San Ysidro School Board To Act On Superintendent's Contract

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    NEWSLETTERS

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

    The San Ysidro school board has set a March 20 special board meeting to discuss the superintendent's contract, according to board president Jason Wells.

    Superintendent Manuel Paul is on paid administrative leave until March 18, after questions arose from his testimony in a pending lawsuit against the district.

    Paul testified under oath in a June deposition about a lawsuit that involved outfitting the district's eight schools with solar panels. Paul said he accepted about $2,500 in cash from a contractor who was seeking construction work with the district.

    The story was first reported by NBC7 Investigates in August.

    The superintendent was placed on paid administrative leave on Jan. 15. A Grand Jury issued indictments in January to Paul and 14 others in a South County bribery scandal involving multi-million construction contracts and three school districts. Paul's previous defense attorney said the superintendent is innocent, and he is scheduled to enter a plea in April.

    The Grand Jury indictment stems from a different incident than the more recent cash drop-off. Paul and his wife are listed in court documents as participants of an expensive meal at Morton's steakhouse in July 2008 in which a contractor picked up the $1,700 dinner tab.

    Since Paul's placement on leave, activists within the teacher's union have raised concerns that Paul continues to show up at district meetings and community meetings, even though he is on paid administrative leave.

    Wells has said the district cannot prevent an individual from coming to community meeting and representing themselves as a community member; as the meetings are open to the public. 

    Trustee Wells said Friday that just because no permanent action has yet been taken on the superintendent's contract doesn't mean the board isn't working toward a solution.

    "Finality is what we don't have at this point. Everyone involved has their own rights and deserves a process," Wells said. "We don't have the luxury of knee-jerk reactions." 

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