Breaking Protocol, Cunningham Edition


The Clear Creek ISD Board of Trustees Team Operating Procedures, Section II E states:

Trustees should direct all questions, requests for information, and requests for meetings with staff to the Superintendent. … Trustees should respect the role of the Superintendent and the need for following Board policy and the proper chain of command. Trustees should refrain from communications with staff that circumvent or undermine the Superintendent’s authority, including, but not limited to, directing staff or soliciting information without the Superintendent’s knowledge and consent.

Now, let’s take a look at this email that Board president James “Jay” Cunningham sent to superintendent Eric Williams – and cc:’d deputy superintendent Paul McLarty on:

Just wanted us to be prepared for the upcoming days/weeks. We knew what was going to happen if the election results didn’t go a certain way. I ask that we are able to respond as I anticipate a replay of last year. Regards, Jay Cunningham CCISD Trustee, District 5

The screenshot that James “Jay” Cunningham attached is of a social media post by another Trustee, Scott Bowen. This post reads:

The district has compiled unofficial results and sent them out to parents. However, I think this is premature. The election administrator is required each day to post a roster of everyone who has voted that day, including received mail in ballots. According to these rosters, which you can download yourself at the election website, 2,365 voters submitted mail in ballots. The unofficial total shows 1,836 ballots counted–a discrepancy of 529 votes, which is 22.4% of the total. I have already sent an email to the election office asking for this discrepancy to be explained and corrected. Obviously, a final canvass cannot be accepted until these missing votes are included in a corrected total.

This post seems reasonable, right? Trustee Bowen is stating that the results from May 7, 2022 were unofficial and that he was inquiring about 529 missing mail-in ballots.

However, James “Jay” Cunningham circumvented the chain of command by cc:’ing Paul McLarty, whose department runs Clear Creek ISD’s elections. James “Jay” Cunningham is reading an awful lot into this post, which merely states the facts. Why is James “Jay” Cunningham so afraid of anyone questioning the status of the mail-in ballots, and the results in general?