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Spirited testimony in day 2 of Ron Reynolds injunction hearing - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Spirited testimony in day 2 of Ron Reynolds injunction hearing

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State District Judge Tom Rugg ruled today that a Temporary Restraining Order preventing BISD employee Ron Reynolds from being fired will remain in effect.

The TRO will stay in effect until Judge Rugg can issue a written opinion no later than July 11.

Tuesday is the second day of testimony in an injunction hearing of a Beaumont Independent School District employee who says his job was put on the chopping block as an act of retaliation.

BISD Business Volunteer Supervisor Ron Reynolds is seeking to block his layoff by upgrading an existing temporary restraining order to an injunction.

Reynolds' attorney says his client was retaliated against for releasing information to the media, information he said had to be released under the Freedom of Information Act.  The released information involved Patricia Lambert.

TESTIMONY FROM TUESDAY

On Tuesday, Patricia Lambert was called to the stand.  Reynolds' attorney asked about her education experience.  He submitted into evidence Lambert's bio and the BISD administration team guide.  

Lambert pointed out that she did not write the bio included in the guide.  Her tone prompted the judge to interrupt her testimony saying she is in court as a witness and not to lecture.

"Please confine yourself," said the judge.

Lambert testified that New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagan was a reference on her resume.

Reynolds' attorney asked if she was in an intimate relationship with Nagan.  

"Absolutely not!" she replied.  

Lambert was asked about fees parents were required to pay.

"I'm not comfortable answering those questions.  There's an ongoing FBI investigation," testified Lambert.

Lambert was asked about a meeting with Reynolds that was held after two documents were released to the media.  She said the documents included her Social Security number.  She said the release of those documents caused her to panic.

Lambert testified that criminal charges were filed against her while she was employed in New Orleans.  She said she pleaded no contest and it was expunged.

Lambert read from her BISD application which asked if she ever pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony.  She testified that she answered 'no.' 

Former BISD Exec. Director of Personnel Sybil Comeaux testified.  She testified that a rule was put in place after Patricia Lambert's information was released that required all media requests to be approved by a supervisor and by the superintendent. 

She testified that she was not in the cabinet meeting when the reduction in force was held.  She said she had no say in the RIF. 

Comeaux said an at-will employee was on the RIF list.  She said it was an "oversight" when Reynolds' attorney asked why that employee was on the list.

Como said when Reynolds told her in her office that he was being reassigned, it was the first time she had heard about it.   

BISD spokesperson Jessie Haynes took the stand Tuesday afternoon.  She said she has no authority concerning the reduction in force list.  She said if she had authority in that area, her name would not be on the list. 

Haynes testified that Lambert told her Reynolds had given her personnel file to trustees Mike Neil and Tom Neild.  She said it was inappropriate.

Haynes said in her testimony that she was assaulted by Mike Neil and Jerry Jordan.  She said her conviction earlier this year of blocking a public passageway.

Haynes testified that she met with a reporter to discuss Lambert's file.  She told the superintendent that there was personal information including Lambert's Social Security Number in the file.  Reynolds attorney presented Haynes with Lambert's personnel file and asked her to point out where there is a Social Security number in the documents.  Haynes was not able to locate a Social Security Number in the file.  She said she did not think it was an exact copy of the documents she saw a year ago.

Haynes testified that Reynolds did not follow proper procedure when he released information to board members before he cleared it with herself or the Superintendent.

Reynolds was the last witness called to stand and testified for nearly two hours.

He started by saying his goal at BISD was to make attitudes between the media and the district more friendly.

Reynolds testified that he did not release former assistant superintendent Patricia Lambert's social security number with her personnel file that was given to the media. Reynolds said he thinks Jessie Haynes lied on the stand about seeing Lambert's social security number on the document..

Reynolds said he feels confident Judge Rugg will side with him and allow his case to head to trial before allowing the board to move forward with its Reduction In Force list.

This is a developing story.  Check back for updates.

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