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HCC Trustee sues HCC Board

Back in April, the HCC Board of Trustees censured Board member Yolanda Navarro Flores after an investigation reported that she had engaged in unethical behavior. Here’s the Chron story from the time, which I did not blog about:

The Houston Community College board on Thursday censured trustee Yolanda Navarro Flores after a yearlong investigation found she used her influence to direct work to her son’s construction company and to obtain free consulting from a vendor.

The investigation – which also found troubling behavior by Trustee Chris Oliver and former board members Abel Dávila and Diane Olmos Guzman – called into question the business practices at one of the nation’s largest community college systems.

HCC Board Chairman Richard Schechter pledged a review of the college district’s policies.

“This board has zero tolerance for this kind of conduct,” he said.

Schechter said the investigation portrayed Flores and Dávila as the most egregious offenders, with the two appearing “to have been engaged in a relentless pattern and practice of conduct designed to enrich at a minimum their family and friends.”

Flores, who was not present for the 7-0 censure vote, told trustees afterward that she was unaware her son did work for HCC.

Dávila and Guzman have denied wrongdoing, and Oliver apologized for making an “honest mistake” by voting on a contract for a company with connections to his construction cleaning firm. Oliver, the report said, had filed the required disclosure paperwork.

Trustee Navarro Flores has now filed a lawsuit against her colleagues over that report.

In court papers filed Thursday, Yolanda Navarro Flores accuses the defendants of subjecting her to “character defamation, libel and slander” under the pretext of investigating possible inappropriate actions by HCC trustees and her potential conflict of interest with an HCC contractor.

“Specifically, defendants conducted a program of attack upon plaintiff’s character, reputation and integrity through malicious action based on false information that defendants knew was false or should have known was …false had their investigation been conducted in a prudent, fair and unbiased manner,” the suit claims.

[…]

Named in the lawsuit are HCC Chancellor Mary Spangler, HCC Deputy Chancellor Arthur Tyler, HCC Board of Trustees legal counsel Jarvis Hollingsworth, HCC general counsel Renee Byas as well as trustees Oliver, Richard Schechter, Michael Williams, Bruce Austin, Mary Ann Perez, Sandie Mullins, Neeta Sane and Eva Loredo.

The suit has been filed in the 61st Civil District Court. I’m no lawyer, but it seems to me that one way or another, someone is going to be embarrassed by the outcome of this lawsuit. Beyond that, all I can say is that I’m looking forward to doing HCC candidate interviews even more now.

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3 Comments

  1. […] here for some background. The suit was dismissed under a new law called the Texas Citizen Participation […]

  2. […] Flores. It’s fair to say that Trustee Navarro Flores’ current term in office has been rather eventful. She won a close race last time, and if she runs again I would expect her to get a strong […]

  3. […] corruption on the HCC Board are completely undermined by his support of Yolanda Navarro Flores, the least ethical member of the current Board. If one truly wanted to clean up the HCC Board, one would have […]

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