Pretty much immediately after former WFAA-reporter-cum-political-candidate Brett Shipp posted that it appeared Dallas ISD school board trustee Jaime Resendez didn’t live in his district, we started poking around, too.
Probably just like everyone else.
And the Dallas Morning News did a few stories. Shipp continuously tweets about it. And we continued to quietly try to figure out what in the Sam Hill was going on, and let me tell ya, if you read all those stories, it’s still confusing.
What we do know: Resendez moved out of his District 4 sometime in the late summer/early fall of 2017. According to the Dallas Central Appraisal District, the deed to the home on Mission Hills Lane, which is just a few blocks out of District 4, transferred to Resendez from the seller on Aug. 30, 2017.
He also did not claim a homestead exemption on the property.
From there, it gets a little murky. There are two state laws that conflict with each other, one stating he can serve as trustee until his replacement is chosen, and another saying that he vacates the seat when he moves out of the district.
At last week’s school board meeting, board president Edwin Flores referred to a “gaggle” of expensive attorneys that were slated to meet with the board that night in executive session. The contents of an executive session are not public record, but after the session, Resendez left the meeting, and did not vote on any agenda items.
The night Shipp began tweeting about Resendez’s residency, I asked him if he would like to talk. I’m not sure if he just didn’t realize I was a journalist, but via Facebook Messenger, I asked him if he was aware of Shipp’s allegations, and asked if he wanted to address it, and whether Shipp had contacted him at that point before he began tweeting.
“I’m definitely going to address Brett Shipp’s statements,” Resendez said. “He never tried contacting me.”
A few hours later, he sent me a link to the first Dallas Morning News article about the issue.
In subsequent statements, he said he contacted DISD’s attorneys for “clarification and guidance,” as soon as he learned of the residency issue.
As of yesterday, it seemed that there had been a decision — Resendez would resign, and the board would appoint a replacement to serve out the last few months of his term (Resendez had not planned on running for re-election, instead saying he would run for the city council seat currently held by Rickey Don Callahan, who announced he would not be running for another term).
“It’s anticipated that the oath of office will be administered on Friday to the appointed board member,” the district said in a statement late Wednesday.
But this morning, I checked the agenda to see if there were any documents to review prior to the meeting (something I do before every school board meeting). And lo and behold, the meeting has been canceled, and I have not yet received word why, or what will happen now.
The story, as they say, is developing.
Update: It appears the meeting will now be at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5.
Bethany Erickson is the education and public policy writer for CandysDirt.com. She is also the Director of Audience Engagement for Candy’s Media. She is a member of the Online News Association, the Education Writers Association, the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, and the Society of Professional Journalists, and is the 2018 NAREE Gold winner for best series and a 2018 Dallas Press Club Hugh Aynsworth Award winner. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.