Former SBCISD employee files lawsuit over termination

SAN BENITO — It appears the school district could be headed to court.

A former transportation worker for the San Benito School District has filed a lawsuit in Cameron County District Court against the district under the whistle blowing act.

Jose Homar Villarreal was hired by the school district in 1984 where he worked in the transportation department.

He was promoted to assistant transportation director in 2006.

Villarreal now claims he was terminated earlier this year after he reported to a former school board trustee inappropriate comments made by his boss, transportation director Erica Flores.

Villarreal is seeking monetary relief more than $200,000, but not more than $1 million. That is based on his claims of mental anguish, compensatory damages for past and future pecuniary losses, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional pain and suffering and inconvenience.

SBCISD spokesperson Celia Longoria declined to comment on the matter yesterday.

According to the legal petition filed Nov. 1, Flo-res addressed Villarreal and then-transportation secretary Gracie Carpio and asked if Carpio knew what a sharpshooter was.

Flores allegedly stated that her husband is a sharpshooter.

“My husband gets hired to shoot people.” The testimony states. “When he shoots, he shoots to kill.”

Villarreal texted former trustee Oscar Medrano about the incident in which Medrano responded that he would report it.

Within that same day, Villarreal received a written letter informing him of his suspension without pay from former superintendent Dr. Adrian Vega, according to the filing in District Court last week.

The written suspension forbade Villarreal from contacting any of the district’s employees or trustees.

The incident occurred in April and within a few days, Villarreal had filed a report with the San Benito Police Department claiming he felt threatened by Flores.

Approximately four months after he filed the report and one month after the report was made known to the district, Villarreal was terminated, the complaint says.

Timeline

April 13 – Incident oc-curred in which Jose Homar Villarreal then contacted former trustee and was later put on sus-pension without pay.

April 19 – Villarreal files report with San Benito PD

April 19 – School district attorney is informed of the report

July 11 – Grievance hearing involving Villar-real takes place where the board and acting superin-tendent are informed of report filed

August 11 – Villarreal is terminated

Timeline

April 13 – Incident oc-curred in which Jose Homar Villarreal then contacted former trustee and was later put on sus-pension without pay.

April 19 – Villarreal files report with San Benito PD

April 19 – School district attorney is informed of the report

July 11 – Grievance hearing involving Villar-real takes place where the board and acting superin-tendent are informed of report filed

August 11 – Villarreal is terminated