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EPISD Superintendent accuses Trustee Byrd of workplace bullying, race discrimination

Intentionally engaging in discrimination, harassment, and workplace bullying. That’s what El Paso Independent School District Superintendent Juan Cabrera accused Trustee Susie Byrd in a grievance filed in February.

ABC-7 obtained the grievance addressed to EPISD Board President Trent Hatch on February 6, 2018 under the Public Information Act.

In it, Cabrera accused Byrd of trying to undermine his image and reputation, therefore attempting to coerce his resignation.

He requested that Trustee Byrd be privately censured for her conduct. In an amended grievance filed February 16, he requested that the Board keep Byrd from making any further public statements about his performance other than through policy.

Cabrera requested that the grievance be kept private due to information in it considered to be confidential, in that the complaint discusses a disability. But on May 2, the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton ordered EPISD release the documents.

Back in February, Board President Trent Hatch told ABC-7 the grievance would be mediated between Cabrera and Byrd, and not resolved through the board nor made public.

In the original grievance filed February 6, Cabrera states Byrd’s actions “are motivated in part as a result of my race and national origin….This type of behavior is not only adversely affecting my current work environment, Ms. Byrd’s actions have the effect of possibly affecting future employment opportunities.”

Byrd mentioned Cabrera’s grievance at a meeting February 8 set to discuss Cabrera’s contract. At that meeting, Byrd made a motion to consider accepting the resignation of the superintendent for “immorality” and conscious misrepresentation to the board.

Cabrera states Byrd’s call for his resignation was in retaliation for his grievance filed on the 6th.

Days later, Cabrera filed the amended grievance, accusing Byrd of discriminating against him under The Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act. He accused her of creating an intimidating and abusive work environment with the goal of extorting his resignation.

Byrd had asked Cabrera to resign after an audit on him stated he acted inappropriately, though not illegally, when he contacted a potential vendor, then wrote a request for qualifications for the services needed.

But the audit found Cabrera did not take part in the selection of the vendor.

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