San Benito ISD To Terminate Clinic Management Company?

sanbenitoSAN BENITO — School board members will consider terminating the services of the district’s health clinic administrator, more than a month after the U.S. Internal Revenue Service placed a lien demanding the district pay delinquent taxes owed by the clinic.

The board on Tuesday ( ) will discuss giving Richard Garza two months notice before terminating him because he owed $59,900 in employee withholding taxes, said Board Member Oscar Medrano.

The board will consider requesting proposals for the operation of the clinic, which serves about 1,800 district employees.

The IRS on May 28 placed a lien on the district, demanding it pay $59,900 in employee withholding taxes, documents show.

The notice demands payment of $36,065 owed from the period ending Dec. 31, 2012; $18,457 owed from Sept. 30, 2012; and $5,378 from June 30, 2012.

Medrano said the district paid the back taxes, deducting the money from Garza’s account.

“The district paid out of its pocket to pay his taxes,” Medrano said. “You don’t play with the IRS.”

However, Garza said Medrano and board member Anna Cruz — who have opposed the district’s new managed care plan — pushed to remove him as the clinic’s operator.

“I feel I’m being used as a political volleyball,” Garza said. “We’ve got good response from the employees. I’m in total compliance … with my contract standards.”

Medrano and Cruz strongly denied Garza’s accusation.

“I have nothing personal (against him),” Cruz said. “We’re looking out for the well-being of the employees. Is it my fault he didn’t pay his taxes?”

Glenn Hillyer, the district’s insurance consultant, ( ) said Garza provided district officials with a letter of credit that states he has access to $100,000.

“It’s basically like having $100,000 in the bank,” Hillyer said. “He’s done a good job. He just had a little hiccup.”

Garza declined to comment on the letter of credit because discussions were held in executive session.

Hillyer said any change in administration would not affect the clinic, which is preparing to offer employees a new managed care plan in October.

“I want the employees to understand that if they change (administration), there will not be a break in services at the clinic,” Hillyer said. “No one is unhappy with the staff so there’s a really good chance we’ll retain the whole crew. The equipment and supplies belong to the district.”

Editor’s Note: San Benito ISD continues to make headlines much to the embarrassment of many San Benitoans. Type in “San Benito ISD” in the search box on this blog for previous postings.