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FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY NEWS | NORTH: FULLERTON

Trustees Do Not Have Conflict, Lawyers Say

March 13, 1998|MIMI KO CRUZ

Attorneys for the Fullerton School District have determined that it is legal for two trustees to sit on the district's foundation board.

Some residents had accused the two trustees--Anthony M. Valla and board President Robert C. Fisler--of violating conflict of interest laws for voting on foundation proposals.

Attorneys disagreed, and Supt. Ron Cooper said the law has been followed.

With the legal opinion, the school board this week acted on issues involving the foundation, created to raise funds for the district's educational programs.

Trustees agreed to allow an administrator and a clerical worker to spend a quarter of their time coordinating foundation operations.

The cost is estimated at $50,000.

Though the district is helping the foundation get started, the fund-raising organization is expected to become independent, trustees agreed.

The foundation already has granted $10,000 in awards to teachers for various classroom projects.

Foundation board members said that similar organizations have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for schools throughout the county.

Still, some residents questioned the need for the foundation.

"As a taxpayer, I would never have approved using the taxpayers' money for this," Fullerton resident Marie Whaling said.

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