Dr. Manuel Isquierdo was introduced to the media on Thursday as the San Antonio Independent School District’s lone finalist for the superintendent’s job and immediately defended some of the issues that cloud his past.
SAISD Board President Ed Garza acknowledged in introducing Isquierdo that along with his success he has had some trouble.
"We know that he does come with a background of both impressive results and a background that some would question," Garza said.
After that, Isquierdo wasted little time before issuing an apology for some of the things in his past that others might question.
"I'm very apologetic,” Isquierdo said. “I've made some missteps in my career."
Isquierdo acknowledged traffic violations that led to a suspended license.
He was also forced to reimburse his Tucson, Ariz., school district for charges he made on the district’s credit card that an auditor rules should be disallowed.
He gave an example of those charges.
"We gave our sponsors clocks,” Isquierdo said. “Those were unallowable and we have, I might add, two letters from our attorneys that said we could do it."
He also spoke about a tax lien by the Internal Revenue Service involving the sale of his house.
"We bought it at $700,000 and sold it at $300,000," Isquierdo said.
SAISD Board Vice President Ruben Cuero was glad Isquierdo talked about his problems.
"He recognizes that the public needs to know about these things and he has made it clear that he wants to come clean," Cuero said.
Some board members who initially supported him have backed away.
Boardmember Patti Radle is still a supporter, but she's nervous and hopes she wasn't swayed by a slick talker.
"I think it's always something that makes you very nervous as a decision-maker,” Radle said. “Is this somebody that really convinced us?"
Despite his past, the three SAISD boardmembers appearing at the introduction still say Isquierdo is the right one for the job.
Isquierdo was supposed to meet the media later, but came here early to quell the apparent uprising.
He will meet the public at the end of next week.
State law mandates a 21-day waiting period before he can be named the superintendent.