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Hidalgo ISD board bans trustee from property

The Hidalgo Independent School District Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to issue a no trespass order to one of its own members that restricts him, in most instances, from going on district property.

A resolution passed by the district’s board Tuesday reaffirms a previous board censure of Trustee Raymundo Martinez from May that included directives Hidalgo ISD says he largely failed to comply with.

Martinez characterizes complaints against him as groundless and politically motivated.

The board’s original censure of Martinez cites alleged misconduct on his part and directed him to strictly limit his communication with employees and Superintendent Xavier Salinas, instructing Martinez to cease making any unauthorized directives to employees and adhere to board policy.

Albert Guerra, the district’s assistant superintendent for human resources and operations, told the Progress Times Wednesday that the board approved that censure in response to multiple employee complaints.

The censure said the board held a hearing on an employee complaint against Martinez, citing instances of “aggressive behavior, verbal harassment, creating a hostile work environment, and making slanderous comments” on his part.

    It says Martinez repeatedly overstepped his authority and issued directives to employees outside the scope of his role, posing ethical and morale concerns.

The board’s resolution from Tuesday says Martinez failed to comply with that censure’s directives and neglected to attend mandated governance training sessions.

“Mr. Martinez has persistently issued unauthorized directives to employees and engaged in conduct that violates the Board Policy and the code of ethics, including recommending personnel for hiring through inappropriate channels and creating discomfort among employees,” it says.

In addition to the directives from its May censure, the board’s new resolution bars Martinez from entering district property unless he’s there for a board meeting or an event one of his children is involved in.

According to Guerra, the board’s vote on the resolution was 4-1. Two trustees didn’t attend the meeting and Martinez voted against.

Guerra, who’s worked at the district since 1999, says he’s not familiar with Hidalgo ISD passing a similar instance before.

Martinez denies allegations of wrongdoing against him and says that he’s the victim of ugly politics.

“It’s all petty,” he said. “Instead of concentrating on our kids and worrying about what’s going on with our district and making sure our kids are getting the best education, these guys are more worried about their positions and their elections. And they’re power-hungry.”

Some of the tension, Martinez said, is related to division in the community over the departure of soccer coach Zeke Morales, who exited Hidalgo ISD controversially earlier this year.

That controversy included law enforcement action, lawsuits and no shortage of strong feelings.

Martinez said Wednesday that he hopes to take legal action based on the board’s resolution against him.

“Everything is hearsay,” he said. “Every attorney I talk to says that it’s petty. That’s the term that every attorney used, that it’s petty stuff. How can the superintendent not want me to speak to him, not for me to ask questions? As a board member, that’s my only job.”

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