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Death Threat Against School Superintendent

By: KKTV Email
By: KKTV Email

A death threat was made against a Trinidad school superintendent. Now the woman accused is facing charges.

The threat comes as some in the community are demanding the resignation of superintendent Dr. Manuel Rodriguez.

Trinidad police tell 11 News the threatening phone call was made Monday April 16.

An unknown woman called the superintendent’s office, and before the secretary could get a word in, the caller said, “Your superintendent is being watched at all times. He is really being watched and is going to be shot.”

The secretary asked who the woman was but she hung up. The lady told police the caller sounded like an “older woman," according to a police report. She was able to get the phone number and tried calling it back, but there was no answer.

According to the police report, the incoming phone number was linked to a marketing firm.

But police tell 11 News that after getting a search warrant and working with the phone company, they were able to trace the call back to 65-year-old Helen Cordova. Police tell 11 News she is reportedly married to a school district employee.

Cordova faces charges of harassment (Class 3 misdemeanor), menacing (Class 3 misdemeanor), and interference with staff, faculty, or students of education institution (Class 1 misdemeanor).

The woman was charged before Tuesday night’s school board meeting, where a group of community members presented leaders with 1,000 signatures calling for Rodriguez's resignation. 11 News has told you before about CPAC, Concerned Parents and Community. The group presented the board with their petition for the “Vote of No Confidence” demanding the superintendent’s resignation.

The community group gave the board an ultimatum: they want Rodriguez gone by May 8 or they will work to recall the president and vice president of the Board of Education.

11 News was not able to reach Rodriguez for comment. The school board president says that no one on the board can comment at this time about the threat or the petition.

Cordova was not arrested but did receive a court summons. She must be in court on May 31.

CPAC’s chairman, Kelley Ferdula, tells 11 News that about 250 people attended the school board meeting Tuesday night. She said that many of them wore black to show unity for their cause. The group questions the superintendent’s decisions for the district and his motives for making the changes he has made. They are working with the Trinidad Education Association and the Colorado Education Association.


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