New questions for former special education head

June 24, 2009 10:25:22 PM PDT
There are new developments from a 13 Undercover investigation into spending at North Forest ISD. The results of an internal investigation about a special education scandal are revealed. Ruth Watson just loves to see 13 undercover. At a Spring school board meeting, she tried to get me arrested just for trying to ask her new questions.

"He has sexually harassed me on many occasions. I have a card where he says he's going to come by and see me," Watson said. "ABC you have a sexual harasser here. His name is Wayne Dolcefino. Excuse me. Now you've harassed me. You're a sexual harasser."

It's the latest bizarre outburst from a member of the Spring school board. Of course, Ruth Watson was elected before 13 Undercover exposed her role in a special education scandal that's still haunting another Houston-area school district, North Forest ISD.

Now a North Forest internal investigative report obtained by 13 Undercover accuses Watson of mismanaging a huge federal grant for kids.

We exposed the family affair early last year, but this new report makes new allegations that Watson directed an employee to alter a government contract, and approved invoices that fail to provide any method for making sure the service was even performed.

Like the huge payments to Lester Houston's company: $285,000 in one school year for consulting parents. The invoices fail to provide the names of the parents or the kids served or even the name of the alleged consultant.

Lester Houston brought records to a grand jury more than a year ago, but the DA's office has yet to take any steps to recover any of the grant money misused.

The new investigative report alleges the slow-moving criminal probe gave someone at North Forest time to wipe a computer hard drive clean days before subpoenas.

Records that were recovered provide evidence some invoices by questioned consultants were actually created on a school district computer.

It's why North Forest has voted to not renew Watson's contract, but Ruth Watson doesn't want to talk about that.

"Do you have any comment on the non-renewal by North Forest," we asked Watson.

"Sexual harassment. Sexual harasser," Watson responded.

In a letter to North Forest, Watson offered to resign for $250,000. The district said no thanks, so for a few more months North Forest taxpayers will be paying Watson $7,000 a month to stay home.

The white Hummer in the driveway of Watson's home is registered to her, but look who was driving it to Watson's house a couple of weeks ago -- Lester Houston.

This may be the final chapter of the North Forest special education scandal. Watson has defended the hiring of her relatives and denied wrongdoing.

If the DA takes no action, a woman accused of misspending lots of school money will still be sitting on the Spring school board.

Documents related to this story

Investigation report for North Forest ISD (pdf)

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