Updated on March 4 at 11:40 a.m. to reflect that Worden attended a school board meeting.
KATY (Covering Katy News) – Katy School Board candidate Sean Dolan’s organization A Better Legacy has been very critical of the school district’s background check of former Superintendent Lance Hindt. Now Dolan is being criticized for not running a background check on a convicted sex offender who he admits bringing to the Katy Independent School District’s Education Support Complex.
Dolan downplayed the incident when questioned by Robert Willeby, who supports one of Dolan’s opponents.
“My research on this issue was done before I knew who the candidates were going to be,” Willeby said.
Dolan said he was unaware that Earl David Worden was a convicted sex offender.
“I brought him to a non-secured public area and security effectively sent him out,” Dolan said.
Dolan shrugged off Willeby’s concerns.
“And, what’s the damages?” Dolan asked Willeby.
Worden came to the Katy ESC in December. The ESC is the school district’s administration complex.
Since this article was first published we have also confirmed from three sources that Worden returned that night to the school board meeting and was seen with his GoPro camera strapped to his chest in the boardroom. The boardroom frequently has children and adults present.
Both Willeby and Dolan openly recorded the exchange with their cellphones. Covering Katy reviewed the unedited video provided by Willeby.
It is unclear how long Dolan has known Worden. Willeby says it appears that Worden may have come to the ESC after Dolan posted a message on the A Better Legacy Facebook page requesting a volunteer to “do something at a meeting tonight.” Dolan was referring to a school board meeting.
“You’ll need to be in attendance throughout. You can’t be someone they will recognize,” Dolan wrote. “Completely legal of course,” he added. (See Dolan’s Facebook post below in the supporting documents section.)
Dolan claimed he did not know Worden is a convicted sex offender even though information about his criminal past is easy to find online.
Covering Katy found a great deal of information about the man’s criminal past just by Googling his name. Because Worden is a very controversial figure, numerous people have commented on his criminal record. We used the Harris County criminal court database to confirm the validity of those claims.
Worden Faces Sexual Assault Charges, Again
Worden was convicted in 1998 of aggravated sexual assault, and he was arrested again last week on a charge of sexually assaulting his daughter. That charge came after police reopened a 2002 case. (See the Channel 2 story below.) We have posted a link to the criminal complaint against him below in the supporting documents section. Warning, it is very graphic in nature.
Currently, Worden is free on $50,000 bond on a felony charge of sexual assault of a child under 17 years of age. The Harris County database shows that he posted bond this past weekend.
He’s also been convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm in connection with a case that dates back to 1992. (See the criminal complaint in the Supporting Documents section below.)
Why was Worden at the Katy ISD Education Support Complex?
“He came to do a First Amendment audit of Katy ISD,” Dolan told Willeby.
First Amendment audits are practiced by a controversial segment of activists who use still photography or videography in or around a public building and typically refuse to identify themselves if asked to do so. They typically follow the law while shooting video, but they create concern when they refuse to identify themselves. Sometimes the activists are arrested for not providing identification. When that happens the incident is often videotaped and distributed online. Worden is known for posting his videos on YouTube when they create conflict.
These activists often claim to be journalists, but authentic journalists carry credentials and willingly provide them when asked to do so by law enforcement. In an era of terrorism, it’s not unusual for police to ask for identification when logos are not on equipment or credentials are not in plain sight as video is being taken of a public building.
Dolan also admitted having a meeting with Worden in the parking lot of Tractor Supply on the same day that Worden was asked to leave the Katy ESC. Tractor Supply is next door to the Education Support Complex.
Covering Katy has provided Dolan with several questions. He has not responded.
See supporting documents below.