WEB EXCLUSIVE: Board reinstates Limón; search for new superintendent to begin

(Staff photo by Francisco E. Jimenez) San Benito CISD Superintendent of Schools Antonio G. Limón is seen Monday shaking hands with members of the SBCISD Board of Trustees, Oscar Medrano and Arnold Padilla, after he was reinstated following a year-long suspension and investigation.

(Staff photo by Francisco E. Jimenez)
San Benito CISD Superintendent of Schools Antonio G. Limón (right) is seen Monday shaking hands with members of the SBCISD Board of Trustees, Oscar Medrano and Arnold Padilla, after he was reinstated from a year-long suspension and investigation.

Staff Writer

The San Benito CISD Board of Trustees approved the reinstatement of Superintendent of Schools Antonio G. Limón after two hours of closed session talks on Monday, May 26.

The Board also voted to enlist a firm to search for a new superintendent, at which point Limón will leave the superintendency to serve the school district’s Human Resources department.

Trustees met the morning of Memorial Day at the SBCISD John F. Barron Administration Building for a special meeting, which continued the talks that began at a regular meeting Wednesday, May 21. It was on May 21 when the Board discussed Limón’s suspension and the subsequent investigation into the superintendent for four hours before reconvening in open session to take no action in lieu of further consideration.

At Monday’s meeting, the trustees voted 5-2 to reinstate Limón effective June 5. Board Members Yliana González and Fatima Huerta represented the opposing vote while Board President Arnold Padilla, Vice President Hector Leal, Secretary Oscar Medrano and fellow trustees Anna Cruz and Angel Mendez approved the superintendent’s reinstatement.

Interim Superintendent Dr. Ismael Cantu, who has led the school district since his predecessor, Alfonso Obregón’s contract expired in November 2013, will remain in said capacity following a 10-day period.

“At this point, our current superintendent has a 10-day exiting clause,” Padilla said after the meeting on Monday. “We’ve given Dr. Cantu the opportunity to work those 10 days. He’s been officially notified today that his 10-day notice has been called. June 5 will be the effective day.”

The board members were in executive session for just over two hours before coming to a decision. A few members of the community spent their Memorial Day awaiting the decision, including Limón, who was also present at the May 21 meeting.

“My family and I thank God that the outcome has been reinstatement,” Limón said after the Board voted to reinstate him on Monday. “I look forward for a joint press release coming out from both parties basically stating that the investigation is completed with no adverse findings. We’ll wait to discuss the rest of the terms of the settlement once those have been signed, but I’m very happy to have been reinstated as superintendent and continuing so until the time that the settlement calls for.”

Limón said that part of his settlement includes his return to the superintendency and remaining there until the Board selects a new superintendent.

“Our public relations officer will be putting out a statement for the district,” Padilla said. “I think the trustees are happy with the decision made. We’re ready to move this district forward and keep things moving in a positive direction. The other issue is that we took action to solicit for a firm to hire a new superintendent. We look forward to that new opportunity.”

It was on May 23, 2013 that Limón was suspended with pay in a motion approved by González, Huerta and former members June Aguilera and Julian Huerta.  A near year-long investigation into more than 60 allegations against Limón ensued and was conducted by Guerra and Farah PLLC at an hourly rate of $150. The probe in question incurred the district over $20,000 as well as payment to Obregón and Cantu – the former was being paid $717 per day, which was based on Limón’s $165,303 yearly salary, while the latter made a daily amount of $550.

“It’s been a year of getting closer to God,” Limón said. “It’s been a year of wondering what the future holds. It’s been a year of being with my family and going through the stresses and the pressure associated with the stigma of being suspended and knowing perfectly well that nothing was done to deserve that. I thank God that in the end, everything has come out OK.”

When asked about what his future holds following his reinstatement, Limón said, “[Now] we move forward with the district, trying to get everything ready for the upcoming school year. We need to get everything prepared, look at our budgets, look at our staffing, look at all the things that we need to do, and at the same time get ready to transition for when a new superintendent does come in.”

