In a press release, Dallas attorney Victoria Neave announced she will replace Jason Smith as Joe Palazzolo’s attorney in his whistle blower case against the Fort Worth School district. The judge in the case approved the substitution of counsel in a court order signed earlier this month. Neave plans to reschedule the trial soon, the release said.

“After almost four years of dealing with this matter, I am anxious to clear my name and allow a jury to decide this matter,” Palazzolo said in the release. “I am standing up to the school district not only for my family and me, but for all FWISD employees.”

His former attorney Jason Smith could not be reached for comment.

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The saga of Palazzolo started in 2010, when he went to administrators with teacher complaints about attendance fraud, disparate treatment of minority students, misappropriation of funds, and the inappropriate behavior of some faculty members. Based on the information Palazzolo produced, three administrators and one coach at Heights were pressured into retiring or resigning. Palazzolo was the only person fired.

He has been demoted, transferred twice, put on administrative leave, then fired, reinstated, fired again, and since then has been in and out of court rooms and hearing rooms.

In June, the district settled with Palazzolo, pending board approval. The board wouldn’t approve of a deal unless the former assistant principal agreed to a clause that prevented him from “being around children.”

Attorneys for the district claimed Smith agreed to the clause, though he denied it to Fort Worth Weekly.


  1. Let’s have the truth so we can move forward. FWISD needs to do the right thing for the good of all and not for self-serving reasons. Enough is enough.

  2. I’m a little frustrated that this paper (the editor) continues to borrow a page from the Startlegram and publishes puff pieces like this. Come on Weekly! This story is HUGE and warranted the cover!!! If Betty were alive, this new revelation would’ve been shoved down a few throats, beginning with Jason Smith. I know, Betty was a freelance journalist and her pieces didn’t get scrutinized as much as they are now. Somewhere in heaven, she is looking down on us all and smiling still, because Palazzolo’s justice is NOW coming down the pike fast and furious! I’ll continue to read this newspaper only in Betty’s memory and Joe’s honor, until the day the headlines read: “Joe wins”! I’m ecstatic to hear that Palazzolo finally shed that extra dead weight he’s been carrying for over 3 yrs! Who would’ve thought that not only was he fighting against corrupt administrators and board members, but also an officer of the court, who took an oath to serve in the name of justice! Smith is the epitome of ruthlessness and hypocrisy. Shame on your Smith and that other snake you work for, Art Brender! You are both done as far as I’m concerned and I will revel the day another headline makes the paper: “Jason Smith and Art Brender: Disbarred”. Think about Palazzolo and his family, when your families are put through the ringer, like you have done to them in the past 3 yrs! Your dishonesty will soon be revealed and you will have no one to blame but yourself for being greedy and immoral. Cheers to Victoria Neave for having the cajones to taken on this royal mess and finally let justice prevail. Prepared to be amazed and sickened Ms. Neave, as to the lengths this corrupted district has gone to protect themselves at the expense of a human being, who has only wanted to do what he does best…work with kids! Yeah, they’re ALL ugly, unethical and corrupt bullies! Good luck and Godspeed. Hang in there Palazzolo, your day in court is coming!

  3. This is great news that he changed lawyer! You have to remember that Jason Smith was representing Palazzolo because UEA. UEA has control of district legal business. They cover up many corrupted cases by making a deal with Central administrators.

    After the recording fiasco that uncovered the deal Jason Smith agreed with the Board and district administrators, you should not have any doubt that Palazzolo was in the middle of rattlesnakes. He needed a lawyer who do not have any business with district officials and has experience dealing with whistleblower cases. I am glad the judge accepted the change in the legal representation for Mr. Palazzolo. It was evident the conflict of interest between the lawyer and his client. Mr. Palazzolo will succeed with his whistleblower case in a court that is out of the Fort Worth and jurors who do not have to do with Fort Worth.

    Now you can understand why the Board and its administrators are distracting the citizens of Fort Worth with a fancy bond program. That was a political move to distract the taxpayer from their corruption and portray themselves as people who care about kids. With all the money this administration has invested in legal issues, they would be able to reduce the debt from previous bonds.

    I do agree that this newspaper has changed for the worse. The Fort Worth Weekly was the only venue the citizens of Fort Worth had to their disposal to uncover the corruption in the school district. Now I can’t distinguish the difference between the StarTelegram and the Weekly. This is sad, and we all know that newspapers are tangled with the businesses they represent. I guess nobody cares anymore about the academics; nobody cares about the nepotism, and nobody cares about the debt the citizens will incur in the name of the kids.

    The bond program will be a BOMB for the citizens of Fort Worth. You have seen the great support for the Chamber of Commerce because they will benefit from the money the district would generate in construction, but the citizens would have to pay the bills to satisfy this political move of the board and its administrators. Taxpayers would incur in a BILLION dollars debt if this luxury bond program would be approved by few voters. Any of the propositions is needed at this time because the proposed items won’t have any impact in the academic. You should invest in a business when that business is profitable.  These administrators and Board members have not been able to turnaround the academic performance of their students and to close the academic gap of minorities and low social economic students.

  4. Dansby and Sims have gotten their wish; more $$$ down the drain in legal fees. It should be interesting to watch FWISD try to prove Robert Ray was the whistleblower.

    • Did he blow the whistle to himself? He was a deputy or assistant superintendent in charge of leadership and overseeing what was going on in schools. He knew what was going on, but did not proceed to stop the corruption. Now he would like to serve as the scapegoat because he can retire tomorrow and he has nothing to loose. This is ridiculous.

  5. The timing is perfect. What better way for Dansby to convince taxpayers to vote “yes” for the Bond issue than to prolong the squandering of education $$$ on senseless litigation.