RAYMONDVILLE — The vote stands.
At least according to school board members who voted to pay Frank Cantu, the district’s athletic director and head football coach, $24,000 in stipends — even though he apparently already had been paid the money.
Board members will not reconsider their vote, board President Jessica Cantu said yesterday.
In a special meeting last week, Cantu and board members Daniel Garcia, Javier Longoria, Mario Tijerina and Jaime Villarreal voted to pay Frank Cantu $12,000 for a stipend to serve as head football coach in 2014-2015 and $12,000 for the same stipend for the 2015-2016 school year.
Then, the board members voted to pay Frank Cantu $12,000 for the same stipend for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year.
Board member Lupe Ruiz abstained from voting while member Ramiro Ramirez was absent.
“We came to a majority,” said Garcia, the board’s vice president. “We cast our vote — that’s all I have to say. There’s nothing controversial.”
Tijerina and Villarreal referred questions to Jessica Cantu, saying they could not speak for the school board.
Jessica Cantu said board members believed Frank Cantu was not paid $12,000 stipends for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years because a budget review did not show the stipends.
Yesterday, Jessica Cantu, Frank Cantu’s former sister-in-law, said different things during two telephone interviews.
First, Jessica Cantu said he had not been paid his stipends for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years, although the stipends previously had been approved.
Jessica Cantu said she did not know why Frank Cantu was not paid the stipends.
Documentation, she said, showed Frank Cantu’s “base salary” at $73,900 at the time he was hired in May 2014. But the documentation did not show payment of stipends, she said.
So the board voted to pay him the stipends retroactively, she said.
“We did not give anything extra, anything special,” Jessica Cantu said.
However, during the second call, Jessica Cantu changed her story.
Jessica Cantu said Superintendent Johnny Pineda told board members before their vote that Frank Cantu’s pay included two $12,000 stipends paid during the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years.
“It was verbal — he just said it,” Jessica Cantu said. “We wanted to see documentation to support his statement.”
So board members reviewed documentation showing Frank Cantu’s “base pay,” she said. But she said the documentation did not include the payment of the two $12,000 stipends.
“It was incomplete documentation,” she said.
But Jessica Cantu said board members are not blaming the administration.
“We’re not pointing fingers,” she said.
But she said incomplete documentation led the board to cast its vote to pay Frank Cantu the two $12,000 stipends.
“Our employees need a better understanding of what is paid out and what is not paid out,” Jessica Cantu said.
Jessica Cantu said board members will not reconsider their vote.
“The vote stands,” she said.
Frank Cantu could not be reached for comment.