Fort Worth schools’ attorney is leaving the Tarrant County school district to become the first in-house attorney for the Irving school district.
Bertha Bailey Whatley, Fort Worth schools’ chief legal counsel, will represent the Irving schools superintendent, certain staff members and the board of trustees. Whatley will be paid $141,000 and is expected to start her new job on Jan. 7, Irving schools spokesman Billy Rudolph said.
Whatley joined the Fort Worth school district in March 1998 and is paid $138,000. Her last day on the job is expected to be Dec. 21, Fort Worth schools spokesman Clint Bond said.
Whatley, the lone finalist for the Irving position, was introduced to the Irving school board at a special meeting on Thursday. Trustees did not have to vote on the hire because Whatley is an at-will employee and not under contract, Rudolph said.
Fort Worth schools superintendent Walter Dansby said in a statement that the new position is closer to Whatley's home in Dallas and that he appreciated her years of service.
"Mrs. Whatley has been a valued and respected colleague and we are all saddened by her departure, but wish her only the very best," Dansby's statement said.
According to the Fort Worth school district, Whatley told Fort Worth trustees on Thursday: "I'm appreciative of the many years I've spent working with the board and it's been a wonderful experience."