EPISD documents show former Austin principal removed over alleged retaliation

EPISD documents show former Austin principal removed over alleged retaliation

POSTED: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 5:32pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 5:42pm

NewsChannel 9 has learned more about why the El Paso Independent School District Board of Managers voted to remove former Austin High School Principal John Tanner.

The board proposed Tanner's termination at its December 17, 2013 meeting.

In a letter from EPISD Superintendent Juan Cabrera to Tanner, Cabrera provided the then-principal with a list of "inappropriate" activities that the district's administration believed he engaged in while working at Austin High.

The letter was dated December 19, two days after the board's meeting which drew many Tanner supporters.

Cabera's list included allegations that Tanner retaliated against two employees who participated in District investigations conducted by the Weaver and Tidwell, LLP audit group and the FBI.

The letter said EPISD believed Tanner directed staff to manipulate "needs assessment student enrollment data" in order to remove the two employees from Austin.

Cabrera informed Tanner that testimony showed he used "highly inappropriate and vulgar language" to describe one employee who took part in an investigation.

The letter stated Tanner was warned by the EPISD Human Resources Department in February of 2013.

According to the documents, Tanner was also accused of directing staff to delete student absences during the 2012-2013 school year in an effort to inflate school attendance figures.

Tanner appealed his proposal for termination in January and remains on paid administrative leave.

According to district paperwork, a recommendation from a hearing examiner is due no later than April 17.

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