U.S. school accused of election interference, probe demanded

 April 1, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Legal experts at the Liberty Justice Center have written to the prosecuting attorney in Harris County, Texas, calling for an investigation of a school district for election interference.

The letter to District Attorney Kim Ogg in Houston explains that voter affidavits accuse the superintendent of "a misdemeanor" violation of the state election code prohibition on "using public resources for political advertising."

The charged violation concerns the 2024 primary and general elections for the Texas Legislature and a school bond initiative.

The letter explains:

On March 1, the Texas Attorney General filed a Petition in the District Court of Harris County seeking injunctive relief against the District, its trustees, and Superintendent Benny Soileau (the “Petition”). The Petition alleges that Superintendent Soileau held a February 7, 2024 meeting on school grounds during which he directed Hargrave High School Administration faculty and staff to support candidates who oppose the expansion of school choice initiatives in Texas.

The legal team said the state allows, "If two or more registered voters of the territory covered by an election present affidavits alleging criminal conduct in connection with the election to the county or district attorney having jurisdiction in that territory, the county or district attorney shall investigate the allegations."

The evidence includes an image of an email from the principal of Hargrave High ordering "ALL staff" to attend the political meeting.

"The affiants also allege a similar use of District resources in August of 2023 to electioneer in favor of Huffman Independent School District Proposition A, a November 2023 bond initiative. During that meeting, Superintendent Soileau allegedly directed the participants to vote in favor of the bond, explaining that he would award raises if the election results were favorable."

Liberty Justice reported that it recently proposed a similar investigation in Denton County.

Then "registered voters in Harris County contacted LJC with a similar story of corruption in their own school district," so it has submitted a demand in that county as well.

The organization reported Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also has been involved, filing a petition making allegations against the Huffman district.

"The Liberty Justice Center’s demand letter to the Harris County District Attorney argues that these uses of public resources for political advertising constitute illegal electioneering, which is a misdemeanor under the Texas Election Code. The affidavits enclosed with the letter require the District Attorney to initiate a criminal investigation," Liberty Justice said.

"Officials at the Huffman Independent School District illegally used school resources to pressure their employees to oppose school choice candidates," said Dean McGee, of Liberty Justice. "They violated state law—and voters’ trust—by abusing their positions of authority. We are proud to stand with Harris County voters demanding a criminal investigation by the District Attorney."

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