Rio Hondo ISD’s Garza awaiting grievance hearing

RIO HONDO — School district Police Chief Nick Garza’s lawyer hopes the district will reinstate him before a scheduled grievance hearing.

“He (Garza) is still on paid administrative leave,” attorney John Shergold said. The grievance hearing is set for Aug. 1 at the Rio Hondo Administration Building in the morning.

The hearing will be conducted internally by the administration.

Garza filed a grievance with the district for placing him on leave with pay.

An email from an anonymous individual identified only as Defender contains an attached photo of Garza with a large glass in his hands, holding it to his mouth.

“Defender” asks in the email whether the person in the photograph was Garza and ends the message questioning Garza’s integrity and status as a role model for children.

The photo was apparently taken by a friend on the Fourth of July weekend. The photo later surfaced on Facebook before it was circulated to the school district and local media.

“I’m waiting for, hopefully, the district will put him back to work before the grievance hearing,” Shergold said.

“That is what we are hoping will happen.”

If this matter is not resolved, Garza’s attorney said he will request an open, public hearing with the school board.

“There is nothing wrong with the photograph. He is not doing anything illegal or unethical,” Shergold said. “He has nothing to hide.”

Shergold said the person who needs to be found and identified is “Defender.”

“We are actively searching for that person’s identity,” Shergold said.