TUCSON (Ariz.) (AP)... The family of Arizona's only Hispanic Governor is suing University of Arizona for alleged breach of contract in trying to sell the governor's home in Nogales.
Arizona Daily Star reported that the family of Raul Castro donated their home to the University several years ago, for a specific purpose. The Santa Cruz County Superior Court has received a complaint challenging the university's decision not to use the house as intended as the headquarters for border studies.
According to the lawsuit, the Castro family values the house more than its monetary value.
The lawsuit states that'specifically, the Castro family occupied the home for 20 years and wanted it to be used to support Arizonans and Santa Cruz County residents after Raul died.
Castro was Arizona's only Mexican-American Governor for more than two full years in the 1970s, before resigning his position to become ambassador to Argentina. Castro also served as ambassador to Bolivia, El Salvador and Argentina.
In 2003, he bought and moved in with his wife Patricia Castro to Nogales, near the U.S./Mexico border.
The lawsuit claims that after Castro's death, the university contacted the Castro family to ask if they would like to base their border studies initiatives in the two-story home.
The lawsuit states that if the university sells the home, "the family will suffer irreparable injuries which cannot be remedied by compensatory damages."
The board of regents and the university have refused to comment on the specific litigation.
In February, the university announced that it was unable raise enough funds to restore and transform the historic property into an accessible border center run by university.
Pam Scott, a University spokesperson, said that in 2016, when the university first acquired the property, it estimated the cost of the project at $600,000. The cost estimate grew to $1.2m when the COVID epidemic disrupted supply chain. It could have been as high as $2.6m if the entire house was converted.
The university said that for the money raised so far -- approximately $275,000 -- each donor had the option of a refund or adding it to a Castro scholarship fund.
The net proceeds of the sale would be donated to the Center for Latin American Studies Scholarship Fund, which will benefit students studying local politics or international relations at the Center for Latin American Studies.
The Castro family wants an injunction that will prevent the university from selling their home, and ultimately the revocation of the 2016 contract.