PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

December 14, 2012

PAISD Superintendent returns to work

Josh Brown
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — Superintendent Johnny Brown was present at the Port Arthur ISD board meeting Thursday night, ending a speculation-filled eight-week absence.

District attorney Melody Chappel released the following statement regarding Brown’s return:

“The matter regarding the complaint against the Superintendent of Schools for Port Arthur ISD has been resolved. A thorough investigation was conducted and a review was done by the school board.

“This is a personal issue and the board members are precluded by law from discussing this matter in the public. The superintendent has returned to work, and no other comment will be forthcoming regarding this matter.”

Several news stations, including Fox 4 KBTV, reported Brown was facing an allegation of sexual harassment, though no district official ever mentioned any details about the complaint against him.

During the meeting, trustees agreed to subtract money from the district’s general fund balance in order to pay for increasing legal fees.

The district set aside $121,000 for legal expenses when they approved the 2012-13 budget in August, but Assistant Superintendent Phyllis Geans told the board she projects the amount will increase to $264,000.

Chappel said the increase is a result of two previously filed lawsuits that have recently become active and grievances were a small part of the fees.

PAISD trustees held a special meeting in closed session Nov. 28 to “discuss the performance, evaluation, and job duties of the Superintendent of Schools,” but no comment was issued.

Brown, who has been absent from work since Oct. 26, was not available for comment. He will return to his normal duties as PAISD’s superintendent.

Email: jbrown@panews.com

Twitter: @joshnathanbrown