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Former Donna school board trustee plans to run for mayor

Former Donna school board Trustee Ernesto Lugo plans to run against Mayor Irene Muñoz.

Former Donna school board Trustee Ernesto Lugo plans to run against Donna Mayor Irene Muñoz.

Lugo served nearly a decade on the school board.

"I realized that, politically, Donna was just a hotspot," said Lugo, a former airline pilot who's now involved in healthcare. "And so then I started wondering: 'Well, you know what, I should get involved. I should do something. I should give back to my community."

During the past few years, a series of scandals hit the Donna Independent School District.

Police arrested several employees accused of having sexual relationships with students. FBI agents arrested two school board trustees, who pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges. The district paid a six-figure settlement to employees who proved the school board retaliated against them for political reasons. And the school district police chief accused Lugo of attempting to bribe him.

A grand jury cleared Lugo, finding the charges weren't supported by the evidence.

"I've always spoken against anything that's questionable," Lugo said. "I believe in true transparency. I was the outcast of seven board members."

Lugo said he wants to reduce the city's water rates, repair city streets and improve government services.

He'll face at least one opponent: Muñoz said she plans to seek a second term.

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