Monday, September 19, 2016

Arguments Heard in TSC Public Hearing. Tercero Is Terminated for Cause, Without Pay

Richard A. Illmer, Attorney for Dr. Lily Tercero
Monday's TSC public hearing was more about money than termination. Richard A. Illmer, Dr. Tercero's attorney, stopped just short of doing the math for us, saying Tercero had 2-1/2 years left on her $220,000 annual contract to run the school, "nearly $500,000," and, if you decide to terminate, you must pay her." 

Actually, Richard, 2.5 X $220,000=$560,000, quite a hunk of change for the country's poorest region to pay a president for NOT doing her job.

Dallas lawyer Illman may not have earned his money, if his assignment was to convince the trustees not to terminate Tercero or, at least, terminate with pay.

"The board, like any other employer, has the right to terminate an employee, with or without cause. You don't even have to have this hearing to do that," Illman lectured.

Next, Illman called for trustees Trey Mendez and Adela Garza to be recused from voting on Tercero's termination for public comments hinting at their leanings.(Illman did not call for Reynaldo Garcia, D.D.S., to be recused, despite his pro-Tercero public comments.) Perhaps not intentionally, but the Dallasite never quite got the handle on the board chairman's name, calling her, variously, De la Garza, Dr. de la Garza, Garcia and, once, by her first name, Adela. He used every second of the 90 minutes allotted to him for oral arguments, but, still fell short, the final results being a 5-2 vote for termination without pay.

TSC Attorney Frank Perez
Although stretched out by TSC Attorney Frank Perez into nine separate points, there were actually three primary issues against Tercero: Entering into a renewal contract with a firm for windstorm protection without consulting the board, not informing the board of the terrible dropoff in passing rates for the state nursing test for students of the nursing program, leading to the program's suspension, and making hundreds of thousands of dollars in payouts using signature stamps of individuals no longer on the Board of Trustees.

Dr. Tercero, in aqua jacket, listens to Attorney Illman
Attorney Illman said it was Chet Lewis, TSC Vice President for Financial Affairs, who "dropped the ball" on the windstorm policy renewal.  Carlos Pecero, the school's controller, also confirmed to Tercero that the insurance agreement had been "approved" by the board in 2012, according to Illman.

Several times, Attorney Illman described Tercero as a "humble servant leader," that had to build a university "from the ground up, achieving accreditation "in record time."  The windstorm policy renewal "snuck up on her," he said.

After making his rebuttal to allegations by TSC Attorney Frank Perez, Attorney Illman tried to call his client, Dr. Lily Tercero, to the podium.

Board Chairman Adela Garza reiterated that no testimony from Dr. Tercero would be heard and moved for progression into a closed executive session.  

Attorney Illman protested the closed session, asking instead for an "open discussion" of the charges against Tercero.  

Nena and I could not stay for the results of the executive session, but have learned the vote was 5-2 for termination without pay.


  1. Attorney Illman also mentioned that:
    --Ruben, Trey and Adela should recuse from voting due to conflict of interest.
    --The emails that Ruben Herrera, copy to all trustees was a quorum in violation or rules; rookies at it's best!!
    --You could hear Adela screaming during what was supposed to executive session.
    -- Adela, Ruben and Trey did not abstain, they should have since they were dogging Dr Tercero with stupid individual requests.

    1. And what about Dr. Garcia ?
      Please Miss Miller give us a break

    2. No miss Miller we could hear YOU gossiping with Dr. Garcias wife. I was sitting behind you. God forbid you ever get elected.

  2. anonymous at 6:19 is none other than argelia miller. Get a life and stop running for elections. God wants you to stop running.

  3. Jim,

    Where does this go from here?

  4. Why do you fail to mention that Tercero's lawyer read into the record two very emails filled with outrageous demands of long long lists of documents made by Tony Zavaleta. How is that not dogging Dr. Tercero. A little selective listening I guess.

    1. That's almost another article in itself, the emails, especially the one from Dr. Reynaldo Garcia, complaining about the "tyrannical" nature of Adela's leadership.

    2. That was not an email. It was an old fashion regular post office certified letter with a return receipt for documentation.

  5. Jim, the reason Illman asked the board members to recuse themselves is because they violated Tercero's right to due process. Garcia in fact was trying to preserve it by supporting her stay. The board/college broke the law on three counts: publicly stating that a new president was being sought, emailing each other thereby making for a rolling quorum and lastly and the most blatant of all, going into executive session during a public hearing. Read the code. Like or hate Lily, this is not TSC's finest hour.

  6. so the TSC board accuses Dr. Tercero, supplies their own lawyer with evidence to convince them that their accusations have merit, does not allow the accused to speak, and then decides if the accused is guilty of the charges they brought upon her. Neat huh. plaintiff, judge, jury, executioner all one and the same.

    1. This is how the corrupt board majority likes to conduct business. No transparency what so ever. They already converted the board room into a discotheque, a setting they feel more comfortable with. Soon they will probably add mirrors on the ceiling.

  7. Jim so you know my question was directed to the person some is assuming is aegelia miller and not you