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PVUSD passes resolution censuring Trustee for alleged role in dismissal of Superintendent

WATSONVILLE, Calif. (KION)

UPDATE 3/25/21 The board has voted to approve the censure. Four board members voted in favor for the censure, two voted against it, and one abstained their vote.

PREVIOUS STORY: The Pajaro Valley Unified School District is scheduled to discuss whether to approve a resolution censuring trustee Georgia Acosta at its next school board meeting.

According to the resolution released by the Board of Trustees, they are considering censuring Acosta for several reasons.

One of the reasons involves the sudden dismissal of Superintendent Dr. Michelle Rodriguez.

In January, the district announced that Rodriguez was fired during a closed Board of Trustees meeting after four of the seven trustees voted in favor of the move. At the time, Rodriguez said Acosta did not allow her to join the meeting and a lawyer went to her office with a paper saying her contract was ending earlier than expected. She did not know why she was being fired.

At the end of the month, the board unanimously voted to rescind her dismissal during a special meeting. Trustee Jennifer Holm was also made the board president during the meeting, replacing Acosta.

PVUSD board rescinds dismissal of superintendent in special meeting

In the resolution, Acosta is accused of providing no notice to board members that she was going to try to fire Rodriguez and did not participate in any closed session special board meetings to evaluate her. She is accused of giving confidential information to a former district employee about her attempt to fire Rodriguez and asking that person for advice.

According to the board resolution, Acosta contacted legal counsel to end Rodriguez's contract in January without the knowledge, consent or authority of the board and arranged for a board meeting on what they say was an unauthorized and unsecured platform while preventing Rodriguez from joining the meeting. She reportedly incurred more than $16,000 in expenses for legal counsel that was unauthorized.

After Rodriguez was fired, the board said Acosta tried to stop public comment on the decision, but Rodriguez was later reinstated and Acosta was removed for her actions.

The board said Acosta's behavior, language and conduct toward employees and the public failed to meet professional standards. They also claim that she has missed 26 board meetings, participated in no committees and was accused of violating the Brown Act after an election to the board in 2018.

The resolution did not give a reason why Acosta tried to fire Rodriguez.

The board will consider the resolution at a meeting on Wednesday.

Read the full resolution below.

Education / Santa Cruz County / Top Stories

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

Carina Nocon

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