By FREDDY JIMENEZ
Special to the NEWS
Former After School Program Director Jack L. Garcia has filed candidacy for the San Benito Consolidated
Independent School District Board of Trustees, Place 4 seat.
Wednesday afternoon, via a Facebook post, Garcia announced his candidacy, saying, “Family and friends, after much consideration, I have decided to give back to San Benito CISD.”
Along with a picture of Garcia signing what appears to be candidacy filing forms, the post continued, “I have many cherished memories and with your help I will continue to gain new ones! I have officially filed as a candidate for San Benito CISD Board of Trustees, Place 4.”
That seat is currently held by incumbent Orlando “Papas” Lopez.
Garcia made headlines March 2018 after he was fired for alleged mishandling of school district funds regarding the purchase of plane tickets for a chess team competition to Houston. Later in August, as a result of firing Garcia, the school district came under investigation for allegedly misleading the Visa credit card company, attempting to receive a refund on a non-refundable purchase.
The press release Garcia provided to the NEWS lists several grievances the former director and other staff allegedly faced, such as: “Employees harassed not to speak to current board members… Having district employees sign non-disclosure agreements… Alleged violation of the Open Meeting Act by discussing an item not on the board agenda relating to district personnel.”
“A part of what I went through, my ordeal last year, did affect my decision to run. I don’t want any employee to go through what I went through,” said Garcia.
As for the direction the school board is moving towards, Garcia said he believes leaders are supposed to be accountable to the community they’re representing and feels that is not currently the case.
Referencing Lopez directly, Garcia said, “I respect Lopez, and I don’t agree with him in the direction the district is going. I don’t like the way things have been handled. A lot of things need to change, and I’m going to give the community a choice on a direction. I want to bring my leadership to the table.”
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 Jan. 17-23, 2020 issue of the NEWS.