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CERRITOS : ABC Trustees to Settle With Embattled Supt.

August 04, 1994|PSYCHE PASCUAL

The ABC School District board approved a $275,000 settlement Tuesday night to resolve a prolonged contract dispute with embattled Supt. Larry L. Lucas, who has been on paid leave for five months.

The dispute began early in March, when four members of the seven-member board abruptly voted to place the superintendent on leave. The board majority said that Lucas, who had headed the district since 1988, had become autocratic.

School board President Cecy Groom, who supported Lucas' departure, said the settlement is fair and is considerably less than Lucas had sought.

Under the terms of the settlement, the district will set up a fund for Lucas and deposit $233,893 over two years. Lucas will also receive about $20,500 in vacation pay and $21,000 in health benefits, Groom said. Lucas also has received about $50,000 while on leave.

Three board members who opposed the March decision to remove Lucas also voted against the settlement. They were Robert Hughlett, Dixie Primosch and Jim Weisenberger.

The settlement still must be approved by the Los Angeles County Office of Education.

Lucas was unavailable for comment. His attorney, David C. Larsen, said Lucas was pleased with the agreement. Larsen initially had argued that the school board violated Lucas' rights by ousting him with three years left in his four-year contract.

Two weeks ago, the school board hired a consultant to help search for a new superintendent. The search is expected to take about four months.

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