A Paige from the Past?

A lawsuit accuses HISD's former chief and a trustee of influence-peddling

Marshall abruptly resigned as a consultant for People 1st in April 2000. The Press reported that Marshall made $72,000 a year from consulting work for CEP, which has a $15 million yearly contract with HISD for alternative schooling (see "Hail to the Chiefs," by Margaret Downing, October 25, 2001).

According to HISD documents, Marshall is still a CEP consultant.

While Marshall was easily re-elected in 2001, his opponents attacked his financial ties to HISD contractors as a conflict of interest. The trustee does not vote on board matters involving his clients, but some governmental watchdogs say that by virtue of his position as a board member he has access and influence that go far beyond that of any outside lobbyist or consultant.

After many scheduling conflicts, Paige was finally deposed, but not in the Lincoln bedroom.
After many scheduling conflicts, Paige was finally deposed, but not in the Lincoln bedroom.

HISD gadfly and perennial provocateur George Scott says Marshall's relationship with district vendors is just another symptom of a sick system.

"The fact that Larry Marshall can do consulting with vendors to the Houston Independent School District, even legally, is a testament to what has become a sort of vendor pimp cult in the public school system in Texas," he says.

And as attorneys argue over the merits of Watson's suit, Marshall has made more consulting business for himself. The Texas Education Agency, the office that oversees schooling issues for the state, signed on Marshall last November as a paid monitor for the Jesse Jackson Academy, a Houston charter school.

Agency spokeswoman Suzanne Middlebrook explained that the job involves consulting with districts or schools that are having difficulties -- including problems with board members who overstep their boundaries.

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We had numerous patients back in 2001 that Nylcare transferred to People 1st. Per Nylcare the claims were paid but the checks were sent to People 1st and we NEVER rec'd those checks. SHAME on People 1st. Bunch of criminals if you ask me & that sure doesn't make minority businesses look very good, does it?

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