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Angeles County | Community News File / Hawthorne

Centinela District Fires Embattled Superintendent

January 13, 1998

The Centinela Valley Union High School District has fired its superintendent and hired a consulting firm managed by former Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. Bill Anton to oversee the district on an interim basis beginning Wednesday.

The school board voted 3-1 during a special meeting Friday to give Supt. John Rindone 30 days notice and place him on paid administrative leave. Rindone was hired as interim superintendent in July 1996 and given a permanent contract last August.

A newly seated board objected to the new contract and returned Rindone to his former interim position and put him on a month-to-month contract with a clause that allowed them to fire him with 30 days notice. The board had contended that Rindone had been given a permanent three-year contract by the former board during a closed meeting in violation of the Brown Act.

The board had been scheduled to meet with Rindone today to discuss his future with the district, but ended up firing him without cause at a hastily called special meeting Friday night, said Eric Bathen, the board's attorney. Bathen said the consulting firm will help conduct a search for a new superintendent, Bathen said.

Bill Shaeffer, an attorney for Rindone, said the embattled superintendent is planning to take legal action against the board.

"The legality of the contract was passed upon by the old counsel and it's clearly unfair for John Rindone to have a contract declared void by attorney shopping," said Shaeffer in reference to board's decision to hire Bathen last month.

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