Texas Rangers investigating former Marlin schools superintendent

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The Texas Rangers are investigating former Marlin schools superintendent Michael Seabolt, who has faced allegations of ethics violations and misuse of public funds, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported.   

Falls County Attorney Jody Gilliam requested the Rangers investigate Seabolt, who previously received a written notice on Sept. 4 that the Texas Education Agency’s Educator Investigations Division was looking into the allegations against him.

The TEA declined to comment to the newspaper about its investigation because it is ongoing. 

Seabolt resigned in August, two months after he was suspended by a state-imposed board of managers. The TEA had placed the board in control of the district after its accreditation status was revoked last February for failing state accountability ratings on test scores for seven consecutive years.

Seabolt told the Tribune-Herald he spoke with the Rangers in September about a $116,667 payment he received in 2016.

Seabolt was hired in 2015 but got a new contract the next year because of the district’s poor academic standing. The 2016 contract called for Seabolt to receive a lump-sum payment of $116,667 if the district got a failing accountability rating in 2016, which would trigger the appointment of a board of managers and a new superintendent, then-board president Roger Nutt told the newspaper.

Marlin failed those standards again, so the board approved the payment to Seabolt, Nutt said. Education Commissioner Mike Morath ultimately decided to keep Seabolt as the Marlin superintendent while the district continued to operate under an abatement agreement.

The Tribune-Herald reported that the 2016 contract calls for Seabolt to repay the money if the education commissioner did not appoint a board of managers and a new superintendent.  

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