MANOR, Texas (KXAN) –The Manor ISD Board of Trustees approved the external investigation of the board president, Desiree Cornelius-Fisher, and John Jonse, with the potential to expand the investigation to all other board members if necessary.
On Monday, a Manor ISD Board of Trustees member requested the investigation. Trustees voted in its favor shortly after at the Monday night board meeting and trustees voted at the board meeting, the trustees would vote on an investigation of the entire board.
A petition to remove Cornelius-Fisher is also circulating around town. The move comes on the heels of allegations into the conduct of the board president.
Cornelius-Fisher has been on the Manor school board for 15 years and is now accused of using school district money to pay for an organization membership for her husband. She also stands accused of trying to influence the hiring of her own daughter into the district. Her son already works for Goldstar Transit, the Manor ISD transportation services contractor.
Bradley Clark, a parent and attorney in Manor, says he has evidence of the PayPal receipt proving Cornelius-Fisher misused district money.
“It’s hypocrisy, ” he says. “District funds were used for her husband’s membership into an organization, and district employees are afraid to stand up and complain.”
In an open records request, Clark says Cornelius-Fisher accused superintendent Kevin Brackmeyer of using district money to buy furniture for his wife’s office. School board member John Jonse says there is no evidence Brackmeyer did that, nor does he believe Brackmeyer misappropriated any district money. When Jonse requested the independent investigation into Cornelius-Fisher, Cornelius-Fisher wanted the investigation expanded to include all the board members.
“I think that just takes the focus off what’s at issue here,” Jonse said. “I think people want to know about the board president and her actions. She’s been interfering with daily operations within the district. That’s not our role as board members. It’s just meddling and directing the day to day operations of the district. I think this is just a pattern with her. It’s just a pattern and I think people are fed up. They’re just tired of it.”
At the board meeting Monday night, trustees were in a closed session for hours, before voting on the investigation.
Cornelius-Fisher wouldn’t comment on accusations against her nor Brackmeyer. She also wouldn’t say why Brackmeyer resigned. She said any investigation the trustees approve is for the sake of transparency.
“The primary reason for this is, because you know, in light of everything going on, we just felt like we need to put it out there,” said Cornelius-Fisher, “So, everybody will know the school board is made up of seven fabulous people.”
During the closed executive session Monday night, the board interviewed candidates for interim superintendent.
Brackmeyer spoke briefly with KXAN over the phone but could only say that he was not comfortable commenting on the Manor ISD school board upheaval.
Brackmeyer was hired as superintendent in January 2013, but left the district voluntarily last month. He will be paid through August 2014.