Petition Calling for the Resignation of Ref Rodriguez
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We are Concerned Parents of LAUSD calling for the immediate resignation of school board member Ref Rodriguez.
We have lost all trust with Ref Rodriguez because of his on-going legal problems. On March 16, 2018, Rodriguez was arrested on suspicion of being drunk in public during work hours at the Pasadena Yard House restaurant, detained for over 5 hours, and released without charge.
Additionally, Rodriguez faces 3 felony and 25 misdemeanor charges, and will have a preliminary hearing on July 23, 2018 in criminal court. The District Attorney is also expanding its case to investigate separate conflict-of-interest allegations that involve $285,000 in public money.
Despite all of this, Rodriguez has not answered the criminal charges or allegations against him. And as a board member, he still has a vote on issues that impact our students' lives: school resources, budgets, personnel issues, and public money - just to name a few. According to Board Member Schmerlson, Rodriguez was the deciding swing vote in appointing billionaire Austin Beutner into the Superintendent position.
The call for Rodriguez to step down is growing. Board President Monica Garcia and others asked Rodriguez to take a leave. The LA Times said that Rodriguez should explain himself or “get off the board.” But Rodriguez has flatly refused to step down, clinging to his seat without any explanation.
If Ref Rodriguez has an explanation, let’s hear it. But we cannot blindly trust Rodriguez with our children’s best interests - while he fights a felony prosecution.
More on Rodriguez's Charges and Allegations
In September 2017, Rodriguez was charged with 3 felony counts of conspiracy, perjury, and procuring and offering a false or forged instrument; and 25 misdemeanor counts of assumed name contribution. The LA District Attorney alleges Rodriguez funneled over $24,000 of his own money into his 2015 campaign and improperly identified his campaign donors.
Making matters worse, in October 2017, PUC Schools – a charter school group that Rodriguez actually co-founded - filed a separate complaint against Rodriguez with the CA Fair Political Practices Commission. The complaint cited possible conflict of interest violations involving over $285,000 in school funds. It alleged that Rodriguez, while serving as PUC Schools Treasurer, authorized 14 checks of over $265,000 to Partners for Developing Futures – an organization that also employed him as President and CEO.
According to the LA Times, a lawyer for PUC Schools investigated the transactions and found little or no evidence of services provided for these payments. He said that the transactions didn’t appear properly authorized or adequately documented.
Let’s face it. We can’t trust Rodriguez to stand up for our students - if he is really focusing on fighting a felony prosecution.
We, the undersigned, are concerned parents, educators, students, and community members who urge Ref Rodriguez to resign from the LAUSD School Board immediately.
More info: You can learn more about Ref Rodriguez’s charges and allegations through this SLIDESHOW.
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