Uvalde CISD fires embattled police chief Pete Arredondo
UVALDE, Texas - The Uvalde CISD school board has fired district police chief Pete Arredondo.
The school board voted unanimously Wednesday to terminate Arredondo's contract as police chief.
Discussion surrounding Arredondo's firing had been on the table for months. The board was expected to first meet Saturday, July 23 to consider Superintendent Dr. Hal Harrell's recommendation to fire Arredondo, who has been accused of making several critical mistakes during the May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.
The first scheduled meeting was canceled, and a new meeting was set for Wednesday, August 24. Arredondo did not attend Wednesday's meeting.
Before the meeting, Arredondo's attorney George Hyde released a "scathing and defiant" letter defending the response to the mass shooting, according to the Associated Press. The "blistering" 17-page letter cited security concerns and accused the district of denying Arredondo the right to carry a weapon.
Arredondo has been on unpaid administrative leave as allowed under law, says Dr. Harrell, since June 22.
Uvalde parents have been calling for answers and accountability following the release of a report investigating the mass shooting.
There have been numerous calls for Arredondo to be fired at previous school board meetings. However, Dr. Harrell said that the police chief was a contract employee who could not be fired at will.
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Arredondo has been criticized by state officials for his actions during the mass shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers nearly two months ago, most notably for not ordering officers to immediately breach the classroom where an 18-year-old gunman carried out the attack, says the Associated Press.
He is only one of two known to have faced discipline out of the nearly 400 officers from various agencies involved in the law enforcement response.
The acting City of Uvalde police chief was also placed on administrative leave after the report was released. According to a statement from Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, Lt. Mariano Pargas was the acting Chief of Police for the City of Uvalde the day of the shooting.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.