Grand Prairie ISD's highly paid superintendent is moving out of her district-owned home.
The move comes more than a year after a FOX 4 investigation first exposed that the superintendent was living in a nearly $700,000 house bought by tax dollars.
The board voted Thursday night to remove the home from Superintendent Dr. Susan Simpson Hull’s contract and to allow her to live outside the district.
Board members said the superintendent was moving out of the controversial taxpayer funded home so she could do her job better. It’s a big reversal from when FOX 4 first began investigating the living arrangement in the spring of last year.
FOX 4 uncovered that in addition to the district spending $700,000 in tax dollars on the home complete with a swimming pool, the district also spent $125,000 renovating the home.
The invoice for costly renovations were done without board approval, a violation of district policy. The district later hired an attorney to conduct a review of the district's other invoices.
Before the vote, the board went into to closed session after one board member questioned the issue being on the consent agenda.
“I am surprised this is on the consent agenda. The consent agenda is by definition routine, non-controversial,” said GPISD Board Member Steve Pryor. “This is neither routine or non-controversial since nothing about that Carrier Road property has been non-controversial since the purchase. This is anything but routine.”
“If the superintendent moving out of our district helps better her performance and what she does, I think that is a win overall,” said GPISD Board Member Aaron King.
“No one has been held to account for it,” Pryor said. “It hasn't been addressed in a public forum, and I want transparency and communication with our community."
Pryor says the attorney with Brackett and Ellis produced a 37-page report about the split invoices. He’s concerned the district has only released 9 pages of it.
“There is a number of other items that should be addressed and brought to light,” Pryor said. “And they don't want to air dirty laundry.”
As for this house and swimming pool, Pryor said the district does not have a final plan for what to do with it.
“My issue is this is tax payer money. We should be upfront with our taxpayers,” he said. “If there are problems, we should be addressing them.”
FOX 4 has also uncovered that Hull received a raise in January, bringing her salary to $402,000 in base pay. That makes her more highly paid than the superintendents in the nation's 10 largest districts that include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami.
With benefits, Hull's compensation is set to skyrocket next year to $582,000.
Grand Prairie ISD provided us with this statement late Friday, in response to our request for comment:
"The Grand Prairie Independent School District Board of Trustees voted to remove a provision in the Superintendent’s contract requiring the Superintendent to live within the boundary of Grand Prairie ISD. There is no timeline for the Superintendent to move. The Carrier Parkway property, adjacent to one of GPISD’s most popular campuses, was originally purchased as part of a larger land acquisition needed to address future expansion of the campus. The District’s intent is to utilize the property for specialized instruction and academic support."