For the rest of the story on the reinstatement of San Benito CISD Superintendent of Schools Antonio G. Limón, including information regarding the findings of his investigation as well as additional coverage, pick up a copy of the May 28 edition of the San Benito News or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.sbnewspaper.com/2014/05/26/web-exclusive-board-reinstates-limon-search-for-new-superintendent-to-begin/


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  1. It’s a sad day when we the taxpayers of San Benito can not see the investigation we paid for. Mr.Limon has always seem to get his way but this was extremely obvious the board had an agenda. Once again, I was right, our school district is in shambles and the fearless leader is back with his team ( The board). It’s now a 5-2 majority how interesting at the same time sad at the way our district has turned out to be. In addition, I want to see how the board coalition will handle the millions of dollars mistake Mr.Limon and his admistration made the past few years. By the way, The coalition new about these major financial issues before reinstating Limon and he got a 2 year contract..
    Something needs to be done fast before the coalition destroys the little district we have left. Can’t the FBI,DA or TEA come in an see what is going on in our district.. We are tired of the nonsense and agenda this board members display a few weeks into their term… I have to admit I voted STUPID!!! Like the saying goes” becareful what you ask for because you might get it” we the people of San Benito are leaving it.. Sorry children for the mistake we made..

    • Phil on June 4, 2014 at 12:00 pm
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    Good point.

    • Zeke V. on May 31, 2014 at 9:33 pm
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    Who is doing the supt. Search and how long is it suppose to take? Yet again more money wasted that belong to our precious children.
    I thought this board was about saving money that is why I voted for them.

      • The Negotiator on June 3, 2014 at 2:08 pm
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      My question exactly. Why do we need to hire someone to look for a new superintendent? I thought that our new school board would make the effort to do the job they were elected to do. If it’s not their job, then get the person responsible that does this, and have them do their job. We the taxpayers are tired of footing the bill for a job that can be done by the employees, administrators, board members, or whom ever’s job it is to do the hiring. Spending that has no merit is just plain out wasteful. I’m not being negative or trying to put anyone down, but if our school district is going to move forward, we need to start prioritizing our spending. Education should be the first thing on the boards agenda. If we keep spending like this, the one’s who are going to suffer are our children, teachers, and the rest of the personnel.

      • Agreed on June 3, 2014 at 4:11 pm
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      I couldn’t agree with you more. All the ranting and raving that was done complaining about the previous 4 majority spending taxpayers money and all is ridiiculous because the new board is doing just the same. I am now beginning to realize I voted for the wrong people-they are just as ignorant as they claimed the other 4 were. What is the education of the current 4? All that was stated before is that the previous 4 were uneducated and couldnt pick a coach and yada yada yada, now these 4 have also proven to do the same. If these 4 are so qualified to be on the board then I would think they can select a superintendent themselves or put a committee to select someone.
      I was not for the previous 4 by no means, but beginning to realize these 4 are under the same category.

        • Someone Show Me the MONEY on June 3, 2014 at 10:40 pm
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        First, they spent money on having Mr. Limon stay home for a year $165,000, then they hired two interim supt. $over 100,000 then they paid the head football coach to stay home $45,000, then they paid a consulting firm at $10,000 to hire the head coach, NOW they want to hire a Superintendent Search Firm..$$$$$. while the paid Mr. Limon $165,000 to leave when he is ready to leave…. when will the spending stop!
        Looks like the same old thing is going to continue for the next year…. I had hoped for better decisions by these elected officials… very very sad.

          • Garmin on June 4, 2014 at 7:52 am
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          It’s common sense…

          Everything Yliana, assisted by Chuy and their puppets, did against Limon was wrong. With that taken into consideration, it is cheaper to keep Limon on board, reassigned, and paid for the next two years than it is to let him go and have him sue the school district and the board individuals.

          Hiring a firm to avoid personal/political favoritism (and those who allege it) and putting the “CYA” philosophy into play is reason enough to pay an outside firm to go about the hiring process of a new superintendent. Never-ending unsatisfied people such as the many comment-ers on this website are another reason why. God forbid the district went about doing the hiring process and then hired someone – only to have that hiring questioned endlessly throughout the term of their position day in and day out (for every comment, move, action, meeting, etc done by the superintendent).

          The itching and barking will always exist. But it’s common sense as to why the district is doing this.

