The Robstown ISD Board of Trustees voted last week to suspend Superintendent Roberto Garcia with pay and ordered an investigation into multiple allegations of wrongdoing on the part of the superintendent.
The decision to suspend the superintendent was made during a meeting of the board held February 17.
Board member Pablo Avila introduced the motion to suspend Garcia with pay for two weeks, and that motion received a second from board member Robert Tapia.
In his motion, Avila called for an investigation into Garcia's failure to provide quarterly investment reports to the board, his alleged misrepresentation of the fund balance at the end of the last fiscal year, failure to correct audit deficiencies and state compliance issues and "other matters concerning the board."
The motion was passed in a 4-3 vote, with Avila, Tapia, Adolfo Lopez and Richard Gonzalez voting in favor, and Jerry Gonzalez, Eva Orona and Rosendo Espinoza voting against.
Following the meeting, Orona said she was "caught by surprise" by the decision to suspend Garcia.
"It was not necessary to suspend him while the investigation was being conducted. It's almost like saying let's pay someone and give him free time even though the services he provides the district are needed," Orona said. "It's not sending the right message."
Jerry Gonzalez also disagreed with the decision to suspend Garcia, although he said he hoped the investigation would bring "closure" to the disagreements between board members and the superintendent.
"I think this is a personal vendetta against him," Gonzalez said. "I do support the investigation, and I think we'll be OK. I didn't want the investigation, but this is what we need for closure on Dr. Garcia."
Following the meeting, Garcia said he was not concerned about the allegations, and intended to spend his two week suspension visiting family.
"Frankly, I was kind of surprised at what happened. I'm not concerned about the allegations.
"I think the district is financially sound, the scores are all acceptable. We're doing extremely well, our attendance rates are up, we're building new schools. I don't think I have to apologize for a district that's been well run."
The investigation into the alleged wrongdoing is reportedly being conducted by the school district's attorney, John Bell.
Garcia's contract with the district currently runs through June 2011.