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California Briefing / Los Angeles

No retrial for teacher in algebra textbook case

March 12, 2009|Alicia Lozano

The U.S. attorney decided this week not to retry former Los Angeles Unified School District math teacher Matthias Vheru, who was acquitted last month of conning the district into placing a $3.7-million order for an algebra textbook that he wrote without disclosing his financial interest in the transaction.

A mistrial was declared after the jury was hung 11 to 1 in favor of acquitting Vheru, who is now teaching math at Knight High School in Palmdale and mentoring other teachers, according to the school.

"I feel absolutely vindicated that I didn't do anything wrong," Vheru said.

He was forced to take five weeks off teaching because of the case. His wife, Blandina, said they recently filed for bankruptcy and were at risk of losing their home in California City.

But Vheru's greatest concern was missing so many classes, he said. "I am finally free to go back to my students; they missed me tremendously," he said.

-- Alicia Lozano

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday, March 14, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 National Desk 1 inches; 56 words Type of Material: Correction
Matthias Vheru: A brief in Thursday's Section A about the U.S. attorney's decision not to retry former Los Angeles Unified School District math teacher Matthias Vheru said that Vheru was acquitted last month of defrauding the district. He was not acquitted -- a mistrial was declared after the jury deadlocked 11 to 1 in his favor.

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