Heredia relinquishes BOE presidency

Elias Heredia stepped down from his position as Alamosa Board of Education President Monday. (Courtesy photo).

The Alamosa Board of Education (BOE) met Monday, to address current legal matters involving board members and to continue discussing reopening schools this fall. Both superintendent, Robert Alejo, and BOE president, Elias Heredia, have legal charges pending against them.

On March 17, 2020, a legal complaint was filed against school Superintendent Robert Alejo, regarding an incident that took place on or around July 19, 2019. Kaitlyn B. Turner, district attorney for the 11th Judicial District, filed the complaint on behalf of David Silvas. Silvas claims Alejo: “unlawfully and feloniously caused bodily injury to David Silvas, by means of a deadly weapon, namely: a baseball bat.”

Court documents indicate that Robert Alejo, 54, is represented by attorney Joseph A. Koncilja of Pueblo. He has appeared in county court several times for status hearings and is next scheduled to appear on Aug. 11 at 3 p.m. for a disposition hearing before Judge Daniel Walzl.

Many members of the BOE were unaware of Alejo’s charges and expressed concern about being kept in the dark. These incidents regarding Alejo and Heredia were on the top of the July 27 BOE Special Meeting’s agenda. Shortly after the meeting commenced at 6 p.m., the Board entered into an executive meeting; during which they discussed Alejo’s employment.

When the Board returned a little after 7 p.m., no info was presented to attendees. Instead, Heredia read a statement he wrote, addressing his interactions with BOE member Katrina Brown. Brown has brought one second degree tampering charge against Mr. Heredia. The tampering charge was issued based on Heredia allegedly removing Brown’s keys from her vehicle in the City Market parking lot on July 6. Brown said the keys were eventually returned to her husband, Dylan, by an overnight package from Heredia and therefore the incident was not considered theft.

The address was quite intimate, as Heredia described an evening he, Brown and Alejo were in Denver for a conference. Heredia claims he and Brown spent the evening drinking on the town, before returning to their hotel. Heredia claims he was then invited up to Brown’s hotel room, where ‘flirting’ ensued before the pair kissed. Heredia claims both immediately felt ashamed at their infidelity and parted ways.

Then, in an effort to clear up what he called false allegations, Heredia read text messages Brown allegedly sent Heredia’s wife following the incident. These texts apologized to Heredia’s wife, while also stating Heredia came onto Brown.

As his statement wound down, Heredia stated: “This could have remained a private matter, but Brown decided to take a different path.” Heredia said he was not proud of his discretions and would resign as BOE president, effective immediately. He closed by reminding the Board there are more pressing matters to take up, like the impending and uncertain 20-21 school year. He then left the meeting room and BOE member Michael Mumper took over for the remainder of the meeting.

Some BOE members wanted to discuss Heredia’s vacant position, but the BOE ultimately decided the matter would be taken up at a later date. The meeting continued with the discussion of re-opening schools.

Registration for the Alamosa district began today and parents received a link for the online paperwork. Assistant Superintendent Marsha Cody said, as of 2 p.m. July 27, over 250 kids had been enrolled. Cody also celebrated a grant the district received from Caring for Colorado. The grant will provide a stipend, enabling teachers to conduct family interviews and administration to conduct staff interviews, prior to re-opening.

Mumper opened the floor for any members who still had concerns regarding returning to school. Kathy West, president of the Alamosa Education Association, said she has received several requests from several teachers, who admitted they were still uncomfortable about returning. West will compile a list of these concerns and send them to the BOE for consideration at the BOE’s next meeting.

Work on the Re-Start plan continues and updates to the ‘living’ document will be announced at the next meeting on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020.

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