TEA opens investigation into Harlandale School District


SAN ANTONIO - The Texas Education Agency has opened an investigation into the Harlandale independent School District.

The News 4 Trouble Shooters have been investigating that Southside district for years, after allegations of nepotism and corruption.

Back in 2013 the News 4 Trouble Shooters investigated Harlandale ISD Superintendent Rey Madrigal, who had hired a number of his relatives at the district.

That included his cousin, who was given the job as principal at Harlandale High School.

Other family members received teaching promotions and were hired on to the maintenance staff.

At the time school board members claimed they had no idea about the nepotism and Rey Madrigal refused to say how many relatives he'd hired.

Then in 2015 the News 4 Trouble Shooters uncovered that Superintendent Madrigal had gotten a sweet deal on some property on the Gulf Coast, which he purchased from a couple who had done business with the district.

Later, Madrigal recommended Mullen Pension and Benefits Group be given a big insurance contract.

Last year, Joshua Cerna, a former Harlandale School board member, who also worked for that insurance company, pleaded guilty to conspiracy.

The FBI accused him of paying bribes and kickbacks to get insurance contracts with other San Antonio school districts.

The TEA in recent years investigated Edgewood ISD and Southside ISD, replacing their board members with managers, and it appointed a conservator to oversee operations at South San ISD.

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