Northside ISD trustee enters pretrial diversion program in DWI case

Dr. Karla Duran, 44, was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated following a traffic stop in early September

Northside ISD trustee Dr. Karla Duran during a court appearance last month. (Joshua Saunders, KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – A Northside Independent School District trustee arrested last fall on suspicion of driving while intoxicated has entered a pretrial diversion program in the case, Bexar County court records confirm.

Dr. Karla Duran, 44, was granted PTD Friday, five months after she was arrested by San Antonio police.

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Duran’s vehicle had a tail light out as she entered the highway, and she was later seen swerving and going onto the shoulder of the highway multiple times, a Sept. 3 warrant for a blood draw stated.

Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales recused his office from the case weeks after Duran’s arrest, meaning it was handed off to a special prosecutor.

The county’s pretrial diversion program, which is typically only available to defendants with either no prior criminal history or a minimal criminal history, and usually excludes defendants charged with using a deadly weapon, allows them to get a dismissal in their case and eventually seek an expunction of their records.

Expunction is the process of deleting information about a person’s arrest and criminal charges from law enforcement records.

Pretrial diversion is described as a contract between the prosecuting attorney and the accused person and usually includes taking appropriate courses for the charge, such as substance abuse or behavioral modification classes, community service and making restitution.

KSAT Investigates revealed in November that NISD, San Antonio’s largest school district, has no policy in place for its board to publicly reprimand a fellow trustee accused of improper behavior.

The special prosecutor assigned to Duran’s DWI case did not respond to an email seeking comment Wednesday.

Duran sent the following statement via email to KSAT:

“As a career educator, I have always taught our students about the importance of accountability and learning from mistakes. That every challenge is an opportunity for growth and learning. Now, I have the opportunity to lead by example. I have committed to completing a comprehensive program focused on personal development, community service and restorative action. I see this as an essential opportunity to take accountability for my actions and begin to rebuild trust. I am grateful for the support of my family, friends, colleagues and constituents. My commitment to our educational mission and serving our community remains unwavering. I am here to do the work, to grow from this experience, and to continue contributing to the NISD community in a meaningful and positive way. Thank you for standing with me as we move forward together.”

Read more reporting on the KSAT Investigates page.

About the Author:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.