La Joya ISD employee accused of forging school bus inspections

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Laura Lizbeth Rodriguez-Cornejo and Jose Pablo Rios

The 39-year-old woman and 31-year-old man arrested last week at the La Joya school district are accused of creating false documents indicating school buses were properly inspected when they weren’t, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Laura Lizbeth Rodriguez-Cornejo and Jose Pablo Rios, both of Peñitas, are charged with tampering with governmental records.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Rodriguez-Cornejo, the La Joya ISD transportation clerk, facilitated 58 school buses vehicle identification numbers at an inspection station called Pablo’s Scrap Metal & Used Auto Parts in Peñitas.

Rios, the inspector, assisted in the alleged crime by entering the school buses’ vehicle identification numbers given by Rodriguez-Cornejo and then entering them into the Texas Department of Public Safety database creating a false government document, according to the affidavit.

This allowed the school buses to operate on public roads without the assurance that the buses were properly inspected, endangering the safety of the kids and drivers riding in those vehicles, according to DPS.

In a recorded phone call with a DPS investigator, Rodriguez-Cornejo admitted that she wanted to come clean about the situation, the affidavit stated.

Investigators believe that Rodriguez-Cornejo and Rios had knowledge of the school buses not being inspected.

Both Rodriguez-Cornejo and Rios were arrested on Sept. 14 and made bail the next day on a $30,000 bond each.