The Texas Education Agency is considering whether to investigate Stafford Municipal School District following allegations of nepotism in hiring practices made by a former board member and district employee.
TEA spokesperson Melissa Holmes confirmed the agency received a complaint about Stafford MSD. According to KPRC, the complaint alleged collaboration between Superintendent Robert Bostic, trustee Greg Holsapple and Sterling Staffing Solutions to employ their relatives while circumventing the state’s anti-nepotism laws.
“We are currently reviewing the facts to determine if a formal investigation is necessary,” Holmes said in an email Monday.
Bostic and Holsapple were named in the allegations made by former SMSD Chief Financial Officer Daniel Flores, according to the October report by KPRC. Flores made the allegations in July after he left the district, citing a hostile environment when he first broached the issue with Bostic.
At the core of the allegations is the hiring of Bostic’s wife and Holsapple’s daughter, who were previously employed by third-party staffing agency Sterling Staffing Solutions to perform clerical and professional development services within SMSD, according to the report. The district said in an August statement on its website that the relatives’ work at SMSD, along with the district’s contract with the staffing agency, had ended.
According to the district, SMSD entered into a contract with Sterling Staffing Solutions in September 2018 for Sterling to assign its employees to provide staffing services as requested by SMSD, including AP clerk/payroll clerk/HR clerk, nurse instructor/therapy instructor, professional development, math/reading tutor, substitute/light industrial and other positions as necessary. SMSD and Sterling had originally contracted for previous services in early 2017. The district said Bostic’s wife and Holsapple’s daughter were Sterling employees at the time they were assigned to SMSD.
Because they were not technically employed by the district, SMSD said the arrangement did not trigger the state’s nepotism clause.
“It is unfortunate when individuals resort to speculation and baseless rumors instead of seeking out the facts. That path does not support SMSD or the students of our community,” the district said in its statement.