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North East School Board Bars Trustee From District Events

North East ISD school bus
File Photo | Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio

The school board for the North East Independent School District voted Tuesday to formally reprimand one of its own trustees, Joseph Trevino, for misuse of power.

The board also voted 6-0 to ban Trevino from visiting any school other than his daughter’s campus for two years, and forbade him from attending any district event other than school board meetings. Trevino was not present during the vote.

Trevino’s colleagues said they were censuring him because he had misused his authority and promised parents things that were outside his control.

The board also said he took inappropriate privileges, including telling a principal to let Trevino’s wife walk with their daughter at her graduation.

Trustee Sandy Hughey said before the vote that she was angry and embarrassed by the situation.

“You have chosen to be selfish and self-serving, and to abuse your title of trustee as one of power and ego. It is neither,” Hughey said.

Board President Shannon Grona said she made it clear to Trevino before he was appointed to the board in the fall of 2017 that he couldn’t visit a campus unless he was invited, and that any parent concerns should be referred to the superintendent.

“Mr. Trevino does not want to accept how a board member is supposed to act,” Grona said. “He sees his position as one that has power and he wants to get special treatment. Mr.Trevino has never been told he cannot help his community. What he has been told time and time again is that board members are responsible for governance and the superintendent is over the day to day operations of the district.”

Trevino said he knows he made mistakes, but they weren’t done for selfish reasons.

“I did it all to protect the community. To protect everybody,” Trevino said. “I was accused of conspiring with a parent that called me with a complaint to one of our campuses because they were being ignored for a few months. And because the parent wasn’t in my district that makes me a bad person.”

He said he plans to ask the State Board of Education and the attorney general of Texas to review his case.

“I never wanted to do this to North East. I never wanted this ever to come out, but when they’re going to deny me my due process to let the board know what evidence is out there, and what was said and what was done… and they’re going to punish me for it, then they should all be punished,” Trevino said.

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

Camille Phillips can be reached at Camille@TPR.org and on Twitter at @cmpcamille. TPR was founded by and is supported by our community. If you value our commitment to the highest standards of responsible journalism and are able to do so, please consider making your gift of support today.