Friday, June 23, 2006

More on La Joya ISD

Rio Grande Valley media outlets follow up on the La Joya schools superintendent's paid suspension (the best kind for public employees, but not for taxpayers), which board members OK'd on Wednesday:
  • Filomena Leo's lawyer tells The Monitor that the board pulled her for "political motives." However, board secretary J.A. "Fito" Salinas says members question her competency and her qualifications. Trustees plan to hire an independent lawyer to conduct an investigation.
  • The superintendent herself tells Newschannel 5 that she had no idea the suspension was coming. Of course, if you take a look at the agenda for Wednesday's board meeting (which was posted June 15), you can see Filomena Leo's signature at the end of the agenda. That document mentions deliberation and action on "Job Duties, Performance, Responsibilities, Assignment of Superintendent," so if she got blindsided, I do have to wonder whether she should be in charge of a school district.
  • The board votes 6-1 to suspend Leo, Channel 4 reports. Leo again says, "I was not given any formal notice of any kind from the board president or the board of trustees." Except for that whole meeting agenda thing.
Also, please note: when I gave props to the blog Rio Grande Valley Politics for breaking the story of Leo's suspension, I unintentionally slighted The Paper of South Texas.

This publication (which I freelance for) first reported the questions about the school district's insurance contract and the fact that La Joya ISD is a quarter-million bucks behind in its insurance payments. It's for these and other reasons that the board is upset with Leo's performance, and it's The Paper that brought them to light.


Blogger Fair & Balanced said...

Hello Mack Harrison. I have one simple question for you. Are you objective?

10:34 AM  
Blogger pugsley dibrute said...

Is Fenomenal(sic intentional) Leo related to the same billy leo who was kicked out of hidalgo county "politics" not too long ago? The same part of the Hidalgo 12 group from a while back of the kickback-schemers? Anyone? She sure learned from the best , if so, huh? RRRatas!

1:29 PM  
Blogger Truth Be Told said...

Wow Mr. Harrisson for being in San Antonio you still like to involve yourself in local politics, and you do it with incorrect facts. Let's see if I can help you there:
- Her Lawyer didn't say he "pulled"(your words) her for political motives. The lawyer "hinted" at that and then again those were the monitor words. Although it is obvious that it was done for political reasons I just want to correct you on your misuse of quotations there. And there is nothing to question on her competency and qualifications. Her competency is proven by the fact that she serves on numerous boards with various superintendents throughout the valley (appointed by fellow superintendents) and received an excellent evaluation by the board at the end of her previous contract. This led them to extending her contract another three years. As for her qualifications she has all the qualifications needed for her position including a superintendent’s certificate.
- As for her not knowing of her suspension, yes that is correct. So once again sir you are incorrect. The assumption was that they were going to review her contract and discuss possible actions. This was evident in that boardroom that day as I heard various people talking about what was going to occur concerning that item of the agenda. The last thing anybody expected was this end result. Again, the assumption was that they were going to review her contract and discuss possible actions. So yes sir she was not aware that this was going to occur. I do not blame her as she did nothing wrong and had no reason to think they would go to that extent!
-Thirdly, a 6-1 vote! Wrong again there, although that is not your fault since channel 4 fouled that one up. You notice that channel 5 did not say that and that The Monitor said: "The vote to remove her was held during executive session, barring members from sharing the tally of who voted for her suspension (emphasis mine)." Parliamentary procedure according to Robert’s Rules of Order does not allow for a tally of votes unless a point of order calling for a roll call was issued. No such motion was made; therefore, no tally of votes is documented on official records. So, sorry bud, wrong again!
- Lastly, The Paper is not a real publication. It is closer to a National Enquirer, and those types of publications are called tabloids! So that is not a source I would be proud to acknowledge. And I mean no insult towards your freelance work, but The Paper is far from a balanced publication.

9:33 PM  
Blogger Valley Politico said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:50 AM  
Blogger Valley Politico said...

Truth be Told: Ms. Leo doesn't have a Superintendent's Certificate, she has a temporary one until 2008.

8:52 AM  
Blogger Truth Be Told said...

I apologize for my misuse of words earlier. I did mean to say temporary certificate. She still has the credentials necessary for her job, which negates Fito Salinas comments on her not having the qualifications for her job. We all know that is not a reason for her temporary removal. But why would he go ahead and publicly say that. “Among those, he said, are concerns about her qualifications. During election season, Salinas...often criticized Leo for lacking a superintendent’s certification.”(The Monitor) This just adds fuel to speculation that it was political. And then again maybe he didn't know she has a temporary certificate. If that is so then it shows his own lack of knowledge for the position he serves. It is his responsibility to check on that kind of information before making that statement. If anything it shows he doesn't care and just wants to get rid of her. This is a board who made a decision a long time ago and refused to back down from it. This is without a doubt political.

5:11 PM  
Blogger behind scenes said...

Well truth be told, you are right that The Paper is a tabloid. But tabloid's by definitiopn are not like the "National Enquirer". In fact, as newspapers more and more fall to politcal and economic pressure (think here of NBC firing Dan Rather for telling a story about our president that had been reported before worldwide), independent newspapers like The Paper are sort of the last stand for freedom of the press. One of Texas' best independent mediiums is a tabloid - or actually a little smaller than a tabloid, but the idea is the same -- The Texas Observer, which helped launch the careers of Molly Ivins and Larry King. Saying that The Paper is like the Enquirer is as easy as saying that La joya ISD is a not a school district, but a petty political fiefdom. Well ... THAT is actually true.

3:30 PM  
Blogger pugsley dibrute said...

CBS fired Dan Blather not NBC. And the TANG story has long been proven bogus. Even Ray Charles could see THAT! Hell, its a given that Dannyboy is an ultra limousine liberal. Not that I kiss the ass of George Bush but I expect that a top national "reporter" of Dan rathers' "stature" could at least tell the truth or at least tell a better story, he was ordered to file. Oh well. Thats just my two cents.

8:19 PM  

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