Thursday, February 23, 2017


By Juan Montoya
The Texas Local Government Code is very specific on what officials can do or not do when there is an item before the board to which he is elected and he has a personal interest in it.

The Texas Local  Government Code §§ 171.001-.010.  states that: A public official who has such interest is required to file, before a vote or decision on any matter involving the business entity or real property, an affidavit with the city’s official record keeper, stating the nature and extent of the interest. Id. §171.004(b).

In addition, a public official is required to abstain from further participation in the matter. Id. However, a public official that is required to file an affidavit is not required to abstain from participating in the matter if a majority of the members of the governing body have a substantial interest and are required to file and do file affidavits of similar interests on the same official matter. Id. §171.004(c).

Image result for joe rodriguez, brownsvilleIn the February meeting of the Brownsville Independent School District, trustee Joe Rodriguez – who filed an affidavit disclosing his substantial interests as a vendor for BSN Sport, which provides him with more than 10 percent of his annual income – just couldn't help himself. After a discussion where the district's purchasing agent and Superintendent Zendejas debated on who had recommended that an outfit called Barcelona Sports and BSN be the recommended vendors, Rodriguez – obviously exasperated – broke in and asked the women who should make the recommendations for sports equipment, the Athletic Dept. or the Music Department.

31. Recommend awarding CSP #17-019 Football, Volleyball and Girls/Boys Basketball Supplies District-wide to several vendors. Approximate amount of $376,914.00 from Local and Categorical Funds. (Annual Proposal)

Rodriguez was exasperated because while Zendejas claimed it was the purchasing department that made the recommendations after making sure all the I's were dotted and the T's crossed in the process, the purchasing agent kept saying that she had received the recommendation on the vendors from the Athletic Dept.

"So who do you think should make the recommendation for sports equipment, the music department?" Rodriguez asked.

That comment – coming from one of the vendors of the item might well have been perceived as Rodriguez's opinion that the board should just go ahead and approve the item, and let him pocket his commission without further questions. Rodriguez did abstain from voting on the item as he is required to do according to the code, but nonetheless, his support for the sale of the district's purchase of the sports equipment to his company would seem to violate the code.

There was another item at a recent meeting that went 4-3 against seeking the assistance of the Texas Education Agency to straighten out the mess concerning the possibly illegal ordering of 40 expensive rings that were given to the players and non players associated with the 2016 Porter Early College High School Championship soccer team. In that case, legal counsel told the board that they could not violate their policy by voting to accept 25 rings valued at $25,020 that were given to 29 players after the fact. The rings were handed out in September. Each ring was valued at $895.

The other 11, which were ordered for coaches teachers, included two which the ring maker's invoice said were we "gifts" for Rodriguez and Zendejas. Each of those rings was valued at $995 each.

The total invoice was for $31,025.

Here's the catch. By voting not to seek the assistance of the TEA, Rodriguez took a vote on an item in which he has a substantial interest. His company – BNS Sports – is a sister company to Herrf Jones, the ring maker who tried to "donate" the rings after negotiating with Zendejas. That "negotiating" took place about two months into the investigation by Co-Lead Auditor Arvin Tucker after receiving a "tip."

What the audit report handed in by Tucker did not say was whether he had discovered who had ordered the rings without going through the procurement process. If it wasn't the principal (who is also listed in the invoice as getting a ring), the coaches, or the purchasing department, who ordered them then? Any guesses, Joe?


Anonymous said...

Is there a date on this affidavit?

Anonymous said...

When has any BISD Trustee "played by the rules"? To take a line from the movie "Blazing Saddles"....."We don't need no stinking RULES" in BISD. Its only tax dollars....monopoly money, and the tax payers aren't about to take any action. Most of the parents don't or can't vote and they don't care. Most of the votes come from people employed by BISD and they won't take any action because it might cost them their jobs. So, BISD is free to continue to waste money and not be held accountable.

Anonymous said...

That foul-smelling Mexican Joe Rod needs to go. Apologize, Buey!

Anonymous said...

basic math, its not complicated, Joe Rod told the AC (athletic coordinator)then they told the coaches then they told the Principal (did not ask) who to go with on the equipment purchase, band uniform purchase and championship rings order. This, by no means is ROCKET SCIENCE Stuff, Joe Rod carries a lot of weight with the coaches, hello, Joe Rod has his favorites and he is always going to try to make money on the side for himself, remember when he was the AD and what happened (just in case anyone out there forget). Look, simply put, Joe Rod has NEVER put the BEST INTEREST of BISD students before his. Just because the team he played on ALMOST won state doesn't mean anything, that was over 80 years ago, classifying Joe Rod as OLD AS DIRT. I just wished the superintendent and others siding with Joe Rod see that he is no angel and he really doesn't care about anyone else except of the love of money.


Anonymous said...

Shame on both Joe Rod BSN and Luis Garza from Herff Jones, they are big boys and definitely know what is RIGHT and what is WRONG. Not only do you have one snake in the grass but now you have 2 snakes in the grass. Don't be deceived BISD in there shenanigans.

I wonder if BSN and Herff Jones give classes to their employees on basic rules of engagement and procurement violations, ETHICS class I believe its called.

Anonymous said...


cc taxpayer said...

I cannot wait for a new board to join the women board members !
Joe rod and esperza zendajas no vale verga !!!

Anonymous said...

BISD needs to subpoena Tom Campos, who all of sudden resigned, and hold him and the principal accountable. Principal Hernandez and Tom Campos are under Joe Rods thumb. It doesn't pay to be loyal to Joe Rod. He got those guys in trouble. Campos and Hernandez need to sing or get prosecuted. They will plead the 5th but they need to be punished for not helping in the investigation. What about the 30 letterman jackets that the kids all got. There were only 9 players who needed lettermen jackets. All of them got jackets when they already had one. That is waste and abuse and someone needs to pay the price.

Anonymous said...

Ese Joe No Vale!!!!! Tiene 100 anos y no se le quita lo malo!!!!!!! Trieste bien trieste!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Joe Rodrigues is evil