After reaching a settlement in his case, Dr. Ref Rodriguez announced his resignation from the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) on Monday. After nearly a year of going back and forth to court over his misuse of campaign funds, Dr. Rodriguez has reached a plea bargain by pleading guilty to conspiracy. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Dr. Rodriguez will be sentenced to three years probation and must serve 60 hours of community service. Additionally, because of the severity of the crime, he must also resign his position. In addition, he has also reached a deal with the LA Ethics Commission and has agreed to pay a $100,000.00 fine.
Dr. Rodriguez was elected in 2015 and served District 5, which includes the communities of Atwater Village, City Terrace, Eagle Rock, Echo Park, El Sereno, Glassell Park, Highland Park, Los Feliz, Mt. Washington, and Silver Lake, as well as the cities of Bell, Maywood, Vernon, Walnut Park, South Gate, Cudahy, Huntington Park, and South Los Angeles.
While we certainly support holding all elected officials accountable and we are saddened that the charges against Dr. Rodriguez have been confirmed, we can’t help but reflect on how much his constituents liked him and how he was able to encourage and motivate parents to be participants in their children’s education. Even while the case whirled around him, he continued to be devoted to his constituents.
Now it’s time to move forward and find a replacement for the 5th district as there is no time to waste with LAUSD.
Finally, let me just say to those of you who are all over social media bashing reformers and charter schools because of the mistakes of this board member, do I really need to remind you folks at UTLA, CTA, NEA, etc. how many teachers at this moment are sitting in teacher jails all across the state because they are charged with hideous acts against students? Let’s agree that it has nothing to do with reform or charter schools. This was a really bad call by an individual during his campaign. Period. Now let’s go find a champion for the kids and parents of District 5!
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