Status hearing set in McAllen ISD election contest

Tony Forina and Gina Karam-Millin

A status conference has been set in the election contest Gina Karam Millin filed challenging the McAllen ISD board trustee Tony Forina’s victory in November.

The conference is scheduled for 3 p.m. Aug. 7 in the 464th state District Court.

The attorneys representing the two disputed in the petition are slated to meet and plan for possible trial dates and how to move forward. Due to time conflicts, the conference was delayed and rescheduled to Aug. 7.

Karam Millin filed a petition for an election contest through her attorney, Ronald Hole, against Forina in June.

“It’s just kind of to get the attorneys together and to find out when we can anticipate this (getting resolved),” Hole said, adding that he anticipates both sides inquiring about discovery. “This along with other steps of involving the witnesses to prepare for a future hearing.”

Karam Millin — who lost her bid for the Place 4 seat on the school board to Forina, 2,759 votes to 2,747 — alleges that the district withheld a “very damaging curriculum audit” from the public for months until after the election. She believes the report would have reflected badly for the incumbents who ran for re-election in May.

Also, Karam Millin made other allegations about Hidalgo County’s “improper” behavior regarding the elec-tion. Wanting to ensure the district is using taxpayer money “honestly and effectively” were part of her motivation to contest the election, she said in a statement issued in June.

Forina has since defended himself, the school district and Hidalgo County, denying any wrongdoing and saying in a previous interview that the case should be dismissed through a “lack of jurisdiction” in his defense.

Gilberto Hinojosa, Forina’s attorney, could not be reached for comment as of press time.