Candidate’s email use at center of termination from Donna schools

Donna city council candidate Adolfo Campos Jr. said he was fired from the school district over the use of his email.

Campos served as human resources supervisor for the Donna school district prior to his termination Sept. 12. Use of his district-issued email came into question in a forensic audit released this week.

“Unfortunately, our community runs scared with the notion of political retaliation,” an email from Campos read in response to his termination. “I feel I am a victim of political retaliation from Donna ISD.”

During a board meeting this month, school trustees approved the superintendent’s personnel recommendations. Campos said he was notified of his termination the following day.

Superintendent Fernando Castillo could not be reached for comment about the firing.

However, district spokeswoman Sandra Quintanilla said the termination and the audit could not be discussed, citing personnel matters.

“During our review of emails, we noticed emails from human resources supervisor, Adolfo Campos Jr. related to CB Sportswear,” according to the audit. “These emails were sent using a district email address and during a district workday.”

The audit was ordered to review allegations of improper conduct by the district, former and current employees, contractors and vendors.

Campos’s father owns CB Sportswear, a Weslaco-based screen printing and embroidery business.

“His company has been doing business with DISD since before I was born,” Campos said in an email. “Occasionally, district employees have emailed me about his business, and the district employee handbook does allow minimum personal use of district property.”

Cost estimates for shirts were included in the emails, and were sent to internal departments, according to the audit conducted by Texas-based Weaver and Tidwell LLP.

Emails can be monitored, and district electronic communication tools are limited to some “personal use,” according to the Donna ISD 2016-17 employee handbook.

“I was wrongfully terminated and people that know who I am will base their vote on the qualities and characteristics I possess as an individual, and not actions taken by my employment or factors thrown out by my opponents,” Campos said in an email.

Campos, who’s running for the Place 3 seat on the city council, faces three other opponents in the race.

“I am Donna strong and Donna runs in my DNA,” Campos wrote. “I always had a passion to work for my hometown and most importantly the district that gave (me) my education.”