Uvalde School Board Cancels Meeting on Firing Police Chief

District cites 'due process requirements' in postponing discussion on Arredondo
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2022 7:35 PM CDT
Updated Jul 22, 2022 4:30 PM CDT
Superintendent Recommends Firing School Police Chief
Uvalde school police Chief Pete Arredondo, third from left, stands during a news conference on May 22 outside Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.   (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills, FILE)

(Newser) Update: The meeting scheduled for Saturday in which Uvalde school officials were to discuss and possibly decide whether to fire district Chief Pete Arredondo has been called off. The district announced the cancellation in a statement Friday, citing "due process requirements" and a request by Arredondo's lawyer, the AP reports. A statement said the chief's employment will be considered at another time without specifying when. In the meantime, it said, Arrendondo will stay on unpaid administrative leave. Our story from Wednesday follows:

Uvalde school officials plan to decide Saturday whether to fire district police Chief Pete Arredondo. The announcement was made Wednesday after the superintendent recommended his dismissal and parents of those killed at Robb Elementary demanded it. Arredondo, who was placed on administrative leave last month, has received much of the blame for the failures in the police response to the mass shooting on May 24, the Texas Tribune reports. A report issued by a state legislative committee detailed widespread failures but still singled out Arredondo.

Uvalde residents who attended a school board meeting Monday angrily scolded district officials for not already firing the chief. Superintendent Hal Harrell answered that Arredondo is a contract employee and can't be fired at will, per the AP. So far, no officers involved in the response to the mass shooting have been dismissed. Arredondo has given up his seat on the City Council. The board's discussion about Arredondo will be behind closed doors, per the New York Times. "This is a move in the right direction," said Vincent Salazar, whose granddaughter, Layla, was shot to death. "Let's start with Arredondo, from the top, and work our way down. They should not have to wait until Saturday." (Read more Uvalde mass shooting stories.)

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