Uvalde superintendent to retire amid shooting accountability fallout

dfwnewsa | October 10, 2022 | 0 | politics , Texas Politics

UVALDE, Texas (Nexstar) — The Uvalde CISD school board will discuss the retirement and transition of Superintendent Hal Harrell during Monday night’s regular agenda, after Harrell announced his retirement the same day the district suspended its entire police force.

In a Friday email to staff, Harrell said board members will “discuss superintendent retirement options and transition” at the board meeting Monday. No timeline was given.

Harrell’s announcement coincided with the suspension of the district’s police force, which came after mounting pressure for accountability of law enforcement’s “chaotic” and “failed” response to the May 24 Robb Elementary School shooting, where 19 children and two teachers were gunned down in class.

Nearly 400 officers responded to the scene that day, waiting more than an hour to go into the classroom and take down the gunman.

Uvalde CISD said in a statement Friday, “recent developments have uncovered additional concerns with department operations,” which prompted the suspension. 

UCISD explained officers currently employed will fill other roles within the district. At least two officials, Lt. Miguel Hernandez and Student Services Director Ken Mueller, were placed on administrative leave, with Mueller electing to retire, according to UCISD’s announcement.

“As a result of the recent developments, Lt. Miguel Hernandez and Ken Mueller have been placed on administrative leave, and the District has made the decision to suspend all activities of the Uvalde CISD Police Department for a period of time,” Uvalde CISD’s statement said.

The suspension and Harrell’s announcement came after some parents of the shooting victims camped out for 10 days straight, calling on Harrell to suspend the school police officers until the investigation is completed. The district said it is still waiting for those results. The review is being conducted by the Texas Police Chiefs Association and an external group, JPPI Investigations.

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