            • The Negotiator on June 4, 2014 at 4:29 pm
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            I’m sorry I have to disagree, but the newly elected board can hire a new superintendent regardless of any hear-say. What you are forgetting is a little word called “accountability” for the decisions the board makes. What you are saying is, let someone else do the board’s job so in case the new superintendent does a bad job they can point the finger elsewhere; of course if the new superintendent does good, they can pat themselves on the back and say good job? The school boards main responsibility is being accountable for hiring the superintendent and no one else as far as employees go for the district. You are correct, you can’t always keep everyone happy, but the board has to make hard decisions that are for the greater good. I don’t know about you, but as a taxpayer (I’m sure other citizens feel the same) are all tired of all this misspending. You also say Mr. Limon will sue the district if we don’t keep him? What can he sue for? With all due respect, the superintendent is at the boards disposition, so whether it was right or wrong, they can move him where ever they feel he’s needed just like any other employee of the district, and at the end of the day he was being paid to stay home. I just hope that he won’t be another school district employee that is a position with an inflated salary. I mean no disrespect to anyone, but it’s about making the right decisions for the district, and not worrying about who you are going to offend because of those decisions.

    • Rosalinda G. Garcia on May 30, 2014 at 9:42 pm
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    To: Robert and Here We Go Again.

    Exactly! as per paragraph 2 on this article. Mr. Limon has been re-instated and will only be superintendent until one is hired! I heard it right at board meeting and read it right in SB News; but some people have to add to the story!!!

    To: OMG and TBT

    I have never stated that Mr. Limon is or is not the greatest superintendent to be in SBCISD, What I am glad about is that the allegations were reviewed and he was re-instated. Mr. Limon has put in a lot of years in education and glad that he can retire with honor when the time comes for him.

    The current school board apparently settled on him moving on to Human Resource office when a new superintendent is selected. I support the current school board decision.

    And as far as me stating that I support the current school board. So what! Who am I! I am not any better than anyone else, we just have different views OMG and TBT.

    Let’s insist that things are done right in SBCISD. Hope more persons speak up like those teachers from Miller Jordan. I am anticipating that we are going to move in the right direction. It’s going to take a lot of effort and support from the board, educators, and community.

    Thank you for reading my BLOG.

      • ENOUGH on May 30, 2014 at 10:54 pm
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      I enjoy reading your blog but you are right about one thing IT IS GOING TO TAKE ALOT OF EFFORT but from BOTH SIDEs/if we continue bashing each other our community will not move forward. I wish them all luck because it is time for All this to end and put our district on top.

      • Henry on June 6, 2014 at 5:33 pm
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      To: Rosalinda, there was an agreement between the school district and Mr. Limon, when an agreement is made it does not mean he did not do anything wrong, it simply means there will be no bad things said about him IF he moves to HR instead of remaining superintendent until he retires. Essentially, whether he keeps his salary or not, he was DEMOTED without much fanfare about it. There is no honor there.

      It was evident that he was a good teacher and principal but somewhere along the line he let his position go to his head and failed at making sound decisions that would help students excel in their education. I understand that some people want to make him out to be this extra-ordinary individual who has made a difference but if you really look at how the school district has done since he has taking the helm, it truly defines who he is as a leader. While sports do exceptionally well, not all students are receiving the appropriate education they should be.

      And now as HR, what will he do, how much more damage will he do with his less than desirable administrative knowledge into certifications, background checks, state and federal laws and implementation of them vs hiring friends and friends of family, which we all know that there are a couple of families that are all hired at the district and some don’t even have the credentials for the positions they are hired for. But the school board backs him up, so that makes them just as guilty for the district being in the same situation year after year. Take Oscar Medrano, he said in his election slogan “he cares, he listens” but he just sits there and does nothing to better the district and only serves to back up what Limon says and does.

      In reality, if Mr. Limon really wanted to help the district, he would have retired and allowed someone else to lead the district instead of being selfish and thinking only of himself and his pride. And the school board would do what is best for the school district and not for their friend, Mr. Limon.

    • Here we go again V2 on May 30, 2014 at 7:43 pm
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    “He’s only coming back as super till January and then placed in another position with the same pay as super????”

    The article says nothing about his salary…so you go again and read!

    Those 2 who are up in MAY 2015 should be held accountable for WASTING our CHILDREN’s MONEY….

