Trustee responds to EP County on disclosure rules

New information on EP County request to Texas AG

EL PASO, Texas -      New information today about a request the El Paso County Attorney sent to the Texas Attorney General. She's asking him to clarify how El Paso school board trustees are required to submit their financial records.

    The letter obtained by ABC 7's I-Team requests an opinion from Attorney General Greg Abbott, and states some un-named school board trustees are planning to resign rather than report their income.

     Canutillo ISD trustee Armando Rodriguez has been a vocal opponent of the state measure that essentially requires the financial disclosure only in El Paso county.

     When asked if he was one of the trustees planning to resign, Rodgriguez said, "No, I do not plan. As a matter of fact, I plan on filing my PFS form."
     According to County Judge Veronica Escobar, the clarification is to make it easier to enforce a state law which makes school board trustees in El Paso County follow disclosure rules similar to other elected officials. Escobar said that it helps to bring greater transparency and credibility to the tarnished school systems in the county.

     "As a taxpayer I would be frustrated," Escobar said. "Because I think it's such a simple form, everybody does it. It's good government. It's great for making sure, I think, that people feel good about their trustees and elected officials."

     Rodriguez said that the measure and clarification are the wrong way to focus on fixing corruption in El Paso. He considers it a slap in the face.

     "This is the sad thing. It's not 'let's focus on what's right for kids.' It's 'let's play politics' and create bills that will make - have a black eye on El Paso."

     ABC 7 also spoke with State Rep. Marisa Marquez, the main author of that law. She said that it was designed to address specific issues, and that she hopes it becomes a model for the rest of the state.

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