Community Members React to Resignation of San Diego County Schools Superintendent - NBC 7 San Diego

Community Members React to Resignation of San Diego County Schools Superintendent

The board agreed in closed-session to pay Ward about $35,000 to resign by Nov. 15 in a 5-0 vote.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Community Members React to Resignation of Randy Ward

    Superintendent Randy Ward resigned amid allegation he misspent public funds and gave himself unauthorized pay hikes. NBC 7's Wendy Fry has more information on his resignation and exclusive information on his severance package. (Published Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016)

    Details of the separation agreement between Superintendent Randy Ward and the County Office of Education came to light Wednesday afternoon.

    Ward resigned Tuesday night after calls for his removal and being placed on paid administrative leave in July. A lawsuit alleges Ward took unauthorized pay hikes under a controversial "me too" clause that say every time teachers get a raise, the superintendent and potentially other top district officials do too.

    The board agreed in closed-session to pay Ward about $35,000 to resign by Nov. 15 in a 5-0 vote, according to NBC 7 sources familiar with the negotiations.

    The board also agreed to pay any legal fees Ward incurs because of pending lawsuits brought against the district and Ward.

    There's a caveat though: the legal funds won't cover any criminal defense and Ward agreed to return the money if he is convicted of any criminal charges.

    Community members who spoke with NBC 7 on Wednesday say now that Ward is gone, it is time for the district to move on.

    "I think that people should be able to move on," said Reverend Shane Harris from the National Action Network. "The board is going to move forward and start selecting a new superintendent and I think the community needs to start moving forward now to focus on education."

    Harris was vocal in criticizing the district on transparency over how public funds are spent and one of the county schools' top attorneys, Dan Shinoff.

    The lawsuit alleges Ward's extra pay increases amounted to between about $70,000 to $100,000 between about 2008 and last July.

    The board released a statement on Tuesday night, which in part, read:

    "Dr. Ward and the Board have agreed that it would be in the best interests of all involved to reach an amicable separation at this point in time. We also wish to reiterate that the placement of Dr. Ward on leave was not, nor was it intended to be, any kind of assertion that the allegations of the California Taxpayers Action Network lawsuit have any merit."