LULAC calls for Chargois' resignation
By Jennifer Johnson
Local LULAC President Roberto Flores said “unacceptable mismanagement” at the Beaumont Independent School District is forcing the Hispanic community to speak out against the “deplorable state of affairs that exist within BISD” and call for the resignation of current superintendent Timothy Chargois.
Flores said that LULAC’s public request is “more than a day late, and more than at least $4 million short” but is made in the effort to signify the group’s stance on the management of the local school district. According to an official statement delivered by Flores at a press conference held at the front door of the BISD Administration Building on Wednesday, March 12, LULAC became mobilized after the issuance of a preliminary fiscal investigation report issued by the Texas Education Agency on Thursday, March 6. In the TEA report, Chargois and his team were identified as having failed to perform their job duties to a point where dozens of deficiencies were noted at length.
Chargois and company were also implicated in attempting to impede the TEA fiscal investigation. TEA investigators reported that they were “denied the opportunity to speak with key staff members,” that “BISD executive management summoned BISD staff members who were to be interviewed by TEA investigators and interrogated them in a manner that inhibited cooperation with investigators,” and BISD administrators “frequently and repeatedly” failed to produce timely or accurate supporting documentation, which ultimately “hindered the investigators’ efforts to conduct the investigation.”
Flores said that, although state, federal, criminal and civil investigations are still pending into myriad allegations of mismanagement and malfeasance at BISD, the BISD Board of Trustees does not need to await the outcome of pending matters to take action to stop the “criminal commissions and omissions” that are a staple of Chargois’ leadership in the school district.
“We hold no illusions that (Superintendent Timothy Chargois) will do the honorable thing and resign,” Flores admitted. “We further hold no illusions that the Board of Trustees will do the reasonable thing and terminate Dr. Chargois, for character traits such as honor and reasonableness have been sorely lacking with certain members of the executive staff and Board of Trustees of the Beaumont Independent School District.
“However, regardless of their failure to do the honorable or reasonable thing, we feel quite certain that the point will become moot as the investigations draw to a close.”
As the community waits – and waits – for the culmination of pending investigations, Flores said that community and business members need to speak out and demand reform in BISD.
“Nothing will happen if no one says nothing,” Flores said. “It is up to all of you – even the business people – to step up and say that this situation is hurting the image of Beaumont.”
Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce past president Nathan Cross was at LULAC’s Wednesday press conference to announce that the Chamber of Commerce is supportive of LULAC’s demands for a change in BISD administration.
“We have been working on getting (a statement) together over the last few weeks regarding BISD. We will be taking a strong position along the same lines that Mr. Flores says the Hispanic community is doing.”