Message From Dr. Chargois Regarding Election

Hello Stakeholders,

I know many of you have expressed concerns and have questions regarding the election for Beaumont ISD Board of Trustees. While the local news media may be a viable source for information, news is often disseminated under time restraints and may not provide the most clear and complete message.  Toward providing you with clarity, a timeline of events is attached for your understanding.

As the circumstance surrounding BISD board election are resolved, I encourage everyone, especially now during our testing season, to stay focused on educating our district’s student body of nearly 20,000 children.

Focused on every child every day

Timothy Chargois, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

 

Timeline

October 17, 2013- 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reverses and remands case back to 172nd Judicial Court. (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1722)

September 24, 2013 - Judge Donald Floyd of the 172nd Judicial Court denies injuction and mandamus for plantiffs Rodriguez, et al. (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1677/)

August 20, 2013 - The U.S. District Court in D.C. grants inervenors' motion to dismiss the case of BISD v The United States et al on the grounds that they no longer have jurisdiction to decide BISD's claim. (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1649

June 18, 2013 - The Department of Justice approves Map 7-I  (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1507)

May 10, 2013 - The U.S. District Court in D.C. confirms that BISD "rightly concluded that In Re Rodriguez and its companion In re Neil have no application to future elections, its petition for a declaratory judgment granting preclearance for 'those voting changes occasioned by the decision of the Ninth Court of Appeals.'"  The court dismissed the issues regarding the May election changes as moot. (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1462)

April 30-May 6, 2013 - Court Briefs sent to a Three-Judge United States District Court in DC. from attorneys representing the Department of Justice, Intervenors, and Beaumont ISD. (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1458)(http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1459) (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1460)

Transcript from April 23, 2013 hearing in the DC Court surrounding the Election for BISD Trustees. (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1440

April 23, 2013 - A three judge panel in the District Court of the District of Columbia grants a preliminary injunction which enjoins BISD from conducting a May 11, 2013 election. (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1433)

April 17, 2013 - Judge Ron Clark declines to intervene in the DC court’s order to stop the May 2013 Board of Trustees election as requested by attorneys for Rodriguez, Gilmore, Forgas and Neil. 

April 16, 2013 - The United States Attorney General Eric. H. Holder, Jr., and Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez move for an injunction barring Movant-Intervenors Marcelino Rodriguez, Donna Jean Forgas, Linda Marie Wiltz Gilmore, and Michael Scott Neil from pursuing a collateral attack on this Court’s jurisdiction under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1973c. (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1431) (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1432)

April 9, 2013 Based on papers filed in the D.C.  United States District Court by the U.S. Department of Justice, the court has issued a temporary restraining order that enjoins Beaumont ISD from violating Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act in holding a planned May 2013 election for the Board of Trustees. The restraining order notes a preclearance of election changes by BISD must be obtained from the U.S. Department of Justice prior to BISD holding an election.  (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1421

April 8, 2013 Beaumont Independent School District receives a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice which leaves plans for a May 11, 2013, Board of Trustees’ election uncertain.  The DOJ objects to a number of election procedures ordered March 18 by the Beaumont Ninth Court of Appeals. (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1420/)

March 27, 2013 BISD attorneys filed a complaint versus the U.S of America and Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr., for declaratory judgment in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia. BISD attorneys are asking the Court to enter a declaratory judgment that the redistricting Plan 7B full complies with Section 5 and it may be implemented at some future date that receives Section 5 preclearance.(http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1415/) (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1404/) (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1403/) (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1405/) (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1406/) (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1407/) (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1408/) (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1409/) (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1410/) (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1411/) (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1412/) (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1413/) (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1414/) (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1415/

March 27, 2013 On behalf of Paul Jones, Attorney David Richards filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court. He contends that BISD is in the process of making arrangements to conduct May elections for its Board of Trustees without obtaining preclearance of the arrangements as required by Section 5 of the Federal Voting Rights Act. He is asking the Court to enjoin BISD from calling, holding, supervising or certifying any election under the current electoral scheme until and unless pre-cleared under Section 5 of the VRA.

March 27, 2013 The Ninth Court of Appeals rejected BISD’s request to stay the ruling regarding the election.

March 25, 2013 The School Board voted to take the necessary steps to comply with the Ninth District Court of Appeals decision, while also seeking a review of that decision by the Texas Supreme Court.

