LA JOYA, TEXAS (ValleyCentral) — The Texas Department of Public Safety arrested a La Joya Independent School District clerk Thursday during an investigation that involved school bus inspections.
The Department of Public Safety arrested Laura Rodriguez, a transportation department clerk, on Thursday morning.
Rodriguez realized some La Joya ISD school buses needed inspections, but the district was closed for summer break, said attorney Jaime “Jerry” Muñoz of Pharr, who represents the school district. Rodriguez contacted a local business, which provided La Joya ISD with inspection stickers — even though the school buses had not actually been inspected.
“This was a one-time, isolated incident,” Muñoz said. “The employee acted alone. And self-reported.”
Rodriguez reported what she did, Muñoz said, which resulted in the investigation.
Muñoz emphasized that all La Joya ISD school buses are safe and no students were placed in danger.
“We want to assure our community that we take this matter very seriously and are cooperating fully with our law enforcement partners. The La Joya Independent School District maintains a steadfast commitment to the highest standards of integrity and expects all employees to adhere to our code of ethics, which is grounded in trust, respect and professionalism,” according to a statement released by La Joya ISD. “In response to this incident, we are re-enforcing our current procedures and safeguards to ensure that we mitigate the risk of such incidents occurring in the future.”
Rodriguez is charged with tampering with a governmental record, a third-degree felony. She remained at the Hidalgo County jail on Thursday afternoon and couldn’t be reached for comment.
Along with Rodriguez, the Department of Public Safety arrested Jose Alaniz, an assistant director for transportation who is currently serving as interim director of the department.
“During the course of today’s investigation, it was determined by state law enforcement officials that District employee Jose Luz Alaniz, Assistant Director for Transportation, had not engaged in any criminal activity or action,” according to a statement released by La Joya ISD. “The arrest warrant and all charging documents listing him as a party were withdrawn by the arresting agency and Mr. Jose Luz Alaniz was excused from any criminal or civil liability.”
A spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety said that she could not immediately comment on the investigation.
Correction: This article has been updated to clarify that all charges against Jose Alaniz were dismissed.