CEP Doubles Down on Critic Robert Kimball, Sues For $9 Million

Civic activist and former Sharpstown High vice principal Robert Kimball is responsible for Houston ISD reducing the amount it pays Community Education Partners, the private company that operates two alternative schools in Houston, and therefore should be liable for another $4.7 million, CEP contends in court documents.

In a just-discovered pleading that was filed September 8, CEP amended its original demand for $4.7 million from Kimball -- who has repeatedly questioned whether CEP is actually any good or just a dropout factory -- and upped the ante to at least $9 million.

"For the 2010-2011 school year, the CEP contract was reduced from $18 million to approximately $13.7 million, with further reductions in the 2011-12 and 2012-2013 school years," the amended petition said.

It goes on to lay the blame for this at Kimball's feet, saying it was a result of his "disparagement campaign" and that it "damaged CEP's negotiations with other school districts." It again repeated its assertion in its original lawsuit that it was Kimball who influenced the Austin ISD not to enter into a contract with CEP.

"CEP had a valid contract with HISD. Shortly after a new superintendent arrived at HISD, defendant continued his smear campaign by directly and indirectly seeking to influence the new administration at HISD in an attempt to have HISD cancel the CEP contract." It assessed the reduction in contract price in Houston worth at least $4.3 million in damages to CEP.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for November 29 in 234th State District Court.

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