Monica Garcia was reelected Monday as president of the Los Angeles Board of Education, but not until after one board member alleged that politics and backroom manipulation sometimes put the interests of adults ahead of students.
Garcia ascended to the presidency last year as the most senior member of a new board majority aligned with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
On the other side was Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, who survived a reelection campaign in which she was targeted by the mayor's allies.
LaMotte accused the board majority of being politically self-serving and making key decisions out of public view.
"The operation of this board is manipulative," LaMotte said. "The majority does have the right to decide, but the minority has rights, which must be protected."
LaMotte abstained during the roll call of votes.
The other members of the seven-member body cast their ballots for Garcia, including Yolie Flores Aguilar, who joined the meeting by phone from the Spanish island of Tenerife, where she is vacationing.