La Joya ISD parts ways with superintendent, College admissions scandal affects Texas schools, Renewed focus on voter fraud results in new bills

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Week in Review: 5.26.2019

Former judge reprimanded for scandals, $100k settlement for false meter readings in Austin, Fort Worth fires police chief, Faculty panel investigates Lamar University.

Posted by The Texas Monitor on Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The program seems fairly straightforward: A small surcharge on vehicle registrations went to help low-income motorists in Texas’ smoggier urban areas fix or trade in older, high-emissions vehicles, to help reduce air pollution.

The politically powerful Texans for Lawsuit Reform is again seeking to tamp down the state’s Texas Citizens Participation Act, better known as the anti-SLAPP law.

A federal college admissions probe that has led to the criminal indictment of more than 50 people nationwide, and sparked a class action lawsuit naming the University of Texas and the firing of the UT tennis coach, has now prompted the offer of a $10,000 reward for more information.

Almost six years after firefighters noticed that $70,000 earmarked for rebuilding their firehouse (a victim of Hurricane Ike) had gone missing, former Crystal Beach Volunteer Fire Department Chief David Loop pleaded guilty to stealing the funds.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Although part of her job description is making sure elections are fair and square, Nueces County Clerk Kara Sands hadn’t given much thought to ballot fraud until a constable candidate from a nearby suburb visited her office in May 2016.

The news that 50 people had been arrested in connection with a college admissions scandal did not surprise former University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall Jr. He spent six years seeking records that could have exposed an alleged pattern of favoritism in admissions at UT-Austin before being stymied by the Texas Supreme Court.

After years of battling local governments, opponents of red light traffic cameras appeared to have the political momentum this spring to shut them off across Texas.

It wouldn’t have been a great talking point during his 2018 re-election bid, but U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has been one of the members of the Senate most often absent, according to voting records.

The La Joya school district, which drew political fire for using $20 million in general funds to build a water park and learning complex, has settled with the longtime schools superintendent who oversaw the project.

When the Mount Vernon school board agreed to pay then-Superintendent Gregg Weiss a $200,000 severance package last year, even that wasn’t the whole cost to the East Texas district.

 

 

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