The Centinela Union Valley school board voted unanimously on July 9 to start termination proceedings against Centinela Union Valley high school superintendent Jose Fernandez, who made 663,000 last year.
Fernandez was not present at the meeting. The board vote came after five months of controversy over his compensation package, totaling nearly $800,000, with $700,000 in compensation and a whole-life policy that the district bought for him over the last two years at a cost of $100,000. Fernandez also obtained a $900,000 low-interest loan from the district to buy a home. The school board approved the compensation package in late 2009, and Fernandez could only be fired if four of the five board members agreed.
School board president Hugo Rojas stated, “After receiving from legal counsel regarding the issue, the board gave unanimous direction to legal counsel to implement the administrative procedures outlined under section 7D of Superintendent Fernandez’s deployment agreement regarding termination for cause. This motion was voted on and passed 5-0 regarding termination for cause.”
The significance of the district firing Fernandez for cause is that if that succeeds, they owe him no severance pay. If firing him for cause does not succeed, the district would have to pay him roughly $500,000 in severance pay because of his 18-month buyout clause.
The board was briefed on a private investigative company’s findings after two months of investigation.
Some of the few attendees from the local community vented their ire at the school board. George Brazetti said, “Thank you very much for finally doing what you should have done and should have never done in the first place. You should never have hired that joker.”
Marion Thomas agreed, saying, “As a community, we have really suffered, and our students have suffered. And you’re correcting something that you did, but I still think that you need to step down.” She also said, “There was definitely cause, and we all know that. I also want to know when are you guys leaving? You had a fiduciary responsibility.”
Diane Sambrano, who had warned the board before along with several others, stated, “This was a significant mistake that should not have been made before, because you were forewarned… It strikes me that there’s a lot still needing to be done to clean up the mess that was voted on and approved by the majority of you, that brought so much attention to the school district in a very negative way.”
Cesar Perez, president of the classified union representing nonteaching employees, stated, “Anybody who knew about this and allowed the superintendent to do what he did needs to be put on the chopping block. It would send a message, not only to the state but the whole country, that this cannot be happening. It is an abuse of power, and that cannot be tolerated anymore.”
The FBI and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office have been investigating the case, checking to see if any criminal laws were transgressed.
Centinela Union Valley district includes Lawndale, Hawthorne, and the unincorporated communities of Lennox, Del Aire, and Alondra Park. It has three high schools, an adult school, and a continuation school serving 6,000 students.
Source: Breitbart Feed