A former El Paso county school board president has been accused of breaking the rules of his election eligibility. Now the county attorney is waiting on him to resign from the board altogether.
County Attorney Joe Anne Bernal said her office received an allegation from "a couple dozen" Tornillo residents regarding then-school board president Joe Tittle. Bernal said the allegations involved Tittle's residency. They claimed Tittle does not live in Tornillo and is therefore ineligible to serve in that district under Texas education and election codes.
Bernal stopped short of confirming whether the allegations were true, but said her office had enough evidence to move forward with a case if need be.
Tittle's attorney Jim Darnell denies the allegations that his client is breaking any residency rules. Records from the county's Central Appraisal District show Tittle owns properties in Horizon City and Tornillo. Darnell said Tittle splits his time between both places and is perfectly eligible to serve as a trustee.
The minutes from the Tornillo ISD board meeting on Tuesday show Tittle gave up his title as president, but remianed a trustee. Tittle's attorney said that decision had nothing to do with the residency allegations, but was due to time committment issues.
The county attorney said her office expected to receive a resignation letter from Tittle soon as Tittle had voluntarily decided to resign. However, Tittle's attorney said his client has not yet decided whether he will offer his resignation as he does not believe he has done anything wrong.
The residency allegations would not lead to any kind of criminal charges against Tittle. If he decides not to resign from the board, the county attorney has the option to pursue a petition to start a court process intended to forcibly remove him from the board.
Tittle has served as a trustee and board president for several years. Tornillo ISD's superintendent Paul Vranish told ABC-7 that Tittle has been a "great board president," but added, "if (Tittle) does not meet the requirements to serve, no matter how well he's done, he would need to resign."