Chief Pedro “Pete” Arredondo was placed on unpaid administrative leave on June 22, according to the district. Separately, Arredondo resigned his position on the Uvalde City Council in early July, according to a resignation letter he sent to the city.
Harrell, who recommended Arredondo’s firing, gave the update on the meeting in a video message emailed to the parents of Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) students, which was obtained by CNN.
“It will be rescheduled in the very near future,” Harrell said in the video.
Arredondo has come under withering criticism from both state officials and the public over his conduct during the Robb Elementary school massacre, in which 19 children and two teachers were killed.
Responding authorities who arrived at the school waited more than an hour at the school before confronting and killing the gunman — a move that some law enforcement experts say could have cost lives.
Harrell reiterated that the special meeting was canceled after Arredondo’s attorney gave the school board notice of his due process rights under the school board policy.
“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,” said the written statement from the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District.
The Uvalde CISD is scheduled to hold a regular board meeting on July 25 at 6:30 p.m. CT. The email sent to parents by Harrell and obtained by CNN included four agenda items — such as the development of a new elementary school and an updated 2022-2023 calendar — but did not mention Arredondo’s employment.
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Col. Steven McCraw has called the law enforcement response to the attack an “abject failure,” adding the only thing stopping officers from entering the rooms where the gunman was in “was the on-scene commander, who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children.”
State authorities have identified Arredondo as that commander, but he has said that he did not consider himself the incident commander.
A preliminary report released Sunday by a Texas House investigative committee outlined a series of failures by multiple law enforcement agencies and placed the blame more broadly.
In that report, Arredondo said that his approach was “responding as a police officer.”
“I didn’t title myself. But once I got in there and we took that fire, back then, I realized we need some things. We’ve got to get in that door. We need an extraction tool. We need those keys … As far as I’m talking about the command part … the people that went in, there was a big group of them outside the door. I have no idea who they were and how they walked in or anything kind of — I wasn’t given that direction,” the chief said in the report.
CNN’s Andy Rose contributed to this report.
July 24, 2022 at 08:45AM