EDINBURG— A judge Thursday extended a temporary restraining order preventing Weslaco Independent School District from terminating its former human resources director based on an agreement between the two parties’ attorneys.
That TRO will be extended until Oct. 28, the day the Weslaco board will hold a public due process hearing for former HR Director Melva Segura.
Segura was heavily criticized by a forensic audit report submitted to the district by Weaver and Tidwell in September.
The audit’s description of Segura’s tenure in the HR department and the manner in which she was selected to lead that department prompted the district to move toward terminating her contract in late September.
Segura sued the district before it could take that step, preventing it from doing so and disputing the findings of the audit, or “fraudit,” in the words of her suit.
Hidalgo County 92nd state District Court Judge Luis Singleterry granted Segura a TRO protecting her position at the district and later recused himself from the case.
Singleterry was replaced by Judge Rogelio Valdez.
Segura originally sued the district for breach of contract and violations of her due process rights under the Texas Constitution. She was seeking monetary relief between $100,000 and $1,000,000.
An amended petition filed by Segura’s attorney Thursday only lists the due process violation claim and excludes the monetary claim for relief.
Lawyers for both sides also agreed to mediation prior to the hearing on Oct. 28.
“ You know sometimes when you all get together sometimes things move faster and it’s more economical,” the judge said Thursday.
Finally, Segura’s attorney requested the district provide him with the entirety of Weaver and Tidwell’s audit and its supporting documents.
Craig Wood, the district’s attorney, said he wasn’t sure the district would be able to submit some of the audit’s drafts and working papers, specifically referencing witness statements.
“ And I’m gonna give him as much as possible, because the last thing I have any desire is for my client to not provide due process,” the district’s attorney said.
“ And he (Segura’s attorney) is certainly free to say — without the working drafts, without the drafts of this final report, without the working papers — ‘I’m not able to receive due process’ and make that argument,” Wood said. “And that argument…it’s certainly (one) that the board is going to have to consider and it’s certainly something that if they make a decision that were adverse to his client, that there’s still additional process at that point that’s available to him.”
Thursday’s hearing experienced a livestream technical difficulty and was recessed for an hour before recommencing.