Troubled Harlandale school board accepts resignation of superintendent

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Harlandale school district Superintendent Rey Madrigal resigned on Monday, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

The board had suspended Madrigal last month as an initial step toward terminating his contract, but agreed at its Monday meeting to allow him to retire.

The school district is facing plenty of heat from the Texas Education Agency. The state education commissioner, Mike Morath, announced in June his plans to replace Madrigal, lower the accreditation of the district and appoint a conservator to oversee it, the Express-News reported. An investigation into the practices in Harlandale blamed not only Madrigal but also current and former board members for the district’s woes.

That investigation found a number of finance and governance issues in the district, including the possibility that Madrigal violated state law by approving payments to a private contractor without board approval.

Board President Ricardo Moreno said at the meeting that it will save Harlandale money to allow Madrigal, a 31-year employee, to resign rather than undergo a lengthy firing process. 

“I would just like to say I think this motion shows that we are fiscally responsible and I think we owe that to the taxpayers to be as fiscally responsible as we possibly can,” trustee Elaine Anaya-Ortiz said, according to the Express-News report.

Madrigal’s attorney, Jay Brim, said that his client will exercise his right to ask for an independent review by a hearing examiner, which should take place in September.

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