SBCISD Board President Arrested on DWI Charge

Mugshot of Michael Anthony Vargas, provided by the Harlingen Police Department.


Special to the NEWS

Nearly two months after being re-elected president of the San Benito Consolidated Board of Trustees, Michael A. Vargas was arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated in Harlingen.

A police report obtained by the News indicates that Vargas, 32, was found “sleeping behind the wheel of a black passenger vehicle,” around 2 a.m. July 5.

The incident occurred along the 1500 block of N. Ed Carey St. Apparently, someone called the police in reference to an alleged intoxicated driver.

The reporting officer made contact with Vargas, who displayed red bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, according to documents obtained from the Harlingen Police Department.

The arresting officer, according to the police report, later asked him whether he was willing to perform a standardized field sobriety test, but Vargas refused.

“The male subject was deemed operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated,” the officer wrote in his report.

In an email on Tuesday, SBCISD Public Relations Director Isabel Gonzalez confirmed Vargas’s arrest.

“District administrators were recently informed by San Benito CISD Board President Michael A. Vargas of his July 5, 2019, arrest,” the email reads. “The Harlingen Police Department arrested Mr. Vargas on an alleged DWI (driving while intoxicated) ‘B’ charge.”

When asked about the school district policy in this kind of situation, Gonzalez said in the email that current district policies can be found on the “Board Policy Manual” webpage,

If it is true, some school board members believe Vargas should be removed from office. Not one board member wished to go on record, however.

After checking board policies online, the News found that a board member may be removed from office for intoxication on or off duty caused by drinking an alcoholic beverage, but not if it was caused by drinking an alcoholic beverage on the direction and prescription of a licensed physician.

Another removal action includes conviction of a board member by a jury for any felony or for misdemeanor official misconduct. The conviction of a public officer by a jury for any felony or for a misdemeanor involving official misconduct operates as an immediate removal from office of that officer, the school policy reads.

Other actions for removal includes “incompetency,” which means gross ignorance of official duties; gross carelessness in the discharge of those duties; or unfitness or inability to promptly and properly discharge official duties because of a serious physical or mental defect that did not exist at the time of the election.

In addition, “official misconduct,” which means intentional, unlawful behavior relating to official duties by a board member entrusted with the administration of justice or the execution of the law also could be an action for ejection. The policy says the term includes an intentional or corrupt failure, refusal, or neglect of a board member to perform a duty imposed on the board member by law.

Vargas made headlines back in April 2018 when Lydia Hernandez, an Arizona resident, filed a police report against Vargas at a conference in San Antonio.

Vargas allegedly harassed a fellow MASBA board member before throwing a glass filled with water at Hernandez. The police report states that Vargas told officers at the time that he did not remember  the events due to being, “Highly intoxicated.”

The News reached out to Vargas following the SBCISD regular board meeting Tuesday night, July 16. “All questions should be directed to my attorney Dan Sanchez,” Vargas said. 

Superintendent Nate Carman replied to questions from the News saying, “It’s not for me to comment.” 


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    • David on July 28, 2019 at 2:07 pm
    • Reply

    Another valley dirt bag living off the public. Prison would be a good ace.

    • Adam on July 17, 2019 at 10:53 am
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    He’s guilty hiring dan Sanchez as his attorney who is known for his shady deals confirms Vargas is looking to pay for shady court process-hearing EVERYONE WRITE LETTERS OR CALL THE JUDGE AND MAKE HE/SHE AWARE OF VARGAS. he needs to pay for all he’s done and gotten away with! Vargas has no business being around students or having a seat at school board meeting what a disgrace of human who won’t resign makes you think how shady San Benito CISD really is!

    • Connie Gonzalez on July 17, 2019 at 10:48 am
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    That’s SBCISD for you! If you are not a brown-noser …..out you go. Very sad that the district is runned by incompetent people and the hard working people are pushed out! Sad ..but just wait for Karma!

    • Cram It on July 16, 2019 at 10:01 pm
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    It sounds like San Benito News has an agenda against Mr. Vargas.

    Must be a slow news day for Karma and those that weren’t renewed.

      • Fly on the Wall on July 16, 2019 at 10:25 pm
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      It’s called letting the public aware especially the people who pay high taxes (property, water) and those who have children that attend the “Gold Standard” schools in your Que Bonito San Benito.. Resaca City. .. you Cram It should be one of those brown-noser employee!.

    • Observant on July 16, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    Lol Karma!.. is circling just when school is about to start.. for those principals who unjustly didn’t renew contracts or made people leave their jobs….without due process.. Karma is Real!

      • Ricardo on July 17, 2019 at 5:13 am
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      You guys forgot to mention the most important part: Mr. Vargas was on his way to Area 51 to be a part of the storm to see them aliens. He was scheduled to be a Naruto runner on account of the fact that he can’t throw rocks very far. The aliens saw the immense threat he posed, so they abducted him and examined, probed, and intoxicated him before releasing him. Look at the mugshot: that is the face of a man pumped full of alien hallucinogens, and possibly alien eggs. This man deserves a medal and a warm meal for what he’s been through. Of course, you won’t see the newspapers reporting on this critical detail.

        • Fly on the Wall on July 17, 2019 at 6:07 am
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        Lol…that is crazy… he looks like he was still asleep or thought people wouldn’t recognize him if he closed his eyes.. he will claim it’s all fake news and that he was set up by HPD.. at least it didn’t happened in his hometown.. they would prob cover it up. ..the Resaca City. But all jokes aside, thank God he didn’t hurt anyone driving intoxicated behind the wheel. That is what most important..I hope people don’t quickly go to his defense.. HE was Drunk..and yet refused to get tested…drunk yet aware not to be tested. Imagine if he hurt another person.

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