Video: NEISD school board candidate detained after public intoxication incident, yelled at rideshare driver

Jacqueline Klein one of three candidates seeking District 2 seat

A North East Independent School District school board candidate in next month’s election was captured on camera last year cursing at an Uber driver and telling San Antonio police the incident is why people drive drunk, footage obtained by KSAT Investigates shows.

Jacqueline Klein, candidate for NEISD school board Single Member District 2, was detained by SAPD on May 3 around 1 a.m. and taken to a city sobering unit, where she blew an alcohol level of .204.

SAPD officers at the scene declined to charge Klein with public intoxication, telling her she was “going to sleep it off” at the city’s drunk tank and then be released, the footage shows.

“This f---ing guy is a dipsh--.”

SAPD officers were called to a gas station near San Antonio International Airport for a report of an assault in progress, a police incident report states.

At the scene, officers spoke with both Klein and the driver, who previously asked KSAT not to identify him.

He told police Klein slammed his door and became “verbally abusive” shortly after he picked her up from Cootey’s Tavern in the 8300 block of Jones Maltsberger Road.

He ended the ride near the airport and asked Klein to get out of his vehicle.

“And I pulled over here. And she slammed my door, trying to mess my door up. And then she spit on me. And then she spit on me when she got out of the door and she kicked my door trying to damage it. And then she got out and spit on me,” the driver told police in body-worn camera footage, as Klein yelled in the background.

Jacqueline Klein is put in handcuffs on May 3, 2023. (KSAT)

SAPD released five clips of video from the incident following a public records request from KSAT earlier this year.

“This f---ing guy is a dipsh--,” Klein said in the footage, before telling officers the incident was a waste of their time and resources.

“This is why people drive home drunk instead of calling a f---ing Uber. Because you have to deal with sh-- like this. Seriously, this is what happens when you f---ing call an Uber? I’ll get in my car and take my chances,” said Klein, before an officer told her she probably should not do that.

“Well no, I shouldn’t have done that, and that’s why I got in the back of an Uber and then I deal with a f---ing c---sucker like this,” said Klein, again referring to the driver.

WARNING: The following footage contains graphic language

As officers checked the driver’s shirt to see if it still had spit marks on it, Klein denied spitting on the man.

Asked if Klein had kicked the driver’s door, she told police, “After he threw me out of the car I might have done that.”

An SAPD officer examines the shirt of an Uber driver who accused Jacqueline Klein of spitting on him on May 3, 2023. (KSAT)

One officer said the driver still had spit marks on his shirt while a second officer said he did not, according to the footage.

“I’ve never been spit on in my entire life. I’d rather be hit than spit on,” the driver told police.

WARNING: The following footage contains graphic language

Reached for comment, Klein told KSAT in an email, “I admit I was intoxicated on the night in question, and I offer no excuse for that. This is why I was responsible and called an Uber, I was NOT driving. I was detained but NOT arrested. Nonetheless, I apologize to all of the people who have shown confidence in me. This will not happen again.”

Kelton Morgan, a longtime political consultant, said Klein entering a political race despite this recent incident in her background is part of a trend.

“I’m less surprised now than I would have been even five or ten years ago. I think one of the things that the four, eight years of national politics has done is really rewrite the script. Rewrite what it means to be a public official. In this case loyalty to an agenda is more important than character or background,” said Morgan. “That is a sad state of affairs. Democracy is as good as the people who participate in it.”

One opponent weighs in on incident, while the other does not

Five of NEISD’s seven trustee spots are on the May 4 ballot.

Four races are part of a general election.

The District 2 race, however, is listed as a special election, as the winner will take over the seat previously held by trustee Terri Williams, who passed away following a long illness last year.

Instead of serving four years, the winning candidate will serve the two years remaining on Williams’ term and the race will again be on the ballot in 2026.

NEISD’s board last year had repeatedly tried to fill the vacancy by choosing one of four finalists, but could not reach a consensus.

Once considered among the most stable school boards in San Antonio, NEISD trustees squabbled publicly and remained in stalemate for months.

After the board finally agreed to instead have voters fill the vacancy, three of the four finalists entered the race: Klein, Dr. Rhonda Rowland and Tracie Shelton.

Rowland, a retired educator with a doctoral degree in educational administration, said her career as a teacher and school administrator makes her the best candidate.

“I think it was sad that we went without representation for District 2. I think that my experience and my understanding of how schools work is something that will put me in the lead,” said Rowland, who finished third in the 2022 race for District 2 with a little less than 22% of the vote.

Klein finished runner-up to Williams in that race after garnering 37% of the vote.

Rowland gave wavering answers on school vouchers, Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s proposed plan to use tax money to offset the cost of private school for families in the state.

North East Independent School District trustee candidate Dr. Rhonda Rowland. (KSAT)

While Rowland told KSAT she is pro-public education she also said some students and parents don’t fit in the public school system.

“Give me the data and open my mind because I’m willing to see how it affects the classroom,” said Rowland.

Later in the same interview, Rowland told KSAT Abbott may need to “rethink” his position on vouchers and that she believes they will hurt public education overall.

Rowland declined to speak on Klein’s public intoxication incident, telling KSAT that each candidate should be judged on her own merits.

Shelton, an adjunct professor, small business owner and employee for a tech company, said she is a “hard no” on school vouchers.

“In our constitution, in our state constitution, we say that a public education is a right. Vouchers don’t align with that. Public money should not be used to subsidize private education that way,” said Shelton.

North East Independent School District trustee candidate Tracie Shelton. (KSAT)

Asked about Klein’s public intoxication incident, Shelton gave a lengthy response that included, “It means raising your hand when you do something wrong and saying ‘ah, that was me. Let me make amends.’ It means sitting down when you should sit down, and allow someone else to step forward, because for whatever reason you’re not ready or it doesn’t represent what we want for the moment. They (students) get to see us represent what adulting looks like, what leadership looks like, what character looks like, what kindness looks like.”

Klein at first agreed to speak with KSAT for this story, but stated the focus would need to be on the district and issues impacting Roosevelt/NEISD.

KSAT was unwilling to abide by that stipulation.

Klein was sued by NEISD, Bexar County and the City of San Antonio in 2022 over unpaid property taxes.

Klein owed a combined $8,429.14 in taxes, penalties and interest at the time the January 2022 suit was filed.

The case was non-suited last month, meaning the plaintiffs no longer wished to pursue it.

An NEISD spokeswoman confirmed to KSAT that the back property taxes and court costs had been paid.

Read more reporting on the KSAT Investigates page.

About the Authors

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

Joshua Saunders is an Emmy award-winning photographer/editor who has worked in the San Antonio market for the past 20 years. Joshua works in the Defenders unit, covering crime and corruption throughout the city.

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