“I have made the decision to hire Chief Aradonto on executive leave from this date because I do not know when I will receive the results of the remaining ambiguity and investigation,” Harrell wrote in a statement to the media. .
Lieutenant. Mike Hernandez assumes leadership of UCISD, Harrell said.
The supervisor wrote that the employee would like to wait until the investigation is completed before making a decision.
“Even today, I am without details of investigations conducted by various agencies,” he wrote.
Arredonto testified Tuesday behind closed doors in Austin to the Texas House Committee seeking an answer to what happened when 21 people were shot dead at an elementary school on May 24, but did not speak publicly about the decision he made on the day of the shooting.
The school district’s announcement comes a day after Arredondo’s new member voted to reject his request for vacation from Uvalde City Council.
Harrell was not the only one to appear frustrated by the lack of information from investigators.
On Tuesday, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin criticized the Texas Department of Public Security (DPS) for its lack of transparency and accused its director, Colonel Steven McGrath, of deliberately downplaying his agency’s mistakes in the weeks following the Rob Elementary massacre.
“Colonel. McGrath has an agenda, it is not about presenting a full report of what happened and giving true answers to what happened to this community,” he added.
In addition, the State Senate. Roland Guterres, a Democrat representing the state of Wolverhampton, filed a lawsuit Wednesday against DBS, claiming the agency violated the Texas Public Information Act when his request for information about the shooting was ignored.
“In the wake of the mindless tragedy, the people of Wolde and Texas have demanded responses from their government. To date, they have faced changes of lies, misrepresentations and taunts,” the lawsuit said.
DPS director Arredondo, McCraw and others identified himself as the scene commander, accusing him of ordering police to wait in a nearby hallway for unwanted equipment and keys to the unlocked door.
“Three minutes after the object entered the western building, a sufficient number of armed officers were armed to isolate, divert and neutralize the subject,” McGrath said. “The only thing stopping the dedicated officers ‘corridor between rooms 111 and 112 is the scene commander who decided to put the officers’ lives before the lives of the children.”
Nonetheless, officers have repeatedly changed their account of key facts about what happened inside the room and what the police did during those 77 minutes.
McLaughlin said repeated false statements and insults from Texas officials divide the community and frustrate grieving families.
“What is important to Waldow is that these broken-hearted families and this grieving community receive a full investigation and an accurate report of what happened that day,” he said. “Small infighting, click byte headlines and politically motivated sacrifices do not help anyone.”
CNN has approached the Texas Department of Public Safety, the District Attorney’s Office, the head of the Texas House Commission of Inquiry, and the FBI’s San Antonio office for further comment.
The state senator’s case challenges DPS secrecy
In his case filed Wednesday, Guterres challenged the DBS’s decision to withhold information from the public, including police body game footage, 911 audio and ballistics reports.
“The DPS violated Chapter 552 of the Texas Government’s Act for failing to provide public documents within a reasonable time,” the lawsuit alleges.
Titled “The Cover-Up,” the lawsuit alleges that DPS used an exception to the law to keep records private.
“These government agencies did not allow access to information that could shed light on the response to the school shooting, using the ‘going law enforcement exception’ to the Texas Open Records Act,” the lawsuit states.
Guterres is asking Travis County District Court to immediately issue the documents in his registration request for DBS.
District Attorney Christina Mitchell Busby issued a statement two weeks ago stating that the shooting was being investigated by the FBI and the Texas Rangers, and that releasing records of the incident at this time would “interfere with the ongoing investigation and prevent a full and thorough investigation.”
However, Kelly Shannon, executive director of the Texas Freedom of Information Foundation, emphasized transparency in a statement Wednesday.
“It is important to note that the Texas Public Information Act does not require law enforcement investigators to withhold information about a crime from the public,” Shannon said. “The law enforcement exception to the release is optional. In fact, many police and prosecutors across Texas routinely release public investigative information needed to help apprehend a wanted suspect, obtain additional clues about a crime, or expose the police’s positive performance.”
The mayor says he is frustrated by the lack of transparency
At a city council meeting, McLaughlin said officers from at least eight law enforcement agencies were on the sidewalk outside the classrooms on the day of the shooting. McLaughlin said he did not want to run for re-election and “did not hide anyone” and that all responding companies should be held accountable.
Leaking some information over the past few weeks, he said, “continues to create chaos in our community and prevent the whole truth from coming out.”
“I’m frustrated – not as frustrated as families who have lost their loved ones – but it hurts me that I can not give you answers or get answers from you,” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin said he had to get a daily explanation from the authorities since it started, but nothing was provided.
“The gloves are off. As far as we know we will share it. We are not going to back down anymore,” he said.
There was also a discussion at the city council meeting about the lack of public view of Aradonto.
CNN’s Jamiel Lynch, Andy Rose, Christina Maxouris, Amanda Musa, Rosalina Nieves, Amy Simonson, Travis Caldwell and Steve Almasy contributed to the report.