Carroll ISD trustees arrested, accused of violating Texas Open Meetings Act

Two Carroll ISD board members in Southlake were arrested on a charge of violating the Texas Open Meetings Act.

Carroll ISD Board President Michelle Moore and Vice President Todd Carlton were indicted by a Tarrant County grand jury. They are accused of communicating in a quorum outside of an authorized meeting.

The indictment says the investigation stems from text messages exchanged prior to an August 2020 meeting on the district's diversity plan.

The two board members are charged with a misdemeanor of conspiring to circumvent for secret deliberation.

The lawsuit filed by a Carroll ISD parent last year called the text messages a blatant violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act.

Moore conducted business as normal during Monday’s board meeting just hours after court documents say she and Carlton were arrested.

A Tarrant County grand jury indictment says a complaint claims they discussed board business, specifically the Cultural Competence Action Plan, in a series of private text messages.

Southlake resident and former Dallas Cowboy Russell Maryland helped draft the diversity plan approved by the board last July. He commented at Monday's meeting.

"Yesterday, while Christians around the world were celebrating Jesus’ resurrection from the crucifixion, some Southlakers today are reveling in the crucifixions of fellow citizens here in the district," he said. "Michelle and Todd, you have my sympathies. Your families don't deserve this."

The diversity plan has yet to be adopted.

Last year, Southlake parent Kristin Garcia sued the district claiming board members broke the law while discussing the plan outside of meetings.

The lawsuit accuses some board members of not only having secret deliberations about C-CAP in the "face of this groundswell of opposition," but also failing to describe the item in public agendas.

The lawsuit ultimately led to a temporary restraining order, leaving implementation in limbo. But the plan is still top of mind for many Carroll ISD parents.

Carlton is out on a $500 bond. The jail record for Moore does not list a bond status.