Former Superintendent Continues Emailing Staff

By Wendy Fry
|  Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013  |  Updated 7:17 PM PDT
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Former Superintendent Continues Emailing Staff

San Ysidro Superintendent Manuel Paul (center) stands before a judge on January 8, 2013.

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The former superintendent of the San Ysidro school district said he will continue directing staff via email despite having resigned from his position on March 18.

Former superintendent Manuel Paul (pictured below) entered a "not guilty" plea earlier this month to charges of perjury and accepting gifts. The criminal charges stem from the San Diego County District Attorney's public corruption probe involving 15 South County school officials and contractors.

The San Ysidro school board voted April 4 to accept his resignation dated March 18.

"Many employees: classified, certificated, and management still keep in touch with me via district e-mail.  They ask me questions and I simply respond.  I help them out, or direct them to where they should take their concerns in my absence," Paul wrote via the district email earlier today. 

Teachers have alleged Paul continues to attend community and district meetings, come to the district

offices, and send out emails from an official district email account. Some question whether Paul is still running the district.

The teachers provided NBC7 Investigates with some of the emails, but said they feared losing their jobs if they spoke out on the record or if the emails were published.

One email congratulated San Ysidro teachers on math achievement.

"Congratulations to all of you and your students, you are doing a great job," Paul's email said.

Former teacher Josie Hamada said some teachers feel intimidated.

"It is his way of saying, 'I'm here. No one can get rid of me,'" Hamada said. "The teachers took this as him saying, 'I'm not going away. I'm still here. I'm still your boss.'" 

In response to questions about the communication, District Counsel Dan Shinoff pointed out that the board agreed to pay Paul through June 30, as part of his severance deal. Paul indicated Tuesday that he will continue using the district's email until that date.

The district has still not released other details of Paul's severance package, despite repeated requests.

Shinoff said he will look into whether or not Paul can continue sending directions out to staff after his resignation.

Current Superintendent Gloria Madera, who stepped in as Paul's replacement, said the district policy wasn't clear on the issue, but it states that district employees will be provided an email account.

"I have a lot to do here," Madera said. "I think we have a lot of other issues that we are addressing, like student achievement, that are a lot more important, I think, than some emails."

As for district and community meetings, both Madera and Board President Jason Wells say those are open to the public and Paul is free to attend.

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