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South Bay Digest

Inglewood

May 30, 1985

Several hundred supporters of fired Supt. Rex Fortune renewed their attack against three trustees of the Inglewood Unified School District at a tumultuous meeting Tuesday night. At one point, President William Dorn called a recess while a beefed-up squad of district security officers ushered several members of the shouting, chanting audience from Morningside High School and attempted to restore order.

A reporter for the Daily Breeze was among those forced to leave the meeting after he persisted in questioning Dorn about recent board actions.

Dorn and Trustees Caroline Coleman and Ernest Shaw, who took control of the 15,400-student district board after Shaw's election in April, ousted Fortune two weeks ago, giving him one day to clean out his office and leave. The three have declined to give their reasons for firing Fortune.

Carline Elam, a leader of a recall effort against Dorn, said she and other members of an estimated audience of 400 were particularly incensed Tuesday night by the board majority's plans to raise the salaries of two assistant superintendents who are running the district until a replacement for Fortune can be found.

She said the board gave a $500-a-month pay increases to Jerry Norman and Vashti Roberts and smaller amounts to several of their assistants. The action could not be verified at the district office, where a woman in the superintendent's office said nobody was available to answer queries on the subject.

The board agenda called for hiring an executive search firm to begin looking for a superintendent, but no action was taken. Korn Ferry International, whose staff of consultants includes former state Supt. of Public Instruction Wilson Riles, put in a bid for the assignment for a fee of $25,000.

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