By DAVID LOPEZ
In the best interest of transparency, in his own words, Jack Garcia, former SBCISD Director of After School Programs and former mayor of San Benito, decided to speak to the media in an open conference Tuesday, detailing the events leading up to his termination from the school district and his current status.
Garcia received 600 plus pages from SBCISD regarding its reasons for his termination. Nowhere in the five binders containing the reports are the Southwest Airlines tickets mentioned, according to Garcia. The group rate flight tickets were for a group of more than 50 students who were heading to a chess competition in Houston and totaled more than $17,000. According to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nate Carman, Garcia’s purchase of the tickets was unauthorized, leading to Garcia’s eventual termination on March 28.
“My purpose to come forward today is, I’m not sure if all relevant information relating to my case has been filtered off to all board members. I really don’t think all board members have a grasp of what they did. I’ve proved some decision makers couldn’t give a hoot about my livelihood because they’re not affected,” Garcia said.
SBCISD Director of Public Relations Isabel Gonzalez responded to inquiries about Garcia’s status Thursday morning. “Jack Garcia was terminated on Thursday, March 28, 2019. The District cannot comment any further as it is a personnel matter,” she wrote.
Garcia, who had been the after school programs director for 15 years, said he had never had to submit a purchase order for school-related travel such as the Houston chess trip.
Garcia and his attorney, Edward “Tony” Conners, filed a grievance against the school district and are currently between Level II and Level III in the grievance procedure.
In emails and documents provided by Garcia, received through an open records request to the district, Garcia outlined a timeline of events leading up to his termination.