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Frisco ISD Sued By Attor­ney Gen­er­al Ken Pax­ton

The suit alleges the district took part in illegal electioneering

On Feb. 28, 2024, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton initiated legal action against the Frisco Independent School District. The lawsuit alleges illicit electioneering, claiming the district improperly utilized official resources to sway public opinion in support of a specific policy.

According to the lawsuit, as recently as Feb. 27, Frisco ISD's government affairs department allegedly used official resources to advocate for specific policies and political initiatives. Such actions directly violate the Texas Election Code’s prohibition against the use of “state or local funds or other resources of the district to electioneer for or against any candidate, measure or political party.”

“Frisco ISD does not comment on pending litigation,” Frisco ISD told Local Profile when asked about the lawsuit. 

In the legal filing, Superintendent Mike Waldrip and Government Affairs Chairperson Megan DeWolfe, along with board members Dynette Davis, Gopal Ponangi, Rene Archambault, Marvin Lowe, Stephanie Elad, Mark Hill and John Classe, are all listed as defendants. 

In one case, Paxton asserts that DeWolfe utilized public funds from the district, including those allocated for her salary, as well as resources for operating the Frisco ISD Government Affairs Facebook page and/or email systems, for the creation and dissemination of political advertising.

One of the alleged occurrences took place on Feb. 20, 2024, when Frisco ISD posted on Facebook, writing: “Today is the first day of early voting! Public education is always on the ballot, especially during the primaries. The Texas legislature determines public school funding. Last session, proposed legislation that tied public school funding to a voucher program failed, leaving Frisco ISD $90 million behind 2019 funding levels…”

While the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is unable to pursue criminal prosecution for election code violations due to the Texas v. Stephens ruling by the court of criminal appeals, the attorney general himself may seek civil injunctive relief. This allows the OAG to obtain court orders preventing school districts from engaging in unlawful election influence. It's important to note that illegal electioneering constitutes criminal behavior, and though the OAG cannot currently prosecute offenders, they may face criminal charges brought by local authorities.

But Frisco ISD isn’t the only district being sued by the attorney general. Paxton also recently sued Denton ISD for similarly engaging in alleged illegal electioneering via district emails and the AOG is currently investigating other possible violations across the state. 

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