San Benito School Superintendent Investigates Insurance Emails

SAN BENITO — Superintendent Antonio Limon said Wednesday that he is conducting an internal investigation that focuses on an exchange of emails about the district’s insurance carrier.

Limon declined to disclose the names of the persons who exchanged the emails.

On May 16, a district memo stated that school board President Yliana Rodriguez announced that Robert Champion Jr. and the Salazar Insurance Group would handle the school district’s $8 million health insurance business.

Two days later, Rodriguez rescinded the action before the Texas Education Agency told the district that she failed to obtain the school board’s approval to hire the insurance carriers.

Limon fired longtime risk manager Janie Gonzalez on Aug. 24, but declined to say why.

Board member Oscar Medrano said Gonzalez told him that Rodriguez told her to write the memo.

Gonzalez has declined to comment, and Rodriguez has refused to say whether she told Gonzalez to write the memo.

Limon said he discovered the e-mail exchange as a result of a public records request for the messages, but he would not say if these e-mails are the same as those requested by the Valley Morning Star.

The Star on Aug. 24 submitted an open records request for e-mails between Gonzalez and Rodriguez; district insurance consultant Glenn Hillyer; district purchasing agent Adrian Garcia; Robert Champion Jr.; Robert Champion Sr.; and the Salazar Insurance Group and Joe Salazar.

School attorney Scott McDonald, an attorney with the Austin law firm of Kevin O’Hanlon, refused on Wednesday to release the e-mails that Limon had readily available, but said the e-mails would be released today.