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Judge Issues Partial Decision In Tommy Wallis Motion vs. Bryan ISD

A Travis County district judge has issued a partial decision in the motion sought by former Bryan school superintendent Tommy Wallis, after documents critical of his job performance were leaked to KBTX and The Eagle by yet to be identified sources.

The judge decided not to issue civil contempt of court citations against five former members of Wallis’s leadership team and two school board members who testified during the two day hearing. They are deputy superintendent Tim Rocka, assistant superintendent Amy Drozd, associate superintendent Barbara Ybarra, communications director Brandon Webb, in-house lawyer Harry Wright Jr., current board of trustees president Trey Moore, and board member and former president Doug Wunneburger.

The judge said she would decided as early as next week whether to cite the Bryan school district for civil contempt and whether the district will have to pay up of $54,000 dollars of Wallis’s attorney fees. That includes almost $20,000 for time and expenses for work directly related to the contempt motion and more than $34,000 for work before the contempt motion.

Wallis’s lawyers announced at the beginning of day two of the hearing that they were dropping for now their pursuit of criminal contempt charges, which required a higher standard of proof.

All seven BISD officials who testified said they did not give any documents protected by court order, nor did they direct anyone else to do share them, and they did not know who provided the information to the two media outlets.

But the judge sided with Wallis’s legal team, who referred to a June 14, 2017 story in The Eagle that identified “two district employees” who supplied the documents were, according to Wallis’s lawyers, two Bryan ISD employees.

The judge on at least two occasions said in more than 20 years on the bench presiding over similar cases, she never had to give more specific instructions beyond the orders she issued last January to prevent the release of documents that Wallis is still seeking to be permanently banned from public view.

The judge had no response to lawyers for the Bryan officials questioning what became of the binder and a computer thumb drive given to Wallis, particularly in light of media reports where the president of the Kirbyville school board said Wallis disclosed everything that happened to him in Bryan.

The judge ordered those associated with a BISD internal investigation to extend the probe to checking personal computers. The district was also told to notify all employees notified about the court orders protecting the documents, and to round up all source information that went into the documents that were given to Wallis when he was told last September to consider leaving the district.

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Posted by on Jun 30 2017. Filed under Featured Stories, News.
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