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Principal, Administrator Resign Over Sex Scandal

December 23, 1990|DEAN MURPHY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NORWALK — The Norwalk-La Mirada school board accepted the resignations last week of an elementary school principal and a district administrator six weeks after it was disclosed that a district security guard allegedly discovered the two having sex on school grounds.

At a special closed-door session Wednesday, the board accepted the resignations of La Pluma Elementary School Principal Michael Newcomb and Christine Roubidoux, the district's director of elementary programs, according to board attorney James Baca.

Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District officials said a security guard allegedly found the two having sex in Newcomb's office one Sunday last fall. Newcomb and Roubidoux have neither publicly confirmed nor denied the allegations.

"Both employees have tendered resignations effective Jan. 31, 1991," Baca said Thursday. "Other than that, we are not at liberty to comment any further."

News of the resignations angered parents of pupils at the La Mirada elementary school, many of whom have accused the district of overreacting to the allegations. Parents recently collected 250 signatures in support of the popular principal and have called on the school board to hold a special public session to discuss the incident.

"I am appalled by the decision, and I know a lot of other parents will be too," said Pam Severns, a parent who works lunchtime and recess duty at the school. "I feel the board pressured them into resignation. . . . They were two consenting adults on their own time, and the only indiscretion was location. I had really hoped that the board would come up with some kind of alternative, maybe just move him to another school or demote him."

Newcomb and Roubidoux have been on paid administrative leave since the allegations were leaked to a local weekly newspaper last month. Both will continue to be paid through Jan. 31, but Baca would not say whether the district agreed to any other financial terms. District officials have routinely declined to discuss the allegations, saying they involve confidential personnel matters.

Baca said earlier that Newcomb and Roubidoux had "requested the opportunity of resignation" and attorneys for both sides were working out the details.

Newcomb, reached at his home in Tustin, would not comment on the district's announcement. His attorney, George William Shaeffer Jr., did not return phone calls, and efforts to reach Roubidoux were unsuccessful.

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