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California Briefing / Long Beach

Election set for school board post

September 03, 2009|Seema Mehta

Schools trustees voted to hold a Dec. 29 special election to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of a board member who was being sought by authorities and has had several run-ins with the law.

Long Beach Unified trustees voted Tuesday to call the election, which will cost the cash-strapped district up to $240,000, to fill the post of Michael Shane Ellis. The city charter does not allow the district to place the vote on the regular election ballots in November or April.

Ellis, 41, was elected to the five-member school board in 2006 and has faced controversy. He was convicted in December 2006 of hit-and-run and driving without a license, and in August 2007 of drunk driving. He was evicted from his Alamitos Beach apartment in 2008. A local alternative weekly disclosed earlier this summer that his probation for the hit-and-run was revoked in August 2008, and a judge issued a $15,000 bench warrant for his arrest.

Ellis was censured and asked to resign by his fellow board members in 2007, and faced an unsuccessful recall attempt in 2008. He last attended a board meeting May 5. In July, the district received a hand-delivered letter of resignation, effective Tuesday. The district has not heard from him since.

-- Seema Mehta

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