When the five majority members of the Round Rock Independent School District controversially voted to reinstate Superintendent Dr. Hafedh Azaiez, they claimed the investigation into domestic assault allegations against him was over. However, new disclosures reveal the criminal investigation of Azaiez continues.
On March 24, by a vote of 5-2, the Round Rock ISD school board reinstated Azaiez as superintendent. He had been under investigation for months for domestic violence. In court filings, Aziez has been accused of assaulting his pregnant mistress and pressuring her to get an abortion.
The board majority justified their decision by claiming they heard from an attorney who spoke with someone at the Travis County District Attorney’s Office that the case was closed.
However, this week, the Travis County Sheriff’s Office informed Texas Scorecard the case in fact remains “an open investigation.”
This was in response to an open records request Texas Scorecard sent to the sheriff in March, seeking communications between trustee Amber Feller and Sgt. William Poole. This was sent after sources alleged Feller had been communicating with Poole in an attempt to retarget the investigation’s focus from Azaiez to his alleged victim.
On April 14, the Sheriff’s Office sent a cost estimate of $108 to compile and deliver the records, indicating that the communications between Feller and Poole are voluminous.
After receiving payment, the Sheriff’s Office reversed course and IS now withholding the communications between Feller and Poole because they “continue to relate to an open investigation.”
This contradicts the statements of trustees Amy Weir and Tiffanie Harrison when they voted to reinstate Azaiez in March. Both alluded to a letter from Azaiez’ defense attorney, Betty Blackwell, claiming that in conversations with both the assistant district attorney and the Sheriff’s Office, the case was “closed” and “no criminal charges would be filed” against Azaiez.
Superintendent Azaiez did not respond to questions regarding the investigation status before publication.
During the March board meeting, trustee Mary Bone referred to Blackwell’s letter as “hearsay” and noted she “was not allowed to verify it” or to have it verified “by [their] attorney.” Both Bone and trustee Danielle Weston voted against reinstating Azaiez.
Texas Scorecard has been covering the months-long saga taking place in Round Rock ISD, which we fully reviewed in a special report and in our exclusive podcast series, Exposed. These include three separate investigations into the district and the Azaiez scandal. Also included are five of the seven school board members facing allegations of covering up the superintendent’s alleged violence as well as weaponizing “censure resolutions” against trustees Bone and Weston, though a district judge intervened and stopped the board from censuring the two trustees last year. The actions of the five-member majority have earned them the moniker “Bad Faith Five” from citizens.
This Thursday, the board will again meet behind closed doors to discuss censuring Bone and Weston with the board’s attorney. Nowhere written is any reconsideration of Azaiez’ status as superintendent, though the board will discuss in closed session with the school attorney a complaint “against the Superintendent and Trustees.”
Texas Scorecard sent media inquiries to every trustee. requesting comment on Azaiez’ case still being open, as well as Dr. David Faltys, who has been assigned to monitor the district for the Texas Education Agency.
“As I said in the 24 Mar 2022 board meeting in open session, ‘for me to reinstate the superintendent would require the willing suspension of disbelief,'” trustee Weston replied.
Dr. Faltys pointed us towards TEA for comment. No one else replied before publication. Should any further responses be received, this article will be updated.
Citizens may read the Travis County sheriff’s complete letter regarding our open records request below.
This article has been updated with Dr. Faltys’ response, which we received the morning of May 18.