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Judge dismisses suit by Orange schools trustee

February 03, 2007|From a Times Staff Writer

A lawsuit filed by an Orange Unified School District trustee accusing fellow board members of violating his rights by voting to censure him for disparaging a school principal during a board meeting was dismissed Thursday by an Orange County Superior Court judge.

Judge Clay M. Smith wrote that just as Steve Rocco -- who filed the suit -- has a right to state his opinion, fellow trustees have a right to register their displeasure at his comments.

Rocco, an eccentric, conspiracy-minded Santa Ana resident, has created controversy since his 2004 election to the board, which oversees a $230-million annual budget and more than 31,000 students.

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