Friday, March 24, 2017


By Juan Montoya
Despite Brownsville Independent School District Superintendent Esperanza Zendejas' professed ignorance about how 40 rings for 28 players and 11 non-players of the Porter Early College High School's 2016 5A Soccer Championship rings were ordered, emails have surfaced indicated she had a personal role in the $31,025 transaction. (Click on graphic above to enlarge)

In fact, the emails indicate that she and and the Porter Principal and Athletic Coordinator had been talking to ringmaker Herrf Jones about acquiring the $895 rings each for the players and $995 rings each for 11 non-players as early as April 2016.

During the January 17, 2017 meeting of the BISD board, she acknowledged that an investigation by Co-Lead Auditor Arvin Tucker did not say who had ordered the rings, and that Tucker only ascertained that the purchase had originated in the Porter Athletic Department.

If a board member had not asked for an investigation and Tucker had not requested that the item to accept a $25,020 "donation" to the 28 students, "the superintendent wasn't planning to bring it to the board."

When Herrf Jones sent Porter the invoice for the $31,065 purchase, principal Hector hernandez sent it to Zendejas. Tucker stated in his report that she had "negotiated" for Herrf Jones to donate the student rings dor $25,020 and that the non-players would be required to pay for their own.

BISD counsel Baltazar Salazar pointed out that even after nearly a year that the rings had been ordered in April and given to the students at the start of the school year in September, the Dec. 16 audit did not say who had ordered the rings.

However, the emails that have surfaced clearly show that Zendejas responded to an email by Herrf Jones' rival Josten's The Class Ring Company whose vendor Jim Ramirez asked to be included in the bidding for providing the Porter rings and that "please let us guarantee that we will bet (sic) andy price out there plus give a letterman jacket and posters to go with the order. Also we will give each player free pictures... included with the rings."(Click on graphic below to enlarge.)

 Ramirez said that Josten's had provided the rings for the first Porter High School team to win a state championship (2005-2006). Zendejas responded that "We have been in discussion regarding studetn rings with the company that assisted Rivera early College High School with their championship rings last year.

Rivera, whose Athletic Director is BISD trustee Joe Rodriguez's protege Tom Chavez won the 2014-2015 6A Boys Soccer UIL State soccer tile. Herrf Jones sold the rings to the BISD that year.

Rodriguez was elected to the school board in November 2014 and is a registered vendor for the BISD for BSN Sports, which merged with Herrf Jones under the Varsity Brands umbrella June 25, 2013.

The issue of the purchase that circumvented the BISD procurement process came to light in the January 17 meeting. The issue came up again in the February board meeting but a six-hour executive session that ended at 1 a.m. forced trustees to call fort a special meeting next week.
Another item in the postponed meeting agenda is one that calls for the hiring of an attorney to investigate the purchase of the rings and $1.5 million worth of electronic tablets to be distributed to fifth graders in the BISD.


Anonymous said...

And will the outcome be?
Only brownsville voters can forgive such blatant corruption
Way to go brownsville constituents
Give them a 2nd and 3rd chance

Anonymous said...

Joe Rodriguez is a dick. Smelly Mexican soils our town!

Anonymous said...

Luis Saenz won't do anything to Big Joe because they're compadres. He served with Coach on the BISD board two decades ago. Some say both on the board when Espy was hired. MASSO has my vote in 2020.

Anonymous said...

Sylvia Atkinson needs to replace Zendejas ASAP

Anonymous said...

Joe and Espy sitting on a tree...

Anonymous said...

Joe, if such is true, admit it and step down. You are messing up the district and hurting all the positive that we have earned. You do not
make things easy for anyone, and you know what you are doing wrong or right, so take the appropriate action so that the district can go ahead
and dedicate their time to what involves more students than just athletes. We are spending valuable time and money on something that needs to take a place on the back burner. Orale, Joe, call it quits and admit you are wrong. It takes a man to do so, Coach!

Anonymous said...

When is Joe Rodriguez seat up for election? Time for a new and different person to occupy the seat.
He reminds me of Donald Trump, Mexican version. Hitting the little guy and only concerned with himself.
Republican- Democrat.
Here in Brownsville= One and the same.

Anonymous said...

SGT Schultz would be happy to know that BISD continues to keep his favorite TV line alive...."I know nothing!" It is amazing that BISD can be effective with so many people that don't know anything about anything that goes on in the district. And, as a result, the students come out of school knowing nothing. Maybe the BISD slogan should be "Ignorance is bliss!"

Anonymous said...

We need more people like Juanito Montoya and Erasmo Castro to have a change in this city.

Anonymous said...

That would mean jumping from the frying pan to the fire. Is there really someone who would be honest and sincere about an elected position and hold on to his or her scruples? Let's follow
san Benito's recent action in developing a Code of Ethics that is going to be enforced to the "T." Paul Cowen is in the Twilight Zone and has no idea what is going on at the present. Sylvia and Minnie are Siamese twins with one doing all the decision-making, Cesar needs to put on his pants, Laura needs to get in touch with what is going on and not wait for Sylvia to tell her what to say or do. Carlos has too much on his mind to pay attention to BISD and Coach Joe, well, I will leave that up to you!!!! We need O'Quinn, Caty, Rachel Ayala, Hector Chirinos, Gracie de Pena, and two more con pantalones to get on the board and shake things up for the kids.

Anonymous said...

O'Quinn, Caty, Rachel Ayala, Hector Chirinos, Gracie de Pena,

yes we need a change for the best !

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine the nightmare of a school board with O,Quinn, Cathy, Rachel Ayala, Hector Chirinos & Gracie de Pena??????