Former superintendent sues Mercedes ISD over equal pay violations
A former Mercedes ISD superintendent filed a lawsuit against the district alleging violations of the equal pay act.
Carolyn Mendiola filed the federal lawsuit on Wednesday, Sept. 13.
According to the lawsuit, Mendiola served as district superintendent from July 2019 through May 2022.
During that time, work conditions were “intolerable,” and Mendiola learned her salary of $160,000 was $25,000 less than that of superintendents of other districts in the Rio Grande Valley, according to the lawsuit.
The district’s previous superintendent — Daniel Trevino — received $50,000 than Mendiola. The figure included wages such as travel expenses and a car allowance that Mendiola wasn't offered, the lawsuit stated.
Mendiola also learned that her replacement at the school district — Richard Rivera — received a $1,000 monthly car allowance that Mendiola did not receive, according to the lawsuit.
”Defendant’s school board treated Plaintiff differently based upon her gender (female) than two male superintendents,” the lawsuit stated.
The lawsuit also noted that in March 2022, the Mercedes school board received a presentation from a consultant that found that Mendiola was being underpaid as a superintendent.
The lawsuit also claimed Mendiola was harassed and humiliated by a school board member on several occasions. The alleged harassment stopped after she submitted her resignation letter in May 2022.
Mendiola was placed on administrative leave the following month when she was arrested and charged with interference with public duties.
Mercedes police Sgt. Frank Sanchez said Mendiola interfered with several cases involving the school district.
Court records don’t show a scheduled hearing for the lawsuit, or a court hearing for Mendiola’s criminal case.