RGC school district employees sue over alleged political retaliation

RIO GRANDE CITY — Employees of the Rio Grande City Consolidated Independent School District filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging they were punished at the district for their involvement in the 2018 Rio Grande City school board election.

A dozen employees mentioned in the suit claim they suffered from demotions, decreases in pay and other similar consequences as a result of backing the losing side in the election.

The suit alleges that after one of the plaintiffs was replaced, the replacement told them “You better than anyone here know que aqui en Rio la politica te va decir quien correr o no(here in Rio the politics say who is run off or not).”

The suit also claims that in 2019, former RGC CISD superintendent Alfredo Garcia acknowledged the plaintiff’s concerns regarding board governance and unethical behavior in an email.

According to the documents, the plaintiffs are suing for actual and compensatory damages for mental anguish and emotional pain, impairment of reputation, personal humiliation and lost wages and benefits.

The district issued a statement Tuesday addressing the suit.

“As of today, the district has not been formally served with a Federal lawsuit alleging violations to first amendment rights/political retaliation,” the statement read. “Upon formal service of any litigation, the school district will carefully review the matter and take all necessary and proper steps and measures.”