DONNA, Texas — Voters in South Texas removed members of a corrupt school board after the board’s actions were exposed nationally by Breitbart Texas. The board members were responsible for a long standing culture of corruption, bribery, intimidation, and vendettas.
Investigative journalists from Breitbart Texas traveled from all across the state to Donna, Texas, after learning of actions taken by a faction of the Donna Independent School District’s board of trustees. The resulting series of articles exposed the corrupt actions of the board members to voters who removed these members in Tuesday’s General election.
Breitbart Texas reported extensively on the corrupt practices that began when members aligned with school board president Albert Sandoval took over the Donna ISD Board. The board began a campaign of intimidation and selective firing practices aimed at punishing those who were not aligned with them. Those practices resulted in multiple lawsuits that have cost taxpayers millions, with some litigation still pending.
The school board also hired Robert J. Salinas, a previously convicted felon as the school attorney paying him a retainer of $300,000. The prior law firm had been paid $80,000. As Breitbart Texas previously reported, Salinas spent time in federal prison in connection with laundering money for a Mexican drug trafficker.
The school board also used the district police force to target the former superintendent and one school board member who opposed Sandoval’s faction, Breitbart Texas previously reported. School police chief Roy Padilla accused the two men of having tried to bribe him. The charges were voted down by a local grand jury; currently Padilla has been sued in federal court for his actions.
The leader of the faction, school board president Albert Sandoval lost by more than 1,000 votes against newcomer Donna Mery who received 3,662 or 38.75 percent of the votes, while Sandoval only was able to get 2,094 or 21.7 percent.
Incumbent member Tammy Ramos-Flores only earned 1,880 votes or 20.47 percent while newcomer Alicia Reyna won with 2,785 votes or 30.33 percent. As Breitbart Texas exclusively reported, Tammy Ramos is the same board member who took traveled to Las Vegas with the rest of the school board to see Hillary Clinton speak. Ramos married her boyfriend during that trip.
Incumbent Nick Castillo earned 2,214 votes or 23.9 percent while the winner, Eva Watts, earned 3,191 or 34.45 percent of the vote.
David De Los Rios lost with 1,997 or 21.22 percent against Eloy Avila, who earned 2,420 or 25.72 percent of ballots cast. De Los Rios was picked to replace Eloy Infante and Elpidio Yañez after those board member were sent to federal prison for demanding bribes from contractors.
Incumbent Dennis Ramirez lost his bid with 2,128 votes or 22,79 percent against John Billman, who earned 2,950 votes. Like De Los Rios, Ramirez was also appointed to replace another of the two jailed board members.