), and then Oliver allows for special needs children to be in a classroom with unsanitary conditions…even threatened teachers to keep their mouths shut and not go to the media or else! NOW, Oliver is recently promoted to be an Assistant Deputy Superintendent for the district!!!

    2.Paul Galvan used to be at Trimble Tech and gets promoted to be on “special assignments” for the district, more like a spy and closer for Dansby. Dansby himself alluded to this in the “leaked audio” that “they have done it before”, meaning assigning someone to “supervise” Palazzolo in the job (warehouse) they offered Palazzolo in their ridiculous botched up settlement. Hmmm, if Galvan did it once at TT, surely he could do it again! I’m sure Paul is probably one of the “few” getting a nice pay raise!

    3.Joe Dugan opens his mouth and says what we ALL know to be true about the board; he is then being “supervised” by Paul Galvan, loses his job, gets referred to the District Attorney, and now gets his job back, not as principal, but as a higher paid director, working under another “good ole boy” of Dansby’s, Kevin Green! Not that it matters, but truly a sign of how Dansby runs his business: Kevin Green was a Principal with this district; he had an affair with his secretary and they were both moved out. Kevin’s move was a promotion to head the district Athletic Dept. as some type of high paid assistant deputy. One would only hope that Kevin’s “affair” got a nice promotion as well, like Dansby’s affair, Sherry Breed- Love…or should I say, Assistant Deputy Superintendent Breed-Love!

    Is anyone sick of the shit more than I am at this point??? WTF is going on here??? And why are Dansby and this forsaken board of trustees still in charge of our district? I’ll tell you why; b/c so many within, starting with key administrators, are ALL incestuous and holders of MANY secrets and deals made by Dansby and the board! You know the main difference between Palazzolo and all these other “Yes sir, no sir” people? Palazzolo has been fighting these past 3 years to get justice, not just for himself, but for the countless other people that this district has screwed! It is obvious to me that if you make a disparaging remark about Dansby or the board in any manner, your head is on their platter! But if you screw your employees, treat minority special needs students badly, allow pedophiles to work among students, and settle with deals behind closed doors…you are promoted to a high paying job within the districts administration!

    Is this why you all don’t settle with Palazzolo, because he knows this district is corrupted and disgustingly filled with unscrupulous ingrates and now has audio proof you would throw him into a shitty job to later be setup by one of your usual closers? Or is the reason you refuse to settle with Joe, b/c he knows enough to put all you greedy bastards in jail and strip you of your certifications? It’s clear to me that squeaky and unethical good ole boy and girl wheels in this district get the proverbial “snake oil”, unless you are Palazzolo! Because he refuses to be controlled by your backhanded deals! Because he wants something you all apparently aren’t familiar with…truth and justice!

    Don’t be fooled FWISD, your Karmic days are coming around the corner! And as a side note, this is for you Jason Smith: You may have been able to maneuver your legal savvy around for the last 3 years and counting, but THAT TOO is going to come to a halt, if you don’t get off your butt and start defending your client, instead of listening to Dansby and Needham! How you all have managed to sleep at night, since Palazzolo’s case started, is beyond me! And to Dr. Sutherland: You know many things you are not saying, because you are aware it will bring down the entire house of cards! Save yourself if you have to, but do it now, because THIS PAPER, unlike the STAR, is not afraid to report the truth…AND IT’S COMING! It happened in Atlanta and El Paso…it is overdue in FWISD!!!

  26. You are so right Albert…Smith won’t be “confused” for long! I believe he is going to get a wake up call very soon and it will be huge! In fact, FWISD, Dansby, Needham, Sims, etc, will ALL get the same “wake up call”! This insidious scandal needs to come to an end!

  27. Justice, do you really have inside knowledge or hopeful thinking? I am ready for action!!! Board meeting tonight. Expect fireworks???

    • @Wonders never cease: The BOE didn’t meet on the 16th, unless I missed something. They will meet next Tues, 23rd. And YES…I have inside knowledge, but I have to share information wisely! The wheels are in motion and people are at a crossroads. Those who need to save themselves better come forward voluntarily and make some noise or they will be forced to do so in court! As far as the next BOE mtg and fireworks; they will occur, if Needham decides to publically slap Sutherland on the wrists for talking to the Weekly and having several negative stories about FWISD in print. Do you notice we don’t (and won’t) hear anything negative about the district from the Star Telegram, unless it’s about Sutherland or to falsely report that Palazzolo had indeed settled? So, to recap: if the “bad” is against Sutherland, you will get to see the fireworks you speak of! If the “bad” is on FWISD…we won’t hear anything about it anywhere, even at the mtg, unless Eric reports it again. We’ll just have to wait and see. I’m going just to see the new Trustee be sworn in and to observe the dynamics!

  28. Justice, do you really have inside knowledge or hopeful thinking? I am ready for action!!! Board meeting tonight. Expect fireworks???

  29. Justice, you are right. I forgot the Board mtg. was moved to next week. I won’t go but will watch it on line. Glad to know you really do have some inside knowledge. Also, glad to hear that you use it wisely. Always nice to have a few inside sources that FWISD thinks are loyal employees. They are such fools!!!!!!! Like you said when the fireworks start it will be interesting to see who starts talking and the finger pointing will be most interesting.