Federal corruption lawsuit against HISD dismissed

HISD has spent over a million dollars defending itself against allegations of bribery. But the battle isn't yet over
November 19, 2013 3:25:05 PM PST
The Houston Independent School District won a big victory in federal court Tuesday. A lawsuit alleging corruption by a board member and conspiracy among other trustees was largely dismissed.

Former HISD trustee Larry Marshall admitted in depositions that his campaign treasurer had business relationships with companies seeking HISD contracts, but that was not enough for the case to go forward. There is no comment so far from either the district or the company that filed the case.

The plaintiff, Gil Ramirez Group, lost a construction contract with HISD. The lawsuit filed three years ago alleges it was because they failed to pay a bribe to Marshall, the district's most-tenured trustee.

Defending the lawsuit cost the district well over a million dollars.

Marshall admitted in depositions that his campaign treasurer had business relationships with companies seeking HISD contracts.

The district's lawyer told us Tuesday afternoon there was never a bribery or pay-to-play scheme at HISD, adding that without proof of that, there was never a case.

The plaintiff is expected to appeal.

In a statement, HISD Superintendent Terry Grier said, in part, "I will encourage our board to pursue reimbursement for the legal fees that the district has spent defending itself against these unwarranted claims."

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