Former TSC president files appeal on $1 judgment - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Former TSC president files appeal on $1 judgment

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Posted: Saturday, November 30, 2019 7:04 pm

Former president of Texas Southmost College Lily Tercero has formally appealed her case after a federal judge reduced a $13.1 million judgment to $1 in July.

Tercero sued TSC after the Board of Trustees fired her in September 2016 for deliberately and recklessly failing to obtain windstorm insurance with board approval in compliance with state law; for allowing TSC checks to be stamped with signatures of people who were no longer trustees; for failing to timely search and fill the position of vice president for finance and administration; for failing to inform the board of the ailing nursing program and its pending suspension; for refusing a board member’s request that he personally sign and review checks in the amount of $10,000 or more and for not complying with a request for information sought by another member.

A final judgment signed by U.S. District Judge Fernando Rodriguez, Jr. on Feb. 11 ordered that Tercero recover from the District $674,878.66 for her breach-of-contract claim, $117,685.67 in attorney fees, and $12.5 million for the deprivation of her rights.

On July 25, Rodriguez granted a motion to dismiss filed on behalf of TSC officials stating that the Court found that “Tercero’s evidence did not connect her injuries to the due process violations.”

Rodriguez wrote that the Court found the $12.5 million judgment excessive and ordered the $674,878.66 judgment vacated and the amount reduced to $1.

TSC Board of Trustees Chair Adela G. Garza told The Brownsville Herald in July that the college was pleased with the ruling and that “the action the board took almost three years ago in this matter was as solemn stewards of the college district and focused on the best interests of the students, community and taxpayers. The court’s action today (Thursday) affirms the board’s decision as just.”

Tercero and her attorneys have appealed the ruling, which is currently pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

esheridan@brownsvilleherald.com

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