Vargas’s citation issued: State Rep., ex-Brighton attorney represent board president


Special to the NEWS

San Benito Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees President Michael Vargas appeared with a duo of lawyers to his Oct. 31 petition hearing seeking his removal from office.

The petition was filed by concerned San Benito citizens who believe Vargas should be removed from the school board after his July 5 arrest for driving while intoxicated in Harlingen.

The hearing was presided by Retired Judge Manuel Bañales at 107th District Court in Brownsville while the lawyers representing the board president were State Representative Alex Dominguez, a former Cameron County commissioner, and Jose Caso, a lawyer who has been representing Brighton Group, the company assigned by the SBCISD school board to oversee the construction of three major projects of a $40 million bond approved by voters last year.

“(Jose) Caso representing Vargas seems like a conflict of interest because the company Brighton is managing our building projects, $40 million worth,” said Janie Lopez, one of the San Benito residents who filed the petition to remove Vargas. “It doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t know too much about lawyer ethics, but it doesn’t seem right.”

On Monday, Palacios said Caso has not been working for Brighton the past two months.

“He (Caso) doesn’t work for us,” Palacios said. “He formed his own law office and it’s no longer working for Brighton.”

When asked whether Caso representing Vargas will raise any issues after working for Brighton, Palacios said it shouldn’t.

“It’s not weird,” Palacios said. “He’s a licensed attorney and he can take any clients he sees fit. It has nothing to do with me or Brighton Group.”

Palacios added that he has zero business relationship with Caso. Later in the phone conversation, Palacios added that he will sue if the NEWS indicated that Caso works for Brighton.

Editor’s note: This article has been edited for length. To read the full story, click here or make sure to grab a copy of the Nov. 8-14, 2019 issue of the NEWS.

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    • Mama Lou on November 17, 2019 at 12:13 am
    • Reply

    Mr. Vargas is a poor role model and should have man up and apologize for breaking the law and shaming our district and stepped down. Everyone has a right to drink but when you get on a public road and drive a vehicle heavily intoxicated you are putting everyone else’s life in danger. How many times have we lost loved ones because of drunken driving? If he wants to be careless then do it at home and not in public.

    • A LONELY VOICE in the Wilderness on November 14, 2019 at 3:42 pm
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    Again YOUR HIGHNESS has taken it upon themselves to SQUASH YOUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH. We have US soldiers around the world defending our liberties. Yet we see the HIGH AND MIGHT not affording you that right. As educated as this bunch is, Im dumfounded as to WHY? Mr Vargas says that there are other avenues in which to voice your opinion. It’s a SHAME we’ve come to this. Does his EMPLOYERS condone these antics? He rubs elbows with the STATE AND LOCAL POLITICIANS, IM WONDERING IF THEY SHARE THE SAME MINDSETS? If they do, the PUBLIC HAS A RIGHT TO KNOW.

    • Phishing for something on November 7, 2019 at 8:36 pm
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    Now, why would 2 HIGH POWERED LAWYERS be representing a SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT for a small town of 27k people? Because the PROJECT IS WORTH 40 MILLION DOLLARS. Which begs the question. I was under the impression that THE WHOLE BOARD ACTS AS ONE BODY? Vargas off the board ANTICS started when he decided to operate a motor vehicle. Vargas is FIGHTING BACK intensly

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