Husband of FCPS superintendent abruptly resigned own TX superintendency in 2020; investigation shared with FBI
In 2008, just before the beginning of the school year, the Corsicana Independent School District faced a tough challenge — replacing two popular campus principals.
Demetrus Liggins of Carroll Elementary and Elijah Granger of Drane Intermediate School have both submitted their resignations from their posts. Granger is headed to a middle school principal’s post with Duncanville ISD, while Liggins will be a middle school principal with Lancaster ISD, according to a release from Rob Ludwig, CISD spokesman.source: https://www.corsicanadailysun.com/news/local_news/liggins-granger-leaving-cisd-posts/article_cc580ee7-4319-5302-a6e2-d2746ac29ebb.html
The two popular CISD principals were headed to separate Dallas suburbs to take middle school principal jobs. The two stayed in touch and wed on Valentine’s Day 2016.
Granger became Superintendent of Lancaster ISD in 2018, and in November 2020, the board voted to extend his contract through 2025. Just two weeks later, though, the same board voted 4-3 to buy out his remaining contract. Initial reports said Granger stood to potentially receive more than $1.5 million in the separation agreement.
Granger did not receive the severance payment, however. Lancaster ISD was prohibited from paying it out. A WFAA report said Granger stood to potentially collect more than $2M.
According to court documents, the school district was supposed to issue more than $2 million in a payout to Granger within 10 days of his resignation. A Dallas County judge issued a temporary restraining order last month that halted any such payment…source: https://www.wfaa.com/article/news/education/lancaster-isd-prohibited-from-paying-severance-to-former-superintendent-court-documents-show/287-6e1ed104-2666-4fec-8414-173310ecf05d
Three Lancaster ISD trustees — Marion Hamilton, Ty G. Jones and Carolyn Morris — argued that paying Granger $2 million would have crippled the school district’s finances, something the temporary injunction order agrees with.
The payout was voided by a judge in May 2021.
Liggins was chosen as Fayette County Public Schools’ new Superintendent the next month, in June 2021. (Granger worked in real estate in the meantime.)
It turns out Granger was involved in some pay-to-play influence peddling schemes that got him in hot water with auditors, who turned their findings over to the FBI!
A forensic audit by the district found a “pattern” that Granger controlled and influenced the appointment and election of new board members, offered consulting contracts to some trustees to persuade them to step down, and worked with officials at nearby districts to get favorable trustees jobs.source: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/2022/03/31/lancaster-isd-investigation-into-former-superintendent-trustees-shared-with-fbi/
Such moves allowed Granger to maintain the support of a four-vote majority that approved salary raises and, eventually, “the largest severance payout ever authorized to a school district Superintendent” in the country, according to an audit summary released by the district late Wednesday.
Trustees shared the findings with the Texas Education Agency and the U.S. Department of Education while the firm’s auditors forwarded concerns to the FBI, a district spokeswoman said.
The Lexington Times has, of course, obtained a copy of the forensic audit, so readers can decide for themselves. There is a juicy tidbit at the end, though.
- FCPS school board proposes school lunch hike just months after buying 35 acre Webb estate at 360% above assessed value – July 2022
- Liggins, Granger leaving CISD posts – Jul 5, 2008
- Texas Marriage Listings – GROOMS – 2016
- Lancaster ISD Superintendent Elijah Granger Removed 2 Weeks After Signing 5-Year Contract – Nov 2020
- Lancaster ISD prohibited from paying severance to former superintendent, court documents show – Dec 2020
- $2M buyout for former Lancaster superintendent voided, judge rules – May 2021
- Ousted Lancaster superintendent now working in real estate with former board president who approved his $2 million buyout – Mar 2021
- Lancaster ISD investigation into former superintendent, trustees shared with FBI – Mar 2022
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