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Today's EPISD Board Meeting highlights Level III grievance of demoted ex chief of police Jose Ramos

The EPISD Board Meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 8th, at the SAC in the Raul A. Gonzalez Fine Arts Center.

Ramos was busted all the way down to patrolman status and assigned to Memorial Junior High very soon after the Democratic March Primary. Rampant speculation in the community and confirmation by inside sources on social media holds that superintendent Gilbert Gonzalez took the adverse employment action in retaliation out of the perception of Ramos' preference for incumbent county judge David Saucedo over school board trustee Rudy Bowles. In his demotion letter to Ramos, the Superintendent cited unexplained "best interests of the district" as his reason for the demotion.

Saucedo and Bowles face each other again in a May 22 runoff with early voting starting this coming Monday.

Ramos was busted all the way down to patrolman status and assigned to Memorial Junior High School

Ramos is represented by local trial attorney Claudio Heredia who not too long ago served on the EPISD board of trustees and is familiar with the stacked deck his client faces Tuesday in convincing a board majority to overrule the action taken by Gonzalez.

Heredia will be allotted a limited amount of time in executive session to make a case that the demotion was unwarranted based on Ramos' job performance and evaluations during approximately three years in the law enforcement position for EPISD. Legally the Board does not need to actively engage in discussion with Heredia and can take the easy route out of supporting Gonzalez' decision by not even recording a vote (taking no action) on the matter, which effectively upholds the decision made. They could also affirmatively vote to uphold the Superintendent's decision or highly unlikely take action to reinstate Ramos as chief of police.

One interesting anticipation is whether EPISD legal counsel will advise Bowles to recuse himself from deliberations on the grievance.

Should the Board not reinstate as is expected, Ramos' sole remaining recourse would be to file a lawsuit against the EPISD for the adverse employment action taken against him. In a lawsuit, Heredia would, through depostions under oath, explore the underlying motives of Gonzalez' cited "best interests of the district."

As with any professional employee of the School District, the contract Ramos had states he can be reassigned by the Superintendent (presumably with or without cause). However, labor laws do not allow for adverse employment action to be taken for an illegal reason, which would include Ramos exercising his Constitutionally protected free political speech rights.

Also behind closed doors the Board will consult with EPISD attorney concerning legal issues with current construction contracts and legal issues in the long running litigation filed against MONSA Ltd. This lawsuit has to do with untrue representations made to the District when MONSA sold the land for Armando Cerna Elementary approximately ten years ago. Over the course of time some, if not all of these misrepresentations, have been overcome and the case could be nearing a settled final conclusion.

One last business item of interest in open session is the awarding of a construction contract for locker room improvements at both high school campuses. With a bid of $442,800 Frontera Construction out of Del Rio is being recommended for the job. A committee evaluating the bids noted the price is $73,000 (20%) higher than was originally estimated.


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