Mercedes ISD superintendent arrested, charged with interference with public duties
Police on Friday arrested Mercedes Independent School District Superintendent Carolyn Mendiola on a charge of interference with public duties, a Class B misdemeanor.
Mendiola was taken to the Hidalgo County jail following her arraignment, where a judge set her bond at $5,000. Mendiola was released from jail the same day, records show.
The superintendent is accused of interfering with several cases that are considered public duties involving the school district, according to Mercedes police Sgt. Frank Sanchez.
Sanchez said that authorities warned Mendiola about her alleged actions, but claimed the warnings were ignored.
“Investigators worked up several cases where they felt that they weren't getting the cooperation from the superintendent,” Sanchez said. “And of course, she did interfere while investigators were trying to conduct an investigation. Speaking with witnesses and getting several cases forward, there was a couple of resistance from the superintendent. Investigators were just trying to get this investigation done properly and we did try to do things as civil as possible. We did everything that we could to work with the district, or at least with her, the superintendent, but there was a lot of interfering that was going on and we just felt that enough was enough and the arrest warrant had to happen.”
When asked to explain how Mendiola interfered, Sanchez said there wasn’t a lot of information he could give out.
"If investigators are trying to conduct an investigation properly and somebody is either telling a teacher not to speak or maybe misguiding them a certain way, or even get to the point where they are getting physical about telling an investigator exactly what to do and what not to do," Sanchez said. "There's a lot of more details that I just can't go into."
Two other district employees were arrested in the last week.
On Wednesday, Mercedes PD arrested a special education teacher accused of injuring a child. The department also announced that same day the arrest of a district security guard who allegedly broadcasted a bomb threat on a radio frequency on May 26.
Mendiola previously worked at the La Joya and Sharyland school districts before coming to Mercedes ISD, according to the district website.
Her contract was extended through 2024 on October 2020. The district website lists a job opening for her position.
In a statement, Mercedes ISD said the board of trustees will meet next week to determine Mendiola's "future employment" with the district.
Read the full statement below:
"The safety and security of Mercedes ISD students and staff is the District’s top priority. All matters dealing with personnel at Mercedes ISD are taken seriously, with respect to privacy, and addressed in accordance with law and policies. The Mercedes ISD Board of Trustees have been made aware of the Mercedes ISD Superintendent's arrest. The Board of Trustees will be meeting on Thursday, June 9, 2022, to determine her future employment with the district."
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