BISD to name Castro’s replacement

The Brownsville Independent School District Board of Trustees will convene a special called board meeting on Friday to appoint a new board member to fill the vacancy created when former trustee Erasmo Castro resigned.

Castro resigned “effectively immediately” in a letter to the district delivered Jan 10. At its Jan. 14 meeting the board accepted the resignation by unanimous vote. The appointment appears to be aimed at addressing concerns Castro could continue to serve in a “holdover” capacity until a successor is appointed or an election held for his former Place 2 seat on the board.

Board attorney Baltazar Salazar said the person appointed Friday would serve until November, when an election would be held for the remaining two years of Castro’s term. The terms of board members Sylvia Atkinson, Philip Cowen, Minerva Peña and Laura Perez-Reyes are up for election in November and the remainder of Castro’s term would be added to the list.

Meanwhile, Edward A. Sandoval, an administrative assistant to District Attorney Luis V. Saenz, had sent a letter to Salazar asking the board’s intent for replacing Castro, by appointment or by special election. The board posted the special-called meeting to name a new member and Salazar replied that was the board’s intent.

The letter also asked for guidance regarding a petition to remove Castro involving a group headed by Zachary Blevins.

“As you know, the BISD is not a party to case no. 2019-DCL-5623 and thus, I cannot comment, interpret, clarify, suggest, or guide your office in applying the law,” Salazar wrote. “My fidelity is to the BISD Board of Trustees.”

The petition arose out of parent concerns about Castro’s practice of visiting BISD campuses and then posting selfies of himself with students to his Facebook pages, as well about his arrest on a charge of driving while intoxicated.

While the board is not party to the lawsuit or petition, it did eventually censure Castro and ultimately outright ban him from visiting campuses.

Salazar said appointing a new member would render the lawsuit and the petition moot.

The special-called board meeting is set for 5 p.m. Friday in the BISD board room.

glong@brownsvilleherald.com