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Education

Edgewood Superintendent Placed On Leave Amid Harassment Allegations

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File Photo | Joey Palacios | Texas Public Radio

The superintendent of Edgewood Independent School District has been put on paid leave after allegations of sexual harassment.

Edgewood’s board of managers voted to put Emilio Castro on leave Friday while an independent law firm investigates the allegations.

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Credit Edgwood ISD
Emilio Castro

  Phillip Chavez, the district’s chief academic officer, has been named administrator in charge until the investigation is complete.

“Once the report is submitted to the board of managers with findings and recommendations, appropriate actions will be taken,” said board president Roy Soto after the vote. “Edgewood ISD does not condone any form of harassment against any employee of the district. Further, Edgewood ISD encourages all employees to report harassment in any form to their immediate supervisor.”

District officials have not revealed details of the allegations other than to say the complaint was filed by a district employee.

However, a police report filed last Friday at the Edgewood administrative office describes a pattern of contact that made the employee uncomfortable, culminating with the suspect placing his hand on her crossed legs near her shin and running his hand down her shin.

State Senator José Menéndez, D-26, whose district includes Edgewood ISD, was on hand for the board vote. He said he was pleased with the board’s decision.

“I hope they ask the law firm to investigate all the way back to the date of hiring in case there are folks out there that maybe had feared before, that they have an opportunity to speak their mind,” Menendez said. “I think it needs to be an open investigation that either exonerates or shows the board they need to go in a different direction.”

This is the latest cloud in a district that’s been plagued with leadership controversy.

When Castro was first hired by the board of managers in November 2016, the district of 11,000 students had been without a permanent superintendent for over a year.

The state appointed the board of managers because its elected board had been in a stalemate over who to appoint as superintendent.

The law firm investigating the harassment allegations is Rogers Morris and Grover. Chavez, the temporary district leader, said there was no estimation of how much the investigation would cost or when it will be complete.

Camille Phillips can be reached at Camille@tpr.org or on Twitter @cmpcamille