Former Business Manager of Dallas County Schools, Supported by Attorney, Defends Her Actions

Press Release ( - DALLAS - Mar 08, 2017 - Denise Hickman, former business manager of the Dallas County Schools, was terminated in November 2016 after being accused of misusing taxpayer money to pay school bus traffic tickets. Dallas attorney Steve Kardell of Whistleblower Law for Managers successfully challenged Hickman’s termination, which resulted in DCS reinstating Ms. Hickman and allowing her to retire. But in comments made during a recent board meeting and by releasing the content of Ms. Hickman’s termination letter, DCS superintendent Rick Sorrells, her former employer, is continuing to suggest she is responsible for the current DCS budget crisis.  To counter those allegations, Ms. Hickman, supported by her attorney, recently spoke to NBC 5 Investigates to refute the superintendent’s claims.

Ms. Hickman’s demotion and later firing in November of last year came after the news station reported that $80,000 in taxpayer funds had been used to pay the fines, but Hickman states that failure to pay the fines would have resulted in late fees, and she contends it was the programs and purchases authorized by Superintendent Sorrells that created the agency’s financial crisis. Hickman began questioning these expenditures in 2015 and warned the superintendent then that the agency was running out of money. But in a February meeting of the DCS board, Superintendent Sorrells implied Ms. Hickman was responsible, saying she had withheld information from him. DCS also released a copy of her termination letter, which states that Ms. Hickman “failed to perform her job duties,” and goes on to say that there were “significant issues with her management of personnel and operations.”

Mr. Kardell said that he and his client believe DCS manufactured those issues to blame Ms. Hickman for the agency’s financial problems.  As he told NBC 5, “She is not a disgruntled ex-employee. In fact, all of her issues have been resolved satisfactorily.” In the days since Kardell and Hickman were interviewed, Texas state senator Royce West has called for the resignation of Sorrells, and state senator Don Huffines has introduced a bill to shut down DCS.

About the firm

For more than 35 years, Steve Kardell, a partner in Dallas-based Whistleblower Law for Mangers, has protected corporate executives from misdirected internal investigations while also protecting clients against employer retaliation in whistleblower law cases, securing major settlements for those unnecessarily made the targets of difficult and draining internal investigations.

In addition to representing clients in his legal practice, Mr. Kardell, a recognized authority in his field and the author of Whistleblower and Bounty Law, has developed corporate ethics programs for major multinational corporations. He frequently lectures on whistleblower law and internal investigations at law schools and in continuing legal education courses.

For more information about the practice, visit Whistleblower Law for Managers.

Source : Whistleblower Law for Managers

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