Agency determines school employee can pursue complaint

Russel Anglin

The state human rights bureau determined a school employee has sufficient evidence to pursue a complaint against Tucumcari Public Schools.

Carrie Moritomo, public relations officer with the State of New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, confirmed a determination of probable cause issued Aug. 23 in response to Diane Trujillo’s formal complaint alleging she was sexually harassed by former principal David Castillo, and that Trujillo’s complaints to supervisors were not properly addressed.

According to the document, Trujillo submitted statements to the human rights bureau claiming Castillo began to sexually harass her in 2008 and that a supervisor told her to “just go along with it” when she complained in November 2009.

The document states Castillo denied the allegations and claimed there was nothing inappropriate about their relationship. The document also states other women have said they were sexually harassed by Castillo.

Castillo was put on paid administrative leave Nov. 11, 2009. The Tucumcari Public Schools Board of Education held a closed meeting Nov. 16, 2009 to discuss “allegations of administrative misconduct.” No decisions were made, and school officials declined to comment on whether the meeting regarded Castillo. Castillo resigned from his position April 6.

Carol Helms, an attorney representing Tucumcari Public Schools, sent an e-mail statement Monday in response to requests for comment on the human rights bureau’s determination.

“While the school district respects the role of the press, it would be highly improper to comment on employment issues. Further, a determination of probable cause does not mean the process is complete, and it would be improper to comment on an ongoing process. These processes are confidential by design. The school district respects both the design and the process and will not participate in a breach of the intended confidentiality,” Helms wrote.

Roxie Rawls-De Santiago, Trujillo’s attorney, declined comment by phone Monday.

Superintendent Aaron Mckinney declined Monday to comment on whether Trujillo’s allegations led to Castillo’s administrative leave and resignation.

Attempts to reach Castillo and Trujillo for comment were unsuccesful as of Tuesday.

The bureau has scheduled a formal hearing March 7-8, 2011, to address the allegations.