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CHRONOLOGY OF A SCANDAL

By D Magazine |

1996

Apr 1; Dr. Yvonne Gonzalez arrives in Dallas to take job as deputy superintendent.

Aug. 7: Chad Woolery resigns and Gonzalez becomes acting superintendent.



1997

Jan. 9: Gonzalez chosen general superintendent of Dallas Public Schools.

Jan. 21: Gonzalez and Freda Jinks go shopping for office furniture.

Apr. 4: Gonzalez rents apartment on Cole Avenue. Two days later, bedroom furniture is delivered.

Apr. 15: Gonzalez calls in the FBI to Investigate payroll fraud.

May 14: Gonzalez orders Matthew Harden to suspend four high-level administrators, including Michael Henderson. Henderson resigns the next day.

May 29; Gonzalez announces she will monitor major contracts.

June 26: Kathleen Leos pulls Honeywell/Johnson Controls contract from board agenda. Gonzalez sends it to attorney Marcus Ronquillo.

July 30: Gonzalez and Harden appear at press conference to say she didn’t know of office costs.

Aug. 6: U.S. Attorney indicts 13 DISD employees for payroll fraud.

Aug. 10: Freda Jinks meets with private detective to set up surveillance of Harden; tracking device goes on Harden’s car.

Aug. 12: Gonzalez receives Interna! audits of contracts with Brushields and Time Saving Construction and a report on problems with energy contract. Learns Johnson Controls was paid S4.3 million for no work.

Aug. 13: Harden discovers tracking device.

Aug. 14: Gonzalez asks auditor to review office renovation. Calls Freda Jinks and asks her to get rid of phony invoices.

Aug. 20; Gonzalez and Harden meet to discuss his resignation. He says he’ll leave by the end of the month.

Aug. 25: Harden tapes phone call with Gonzalez saying he’ll resign.

Sept.8: Harden signs affidavit in Ison-Newsome case saying Gonzalez lied about office renovation.

Sept.12; Gonzalez goes to employment lawyer to fire Harden. Harden files lawsuit against private detective for tracking device, and another suit against Gonzalez, asking $10 million in damages. Harden demands all those Gonzalez fired or suspended be reinstated. Next day, demand changes: She must resign.

Sept. 15: Harden releases “suggestive notes” sent by Gonzalez.

Sept. 16: Gonzalez submits resignation, denies harassing Harden.

Sept. 17: Ronquillo briefs board on energy contracts; board puts Gonzalez on 30-day leave.

Sept. 18: The Dallas Morning News reports that Ronquillo will file three lawsuits against contractors to recover $10 million In damages. Gonzalez files suit against Harden for breaching settlement; asks that no more material about her be released.

Sept. 19: FBI seeks Harden’s tapes and files.

Sepi-22; News reports Gonzalez responsible for tracking device.

Sept. 23: Ronquillo tells News that DISD oversight Is lax; management weakness allowed millions In vendor fraud.

Sept. 24: Henderson tells News the probe Is a racially motivated conspiracy. The board names James Hughey interim superintendent.

Sept. 25: Freda Jinks tells FBI of Gonzalez’s embezzlement of $7,000 to buy bedroom furniture.

Sept. 28: FBI executes search warrant on Gonzalez’s apartment.

Sept. 30: Gonzalez calls Jinks, tells her the furniture purchase is a “take-to-your-grave secret.” Tries to get her to take the fall. Call Is taped by Jinks.

Oct. 7: Gonzalez agrees to plead guilty; board accepts her resignation.

Oct. 9: Hughey leaves voice mall for board members saying he is putting Harden on leave the next morning.

Oct. 10: Hughey is visited by black trustees, John Wiley Price, and Lee Alcorn. Instead of putting Harden on leave, Hughey appoints him to examine district financial system.

Nov.7: Harden files $10 million lawsuit against Leos and other board members, alleging conspiracy to oust him. Later follows with a $10 million lawsuit against DISD.

Nov. 14: Audit shows DISD cannot account for $10 million in assets, Including $1.5 million in portable buildings, $4.7 million in computers, and $300,000 in vehicles.

Dec. 16: Leos ousted as board president.



1998

Feb. 4: Gonzalez sentenced to 15 months; ordered to pay restitution.

Feb.19: Harden resigns in return for $600,000 settlement.

Mar. 3: Gonzalez reports to prison.

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