March 21, 2013 During the monthly school board meeting, BISD's Board of Trustees authorized the hiring of attorneys for the “Texas Supreme Court Appeal of 09-13-00115-CV In re: Marcelino Rodriguez, Donna Jean Forgas and Linda Marie Wiltz Gilmore” and called for a 6:30 p.m. March 25, 2013, special board meeting.

March 18, 2013: The Ninth Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Marcelino Rodriguez, Donna Forgas and Linda Gilmore.  The litigants contend that the Texas Education Code (section 11.052) requires all seats to be put up for election following a redistricting plan. Attorney Chappell argued that Texas Election Code Section 276.006 and BISD Board Policy BBB (Local) define requirements when changing electoral boundaries; furthermore, Chappell contended that Board Policy BBB (Local) provides for the staggering of terms for trustee elections through at least 2019.  (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1374/ ) (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1375/

March 8, 2013: During a special board meeting, BISD trustees rescinded its most recent adopted Map (February, 21, 2013) because it was not adopted 90 days prior to the May 11th election (it was adopted 80 days prior.)

*Attorney Chappell acknowledges that BISD’s Board did not adopt the map 90 days prior to the election; and therefore, the trustees, according to The State of Texas Election Code cannot call for a May 11, 2013, election using the latest (February 21, 2013) map.

March 7, 2013: Attorneys representing Marcelino Rodriguez, Donna Forgas and Linda Gilmore file a Petitioned for a Writ of Mandamus in the Texas Court of Appeals to order BISD to hold a May 11, 2013, election using the map adopted by the Board on February 21, 2013. (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1378/)

March 4, 2013: Mike Neil, Marcelino Rodriguez, Donna Forgas and Linda Gilmore were notified by BISD that their applications had been rejected because they had filed for offices that not up for the May 11 election.

March 1, 2013: The last day to file for district seats for the May election called for by BISD: District 4, District 6 and District 7. Mike Neil, Marcelino Rodriguez, Donna Forgas and Linda Gilmore submitted application to be placed on the May 11 ballot at approximately 4:50p.m., just prior to the expiration of the 5 p.m. deadline. Neil, Rodriguez, Forgas and Gilmore submitted application for seats held by Board President  Woodrow Reece (district 3), Board Secretary Terry Williams (district 1), Trustee  Zenobia Bush (district 2) and Trustee Mike Neil (district 5); these were seats not posted for the Board approved call for a May 11 election. (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1350/)

February 21, 2013: The Board approved a 7 single-member map *(80 days before May 11th Election). (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1345) 

February 5, 2013: A public meeting was held at Central High School for public input about the proposed 7 single-member district maps.

January 31, 2013: A public meeting was held at West Brook High School for public input about the proposed 7 single-member district maps. (http://www.bmtisd.com/articles/updated-maps-plans/)

January 21, 2013: The board voted to send Attorney Chappell to confer with the Department of Justice about its rejection of the 5-2 plan and for Attorney Chappell to seek a declaratory judgment.  (After Chappell’s meeting with the Department of Justice, the DOJ would not approve the 5-2 plan.  BISD Board of Trustees began working on a 7 single-member map to submit to the DOJ for pre-clearance).

January 17, 2013: BISD trustees approved the demographer’s drafting of a 7 single member district map.

December 2012: The Department of Justice refused to pre-clear the Beaumont school district's 5-2 voting plan (Voters had approved the 5-2 plan in May 2011). (http://www.bmtisd.com/files/1272) 

October 2012: The Department of Justice asked for additional information, including data about city, school and county elections and the racial makeup of the district.

August 2012: After the series of public meetings, the drawing of 5 possible maps and the final approval of one by BISD’s Board, BISD’s attorney, Melody Chappell, sent an initial redistricting proposal and maps to the U.S. Department of Justice. (http://www.bmtisd.com/bisd-board-demogr/2011-10-25/)

December 2011: School trustees began hosting a series of public meetings regarding the 5-2 plan and proposed maps to gather input from the community.

June 2011: Trustees hired a demographer to produce a series of maps to represent the 5-2 plan. 

May 2011: Beaumont voters approved a plan of 5 single member districts and 2 at-large positions.

1985: The Beaumont Federal District Court Implemented a 7 single member district plan for electing the BISD Board of Trustees.

 

To read the complete court rulings and statements, please click here