CISD Superintendent finalist faces controversy

CISD Superintendent finalist faces controversy
Thursday, April 4, 2013 - 10:35pm

Canutillo ISD Superintendent Damon Murphy left, amidst a cheating scandal, but could the school district's search for a new superintendent also be mired in controversy?

The search for a superintendent has come down to three, including one name that stood out: Dr. James Steinhauser. He is the current Assistant Superintendent of Research and Evaluation. His name appeared five times in the Weaver report, a forensic audit of EPISD's cheating scandal.

The report said Steinhauser's department had access to all the numbers that pointed to the cheating in the district, but never detected it in the first place. Wednesday, Steinhauser said he started with EPISD right around the time the investigation began.

NewsChannel Nine learned of another revelation: a possible conflict of interest. Steinhauser's secretary, Leticia Gonzalez is also a board member for CISD.

“We have worked together here for four years and I've always seen her to be professional and competent person," said Steinhauser.

Normally, Gonzalez plays a part in deciding the next superintendent, but not if Steinhauser is involved.

"I am cognizant that if it comes down to a vote involving Dr.Steinhauser, I will have to recuse myself from participating.The board is well aware of my situation and I have refrained from discussion involving Dr. Steinhauser to avoid any conflict," said Gonzalez.

As for Steinhauser, he's staying focused, hoping he can be the next CISD superintendent.

"Education is gonna get much better over the next few years," said Steinhauser.

Canutillo ISD will host a town hall meeting this Saturday at the Canutillo High School Cafeteria.

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