You Don’t Know Jack: Inside Garcia’s Termination

The Inside Scoop

There are a number of interesting details surrounding the events leading to last week’s termination of Jack Garcia — the now-former San Benito CISD After School Program Director.

To review, Garcia, who had been employed by the district for 22 years — 20 with the afterschool program,16 years as program director, 15 as chess program coordinator, and was once Mayor of San Benito, is the son of the district’s former police chief Santiago Garcia and nephew to current school board trustee ML Garcia, who was the lone dissenter when the school board voted to contract a company named Brighton to oversee the three projects paid for by a $40 million bond voters approved in November of last year.

As background, Brighton is headed by Joseph Palacios, a former Hidalgo County Commissioner who was unseated this past election, and who’s an all-around Hidalgo County political powerhouse who comes from a family of Hidalgo County political powerhouses. Brighton was also a high-paying sponsor of the Superintendent’s charity golf tournament held last weekend at Tierra Santa Golf Club in Weslaco. Brighton was listed a diamond sponsor. Diamond sponsors, according to the tournament’s promotional material, donated $25,000 or more to the event. The event reportedly raised $100,000, said to go towards student scholarships.

On another side note, the tourney was attended by all but one board member (Board Trustee Angel Mendez did not attend) which interestingly constitutes a quorum of the board, but that’s a subject for another column all together.
It’s also interesting to note that after the bond election in November, board president Michael Vargas issued a now infamous and ominous statement via social media, writing, “…Tough leadership means making tough decisions that are not popular to an apparent few; we have overcome that and memories will not run short…” The district and Vargas have made good on that promise.

Vargas, a career educator who’s bounced around from job to job, recently landed a gig as the Pharr Economic Development Corporation (EDC) Public Relations Liaison.


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