Removing EPISD trustees not easy

Trustees cannot be recalled because they are considered county officials

POSTED: 07:30 PM MDT Oct 24, 2012    UPDATED: 12:36 PM MST Mar 07, 2014 
EL PASO, Texas -

At the El Paso Independent School District board meeting on Tuesday, people rallied for board trustees to resign, not run for re-election of be removed. But removing a trustee is not easy.

Trustees cannot be recalled because they are considered county officials under the Texas constitution and only district judges can remove them. If the judge comes to the conclusion that trustees are incompetent, have committed official misconduct or are intoxicated, then the judge has legal authority to remove them.

The Texas Education Commissioner can also dissolve a board. Commissioner Michael Williams has alluded to dissolving the board, but has not yet made his decision.

Two local representatives are trying to pass legislation that would make removing trustees more democratic. State Sen.Jose Rodriguez and Rep. Marisa Marquez are currently working on bills, but they have not yet been filed.

Two bills that would grant petitioners the right to call for a recall were filed in 2001 and 2005, but did not pass.

If trustees resigned or were removed, a special election would have to be scheduled before the May 5 board elections and could cost taxpayers additional money,

Board President Isela Castanon-Williams has recognized some in the community are unhappy with the district and says the board is swiftly taking action to further investigate EPISD employees involved in the cheating scandal. 

(Oct. 2012 story)