BEAUMONT – A lawsuit filed in Jefferson County over the death of
Dennis Reeves, the Kirbyville High School principal who committed
suicide two years ago, will be transferred to Jasper County.
On May 23, 2017, Reeves was found dead in his pickup shortly after being forced to resign from his job.
Reeves’ supervisor had confronted him about allegations that he had
sexually harassed a subordinate employee and was offered the
opportunity to resign in lieu of an investigation, according to court
On July 2, Kirbyville CISD filed a petition for writ of mandamus
with the Ninth Court of Appeals, questioning whether Judge Justin
Sanderson, 60th District Court, abused his discretion by failing to
transfer the case to Jasper County – the venue where the district is
The writ also questioned whether Judge Sanderson had the discretion
to continue the district’s plea to the jurisdiction and order discovery
not limited to any particular jurisdictional fact issues.
On Aug. 8, the Ninth Court found Judge Sanderson “clearly” abused his discretion by denying the motion to transfer.
Paul “Chip” Ferguson, who is representing the plaintiffs, says the
opinion “merely changes the battlefield” and the he and his team will
continue the fight in Jasper County.
“For more than two years, Tammy Reeves and her family have
soldiered on in their quest for answers,” Ferguson said. “At every turn,
KCISD has erected roadblocks to that search for the truth. I hope that
today’s ruling does not signal that KCISD has a willing partner in such
Ferguson believes the citizens and taxpayers of Kirbyville are entitled to answers regarding their public schools.
“We are striking the match to light the candle to shed light on
this tragic situation,” Ferguson said. “It is even more tragic that all
KCISD can do is slither behind us to blow each candle out.”
Kirbyville CISD is represented by Sara Leon & Associates.
Jefferson County case No. B-203433
Appeals case No. 09-19-00209-CV