The Rio Hondo College Board of Trustees has voted to begin negotiations to terminate the contract of President Herbert M. Sussman.
In a 3-2 vote, the trustees decided to begin negotiations to buy out the remaining year of Sussman's 3-year contract. Sussman, president of the community college since 1982, will remain on the job until an agreement is reached.
The trustees favoring Sussman's termination did not explain their decision at the board meeting. Trustee Isabelle Gonthier, a Sussman supporter, said the vote "was a total surprise to me."
Sussman declined comment on the board's decision, but said any settlement would have to be larger than the $87,000 owed him under the contract. Sussman, 64, was president of the San Francisco Community College District before becoming president of Rio Hondo, an 8,000-student community college that serves parts of Southeast Los Angeles County and the San Gabriel Valley.