MERCEDES, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Mercedes ISD board of trustees discussed the future employment of superintendent Carolyn Mendiola during a meeting held Thursday night.

“I can’t speak for the whole board, but I can assure you as an educator that I am there to look out for the best interest of the students,” said Oscar A. Hernandez, president of the Mercedes ISD board of trustees.

Mendiola was arrested last week and is accused of interfering with an investigation, according to Mercedes police.

Credit: Hidalgo County Jail Records; Carolyn Mendiola

Police released details of Mendiola’s arrest, linking it to the arrest of a teacher on improper relationship between a teacher and student charge.

Mercedes ISD teacher Frank Omar Fuentes, 53, was charged with an improper relationship between a teacher and student and indecency with a child sexual contact.

Courtesy Hidalgo County booking records; Pictured Frank Oscar Fuentes

The board of trustees heard from residents in public comment who were concerned with the safety of students.

“There has not been justice done, there’s been one person arrested this past week and I believe she failed the entire school body,” said Jaime Castaneda Contreras, a Mercedes resident.

Contreras said he wants more accountability from the board and school district following last week’s arrest.

“I feel that the board members are not doing their jobs as in protecting their students, some of them are in their with personal agendas,” said Contreras.

Hernandez did not comment on his personal opinion of what the outcome should be but said this circumstance is unfortunate.

“I got the phone call, it’s disheartening, but I had to assure them this is a police matter. They are the experts on law enforcement and we are the experts on education,” said Hernandez.

The Mercedes board of trustees decided to place Mendiola on paid administrative leave, a unanimous vote.

The board also unanimously voted on offering the interim superintendent position to previous Weslaco ISD superintendent Dr. Richard Rivera, though he still has to agree to the negotiations.

The following statement was released on Mediola’s behalf by her attorney:

Carolyn Mendiola is a lifelong educator, with an impeccable reputation, and held in the highest
esteem and regard by her colleagues and those she works with. As with many false allegations, the
allegations against Ms. Mendiola are political and not based in fact, or reality. All those involved
in this terrible injustice will be confronted, and falter under the weight of the truth. My office has
already served the Mercedes Independent school District, the Mercedes Police Department , and
the City of Mercedes with preservation of evidence demands, to ensure that evidence that will
undoubtedly exonerate this life long public servant and educator, is not destroyed, altered, or
otherwise hidden. If these charges are not administratively dismissed for lack of credible evidence,
we will proceed expeditiously proceed to trial, where I have no doubt Ms. Mendiola will be cleared
of all charges, and the fall out for those responsible will be served.