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PARAMOUNT : Former Supt. Caldwell Granted New Trial

March 17, 1994

Former Paramount schools Supt. Richard Caldwell may get another chance in court to win back his job.

A Superior Court judge has granted Caldwell a new trial in his suit that contends Paramount Unified board members discriminated against him because of his age and race when they refused to renew his contract two years ago. Caldwell, 68, is white.

If the case goes to trial again, the only issue will be whether Caldwell lost his job because of his age, attorneys for both sides said. A jury ruled in January that the district did not discriminate against Caldwell because of his race, but deadlocked over the issue of age discrimination.

Judge Jerry K. Fields last week decided that he gave the jury erroneous instructions, according to Caldwell's attorney, Alex Molina. The judge has decided he erred in telling the jury that Caldwell had to prove he was performing satisfactorily to win the lawsuit, Molina said.

The district has appealed, according to its attorney, Conrad Kohrs.

Caldwell served as superintendent of the district for 13 years. In November, he won a seat on the board that had refused to renew his contract.

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