DONNA, Texas — The history of corruption in this community’s school board appears to continue with what some are calling two politically motivated arrests.
As Breitbart Texas previously reported, Donna ISD Police Chief Roy Padilla personally handled an investigation targeting the man who had fired him in the past and had moved to fire him again the school superintendent Jesus Rene Reyna.
Padilla arrested Reyna earlier this week and most recently went after one of Reyna’s Supporters School Board Member Ernesto Lugo accusing both men of bribery and retaliation.
According to the criminal complaint obtained by Breitbart Texas, Padilla and his investigators claim that Lugo contacted him telling him that Reyna was going to move to have the chief and two of his investigators fired for investigating him in relation to insurance fraud. Padilla claims that Reyna and Lugo spoke with him and he asked to be given mileage reimbursement for using his personal vehicle during work hours as an inducement to make the case go away.
The criminal complaint raises some credibility questions. Padilla is the one claiming retaliation for him and his men. Yet, rather than seek an outside agency to look into the matter, his department is the only agency listed in the court records. Padilla is also the brother of Jose Padilla, a former Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Commander who is currently in prison for taking bribes from a Mexican drug lord.
Another questionable incident in the case deals with the presence of a local news outlet at the Donna ISD office before Padilla arrived to arrest Reyna pointing to a possible leak in an effort to draw media attention to the case.
As Breitbart Texas previously reported, a faction of the school board led by president Albert Sandoval, which is at odd with Reyna and Lugo, has been tied to a series of questionable activities such as the hiring of a man previously convicted of money laundering for drug traffickers as the school attorney at a salary of $300,000 a year.
Since taking over the school board Sandoval has managed to get sued in federal court over a series of personnel moves that the victims claim have been politically retaliatory in nature, Breitbart Texas previously reported. A number of those in lawsuit have already been settled out of court with the district and the district’s insurance having to foot the bill in order to make the lawsuits go away.
Earlier this year, Sandoval and his faction moved to fire Reyna. However, when it came time to vote, Lugo stood up and voiced his opposition to political witch hunt, Breitbart Texas previously reported. The move at the time backfired on Sandoval when the board voted against him causing him to storm out of the meeting with red misty eyes.
The arrest of both Reyna and Lugo by Padilla not only targets the men who had fired him but also removes any opposition towards Sandoval’s faction on the board.
This article previously used Sandoval’s name in a sentence where Reyna’s name should have been used. The sentence has been changed.