YISD Superintendent: ‘I was not the aggressor’ in incident with SISD leader; Board meeting set

Education

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Ysleta Independent School District superintendent claims he did not head-butt a rival superintendent as a police report claims and said information to prove it is coming out soon.

The statement for Dr. Xavier De La Torre was issued along with a statement from board president Cruz Ochoa that announced a YISD school board meeting set for 6 p.m. on July 30.

De La Torre apologized for his conduct in San Antonio on June 13 in the statement. KTSM first reported that SISD Superintendent Jose Espinoza was assaulted, according to a police report.

“I sincerely apologize for my conduct during the unfortunate incident that occurred in San Antonio last month,” he said. “This is not who I am. I offer my deepest apologies to the Ysleta Independent School District community and the City of El Paso as a whole. As Superintendent of Schools, I am rightly held to a higher standard; and as an educator for over 32 years, I understand the immense responsibility my public position holds.”

He went on to say that despite a San Antonio Police Department report claiming he head-butted Socorro Independent School District Superintendent Jose Espinoza outside a Whataburger, he is not the aggressor.

“I want to be clear that I was not the aggressor in this incident, contrary to recent reports. I did not head butt anyone,” he said. “I understand there is information in the public domain that states otherwise, but this information is inaccurate as to the actual events that transpired that night.”

Last month, SISD issued a statement confirming that Espinoza was assaulted the night before a conference both superintendents attended. Espinoza, who is listed as the victim in the assault, did not press charges at the time and a district spokesman told KTSM he did not plan to do so in the future.

SISD did not comment beyond that.

The El Paso Times first reported De La Torre was the suspect in the police report and KTSM later requested any reports from that day with De La Torre listed. San Antonio Police sent the same report with De La Torre’s name redacted, confirming his involvement.

Ochoa said the board will hold the meeting to engage in a discussion and take action regarding the allegations.

“I want to begin my remarks by making one thing absolutely clear ­­– this issue is currently the highest priority at YISD,” Ochoa said in the statement. “We take any allegations of misconduct against YISD, a staff member, member of administration or Board of Trustees very seriously. For years, YISD has remained scandal-free because of our commitment to high standards of conduct. When there have been transgressions against that conduct, we have taken swift and appropriate action.”

YISD had previously declined to comment on this story due to a “personal matter.”

SISD board members present

On Tuesday, SISD confirmed that four of its board members were present at the time of the incident. They are: David Morales, Paul Guerra, Paul Garcia and Eddie Mena. CFO Tony Reza was also there.

De La Torre was released to David Morales following the incident. Morales walked De La Torre back to his hotel, SISD confirmed.

The next morning, the rest of the SISD trustees were informed of the incident, the district confirmed.

YISD said it had five board members at the conference but none were present for the incident.

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