Monday, April 10, 2017


By Juan Montoya
In 1968, comedian Jerry Lewis starred in a movie called "Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River," where the slapstick comedian stars in a slapstick comedy tries to do one thing and ends up in a series of misunderstandings that result in just the opposite.

This comedy was repeated during the last meeting of the Brownsville Independent School District board of trustees when they approved an item that will raise the spending cap of Superintendent Esperanza Zendejas to $50,000 up from the $25,000 cap that the local policy had set in the past. 

While ostensibly a move that would make the local policy align with the state policy and set it at $50,000, some BISD administrators say that the change adopted by the board at the last meeting was really meant to allow Zendejas to unilaterally approve the purchase of 28 $895 rings for the Porter Early College High School after it was found that the district's procurement process had been bypassed when they were acquired.

The total of that purchase after Herrf Jones "donated" the rings after learning an investigation into their procurement was launched is $25,060, just $60 above the local cap. 
The policy change was included in 15 proposed changes identified only by a letter and a number. No mention was made on the agenda or on the backup indicating that the item concerning the superintendent's spending cap would be lifted.

"Transparency is not optional," BISD parent Ana Oquin told the board before the meeting. "This board has the obligation and responsibility to be transparent. Voting down the procurement process on the tablets and  rings did not send a good message."

Now, some board members say, Zendejas must decide whether to unilaterally approve the purchase of the rings under the new local policy even though they were procured back in April 2016.

Zendejas sent an email to a vendor that as of April 21, five days after Porter beat Frisco April in Georgetown for the 5A soccer championship, that the BISD administration had already decided from which company they would order the rings.

On that day, Zendejas emailed Jim Ramirez, of Josten's, that she, Porter Principal Hector Hernandez and athletic coordinator Tom Campos had already decided to give the business to Herrf Jones, his competitor and a company merged with BSN Sports whose vendor is trustee Joe Rodriguez.

Yet, in
The invoice was received at Porter in June and included two rings added for free as a "volume discount" for Rodriguez and Zendejas, that was never mentioned at the meeting.

An audit conducted by BISD Co-lead Auditor Arvin Tucker said Zerndejas had indicated there was no money budgeted for the rings and "negotiated" a donation of the 28 $885 student rings and that the 11 non-players, would pay the $995 for theirs. He gave no indication that she had told him of the email in June where she admitted her participation in ordering the rings. (Click to enlarge)

Will Zendejas issue the payment retroactively for the $25,060 even though it has been nearly a year since the procurement was made? Or will it have to come back to the board for their approval since it happened before the new policy change was made during this year's April 4 meeting?

And if Coach Joe Rodriguez was losing the championship football game against Seguin in 1969, would he be able to change the rules in the last quarter to change the rules and win the game? 


Anonymous said...

Did coach Rod change the rules so that he can have a 33 year old mistress?????

Anonymous said...

Maybe she needs the money for a gastric bypass and liposuction.

Anonymous said...

BISD is an organization of "skunks"....and it stinks. The teachers don't have the morale courage to speak out about the corruption and the parents aren't willing to risk their children's future by speaking out against BISD. Thus Zendejas and her band of corruptors are free to take actions like this which seem corrupt....and probably are. The BISD board and Zendejas are trying to cover their asses...that's the bottom line. And, again, the taxpayers lose.

Anonymous said...

If this is a form of "cover up" then why does it take so long for the TEA and/or Feds even to show up like they have in the mid valley school districts where they have cleaned up house with all school board.
There are MANY MORE cover ups that need to be un covered.

BobbyWC said...

At 9:12 am. Do the numbers. How many FBI agents exist in terms of elected officials and political entities/. They cannot get to everyone. It is impossible. But it does sound strange they have looked at smaller districts with no problem. But that may be the key. They go after easier smaller districts and they look like they are doing their job, while ignoring the more difficult larger investigation.

But to be honest, the numbers make it impossible for everyone to be investigated. Too many corrupt players when compared to too few FBI agents.

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

the system is f--- up !

Anonymous said...

TEA and the Federal Government are not going to intervene unless some local citizens complain. Unfortunately we don't seem to have anyone with the balls or the inclination to intervene on BISD corruption. The teachers, staff, administration, parents and tax payers of BISD don't just accept corruption....the demand corruption and are not likely to have the huevos to challenge BISD.

Anonymous said...

Blimp, get lost, bofo! Is your boring blog dead now? LOL

Anonymous said...

Does Rivera get championship rings for their state championship

Anonymous said...

They are just getting ready for Lopez HS, they will need rings too and the super can approve the purchase without any troubles.

Anonymous said...

Do the chess teams or skills USA champions get rings for their titles?

Anonymous said...

Blogger at 11:46 - good idea! Go to the board meeting next month and sign up for public speaking and bring that up or just call la Minnie Winnie and tell her and she will go bananas with this, as long as she gets credit for it. Yes, and what about the weight-lifting champs at Lopez. All state-champs should get rings - in all academea.