Former CEO Alleges Bid Rigging Conspiracy

Attorneys for Antonio Juarez, BISD’s former chief financial officer, on Friday filed a lawsuit alleging a conspiracy by former and current school board members to coerce his participation in the “manipulation of the bidding procedures” used to award a district basic life and stop-loss insurance contract. 

The lawsuit alleges that when Juarez would not participate, current majority members of the Brownsville Independent School District Board of Trustees coerced Superintendent Hector Gonzales to obtain Juarez’s resignation. Gonzales then reassigned Juarez as BISD’s grants administrator. 

At the same time, the lawsuit alleges that current and former BISD trustees sought to coerce Juarez into a conspiracy to oust Gonzales, for which Juarez was promised support for restoration to his status as chief financial officer. 

The lawsuit says the board members attempted to force Juarez to file a grievance against Gonzales prior to a Jan. 6 board meeting concerning the superintendent’s contractual status. It says Juarez was threatened with retaliation if he did not. 

The lawsuit was filed against Gonzales, in his capacity as the district’s chief executive officer, as well as any successor; Mike Saldaña, who serves as BISD’s counsel, and board members Rolando Aguilar, Joe Colunga, Ruben Cortez Jr. and Rick Zayas. 

“ C o m p l a i n t a n t (Juarez) has chosen not to participate in the Board’s conspiracy, and fears that termination will result by not taking action,” the lawsuit states. 

The lawsuit is a petition for declaratory judgment that seeks an injunction to prevent BISD from firing Juarez or taking action that would affect his contractual status. 

It was filed by Brownsville attorneys Ben Neece and Star Jones in state District Judge Janet Leal’s 103rd District Court.

FBI – Brownsville, Texas  (956) 546-6922