By J. NOEL ESPINOZA
Special to the News
After 14 years with the San Benito School District, district officials last week placed After School Program Director Jack Garcia on administrative leave, with pay.
According to attorneys for Garcia, it was supposed to be a trip to a chess competition in Houston similar to previous years until SBCISD Superintendent Dr. Nate Carman allegedly changed the itinerary to reach the city where the event is scheduled to happen.
According to Edward A. (Tony) Conners, an Austin lawyer representing Garcia, the administrator has been coordinating the trip for many years using a credit card issued under his name, but with authorization to make expenditures for school district activities.
Conners said Garcia, who is also the district chess coordinator, paid, by way of credit card, about $17,000 to purchase a group rate flight through Southwest Airlines to take about 50-plus students (K-12) to Houston for a chess competition to be held in March. However, he said Carman instructed Garcia to cancel the flight, lease buses, and reimburse the school district the non-refundable money spent on the flight.
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