A day never goes by that someone does not complain about the lack of jobs in El Paso. As a matter of fact, almost anything you hear from the politicians is how hard they are working to bring job opportunities to El Paso. There are numerous examples in social media from individuals claiming that it is very difficult for them to find a quality job in El Paso. Many of you decry the over reliance upon call centers and service sector jobs that pay little to nothing. For many years the perception is that you need to know someone in the right place to land a good job in El Paso. Education and quality does not matter if you know the right people.
The Ysleta Teachers Association does not specify a mission statement on its website. One would assume that its mission is to advocate for its teacher membership in terms of job security and wages at the Ysleta Independent School District. Its mission statement, according to the IRS non-profit records, is that it “was established in order to be an advocate for teacher rights, as well as, for the protection and promotion of the teaching profession.”
According to its most recent tax filing, the one for the tax year 2012, the association operates on a budget of about $900,000 annually. Almost all of the revenues come from “contributions and grants,” the vast majority from “membership dues.” Its largest expenses are “benefits paid” to the members of the organization. The salaries the organization paid out was about $37,300 for that reporting period.
The three previous IRS filings show similar trends and therefore I assume the current budget closely resembles the latest IRS filing.
Although the news media is reporting record jobs, the El Paso unemployment rate still remains higher than the rest of the state. Therefore, I believe that any available jobs should go directly to those individuals that have followed the rules, i.e. are not criminals, and those that are better qualified. Additionally, it is my belief that the Ysleta Teachers Association has a responsibility to continue the education of the children under their members’ care by teaching them that to remain crime free and continue their education is the path to future success.
It is because of this that I find it reprehensible that a criminal, under probation, would be employed by the teacher’s association. There are those of you that believe that individuals should be afforded a second chance. Those that believe that a lapse of judgement should not be held against an individual’s future prospects, should agree with me that a second chance, is just that, a second chance, not a third, fourth or fifth chance, because anything over one is not a mistake, but rather a criminal career.
I had been hearing rumors that Jaime Abeytia was working to promote the Ysleta $430.5 million bond election. I had several readers tell me that Abeytia was phone banking and block walking in support of the bond. Knowing that Jaime Abeytia has a history of scamming, I started looking into how much he was being paid to push the bond. Someone then told me that Jaime Abeytia was being paid by the Ysleta Teachers Association.
Last Friday, October 23, 2015, I sent various emails out asking to clarify Abeytia’s involvement with the Ysleta bond election. I sent emails to the Ysleta Teachers Association’s board president, Arlinda Valencia, the secretary, Alicia Alvarez-Pineda and the treasurer, Ysrael Valencia.
Not knowing Abeytia’s exact role, I also sent emails asking for clarification to the Ysleta Independent School board members and to the superintendent’s office. Xavier De La Torre, who is on a media blitz pushing the bond election, responded via email asking me to call him. I tried several times and after exchanging our telephone numbers via email we were unable to connect.
The YISD board members never responded. Arlinda Valencia, of the teachers’ association responded via email.
She confirmed that Jaime Abeytia, indeed, is working for the Ysleta Teachers Association. Valencia clarified that Jaime Abeytia “does not have contact with school children in YISD because the nature of his employment isn’t related to students.” Arlinda Valencia also confirmed that her organization conducted a background check on Jaime Abeytia before they hired him. She then added that Abeytia “had been indicted for several offenses but all charges were dropped but one.” Valencia added that Jaime Abeytia “pleaded guilty to only one charge and that was breach of computer security and that was a Class B misdemeanor.” She concluded, “We are aware of the terms and conditions of his probation and it has no impact on his employment.”
Political cover ups and favors always involve attempts to create new realities and ignore inconvenient truths.
Arlinda Valencia continues as follows in her response to my query. She writes, “our association believes in ‘not guilty until proven guilty’.” Hmmm, consider that for a moment. She acknowledges that Abeytia pleaded guilty yet she adds that her association believes in “not guilty until proven guilty.” See how the manipulation works? There is more.
She writes, “people from all walks of life can be accused of or charged with serious crimes.” Unfortunately, she is not done yet, by adding that even after someone has been through the justice system, “they often face a tarnished reputation.”
Ok, I accept that, although I believe that the justice system can be wrong, more times than most of us would want to believe, the question remains, how many times does someone have to go through the criminal system before their “tarnished reputation” is of their own doing and not by a judicial system run amok?
Remember, Jaime Abeytia has had multiple run-ins with the law, not one, not two and definitely not three. His criminal record ranges from computer breaches, as in plural, criminal mischief, unauthorized use of a vehicle, theft of property and even burglary of a habitation. At what point do criminal acts such as these, rise above bad choices, mistakes or lapses of judgement to having the mindset that criminal acts are acceptable?
Clearly, Arlinda Valencia does not want to place herself “in the position of judging others” when she is in the “business of defending” her members “from people who are ready to believe rumors and innuendos.”
It is a fair point. So, rather than articulate Jaime Abeytia’s complete criminal record yet again for you, I thought I should let you see what the last prosecutor listed as Abeytia’s criminal record in preparation to going to trial against his latest criminal activity.
Better yet, I thought it would be important that Arlinda Valencia, the rest of her board members and the Ysleta School District, as well as the superintendent, have an opportunity to see for themselves Jaime Abeytia’s official criminal records.
You, and they can view Abeytia’s criminal files using this link.
Especially take a moment to read the police reports. Arlinda Valencia also asked that I include her entire response, without editing and therefore I am making it available at this link.
Now the question, the voters in the Yselta School District should be asking themselves is how much do they trust the Ysleta School District with the $430.5 million dollars they are asking for when a criminal is being paid to advocate for it?
More importantly, is Ysleta telling students that becoming criminals and ignoring education is the path to a job at Ysleta?
Clearly it is, because the sad fact remains that a qualified person, without an extensive criminal record, was kept from the job by a criminal without the appropriate credentials, who just happens to have friends in the right places.
Clearly, it’s not what you know but who you know at Ysleta.