UVALDE, Texas – The fate of Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo will be decided at a later time, as the school district has canceled Saturday’s meeting.
The board posted a statement to the school district’s website on Friday, saying the meeting to consider Arredondo’s termination will be delayed at the request of his attorney. You can read the full statement below:
“The special board meeting scheduled for 9 a.m., Saturday, July 23, 2022, has been canceled. In conformity with due process requirements, and at the request of his attorney, the meeting to consider the termination of Chief Arredondo will be held at a later date which has yet to be determined. During this interim period, as allowed under law, Chief Arredondo shall be on unpaid administrative leave.”
The next regular school board meeting will be held at 6 p.m., Monday, though Arredondo’s termination will likely not be addressed at that time.
On Wednesday, Superintendent Hal Harrell recommended Arredondo’s firing after being blamed for the botched law enforcement response to the massacre at Robb Elementary School that claimed 21 lives on May 24.
Arredondo was placed on paid administrative leave by the district nearly one month after the shooting. Lt. Mike Hernandez has since resumed his duties. As of Friday, the district said Arredondo is now on unpaid administrative leave.
Since the shooting at Robb Elementary, the Uvalde community has criticized the school board for not holding Arredondo accountable and a lack of security at the school prior to the shooting, The Associated Press reports.
Arredondo is the chief of a six-person department, and he was one of the first to arrive at the scene of the Robb Elementary shooting -- the worst school shooting in Texas history. Law enforcement waited over an hour before confronting the shooter, and the blame has largely fallen on Arredondo.
A Texas House committee recently released a report on the shooting response and the surveillance video from inside of the school that captured how the law enforcement response unfolded on that tragic day. The report alleges that Arredondo should’ve taken charge, as no one else was set to be in command.
It also states that responding officers “lacked clear leadership, basic communications and sufficient urgency” to encounter the gunman, the AP reports.