    Thank goodness the VOTERS have SPOKEN in San Benito!

    • Here we go again on May 30, 2014 at 12:09 pm
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    Yes, here we go again with people who don’t read. Look at this article, para 2.

    • Robert on May 29, 2014 at 4:51 pm
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    Who said he was only going to be supt until January and that he gets to keep his salary?
    Sounds like someone or some people are talking that should not be.
    Here we go again

    • Vendettas / SELENA on May 29, 2014 at 4:27 pm
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    My my girl-friend talk about issues, seems like you have quite a few with money matters. It is not only your
    taxpayers money, but you sure do like to talk about it. Tell us something we don’t already know. Since u do seem to be the sharpest tool in the shed. Oh and how quickly you forgot your own words, ( at least they have a paycheck) LOL. Whether they are in LAS VEGAS or SAN BENE a check, is a check, is a check. Now whether they are transferred, or on leave, or sitting on thier butts it is still their money. Whether they are educators, coaches or police chiefs, again sharp tool try to tell us something we DON’T already know.

    • Griff on May 29, 2014 at 4:13 pm
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    BLAME OBAMA…!!!!!

    • OH BOY on May 29, 2014 at 10:04 am
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    • TBT on May 29, 2014 at 9:03 am
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    The irony. How can the people who proclaimed that the previous majority (June, Jukian, Yliana, and Fatima) were spending tax payers money be shouting with joy over LImon’s come back? He’s only coming back as super till January and then placed in another position with the same pay as super???? How is that saving $$$
    There mujst have been some findings that allowed him to come back as super only till January 2015.
    Thats roughly 8 months away Rosalinda and your gang. Stop parading around like you have been victorious.

    Again, how can moving him to a position with less responbilities and same pay as super be saving money?

    • OMG on May 28, 2014 at 2:02 pm
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    Why do you treat these individuals “Limon and Medrano” like they are movie stars. Roll out the red carpet-I am sure you will be the one rolling it out. Have some dignity-its great to campaign for the candidates you believe are the best qualified and the VOTERS did chose this election; and that is great for our district because we need to move forward but come on lady your “cheers” do get annoying… As for Mr. Limon, you want to talk about a witch hunt-I am sure he has been given his list” and checking it twice and gonna find out who has been naughty or nice because “MR. LIMON IS BACK IN TOWN”- Mr. Limon, please do what you think is right and not what others think you should do, you are a smart man and I believe good things will come to our district in time.

    Good Luck again to our board and especially our district.

      • WeThePeople on May 29, 2014 at 9:16 am
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      Compared to the BoBos just thrown out…they ARE rock stars!!

    • Selena on May 27, 2014 at 9:13 pm
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    Wow! No one is surprised! I don’t think anyone really doubted Mr. Limon’s innocence. Even the people hired by Ms. Yliana didn’t find any truth to her 60 some allegations. Ms. Yilana should shell out some big bucks in court. Why are we paying Mr. Ismael Cantu over five thousand dollars to sit around until June 5? There is a total misconception that SBCISD is filthy rich and most people here don’t make five thousand dollars in two months.

    Why are we paying a coach to stay home? Why are we paying a police chief to be on vacation?

    Ms. Yliana , you seem to try to hurt people, but you are not the sharpest tool in the shed if you are paying people to enjoy Las Vegas.

    I wish we the taxpayer could hold you, accountable to pay these salaries or lawsuits with your own money.

    • Rosalinda G. Garcia on May 27, 2014 at 8:04 pm
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    The SBCISD board members reviewed the attnys final investigative report $$$ and threw it out the window so to speak!!! The investigation that began a year ago with then president stating that an investigation had been filed with the cameron county district attnys office. The district attnys office reply to that was that no investigation was on file with them or ever received from SBCISD regarding Mr. Limon.

    Roll out the red carpet on June 5th for Mr. Limon! Glad to hear that the five board members voted to re-instate him.

    Que Bien!

      • WeThePeople on May 27, 2014 at 11:56 pm
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      I agree with you Rosalinda and your estimations of things except for one detail…this was never an investigation..it was a witch-hunt from the word go!
      There should be a DA or State investigation into the people behind this waste of valuable of school district resources.

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