UTLA Demands Ref Rodriguez Recuse Himself from Charter Vote

LOS ANGELES — Citing a $75,000 contribution from the CEO of Netflix to his legal defense fund and various conflict of interest and criminal charges that include perjury and conspiracy tied to a money-laundering scheme, on Monday, Nov. 6, the law firm for United Teachers Los Angeles sent a letter to LAUSD School Board Member Ref Rodriguez demanding he recuse himself from voting to uphold or deny charter petitions on Tuesday, Nov. 7. 
 
The letter was also copied to all school board members, as well as the chairs of the California Fair Political Practices Commission and LA City Ethics Commission, District General Counsel David Holmquist and Acting LAUSD Superintendent Vivian Ekchian. Tomorrow, the school board agenda includes approving or denying 34 charter renewals or applications.
 
Ref Rodriguez is facing criminal charges of money laundering linked to his 2015 school board campaign. Separately, Partnerships to Uplift Communities, the charter network he co-founded, recently reported possible conflicts of interest involving Rodriguez and $285,000 in payments that he allegedly authorized when he was a senior executive at PUC.
 
The scandal around Rodriguez is not isolated, and is a part of an unfortunate pattern of waste, fraud and abuse surrounding how some charter operators prefer to work in an unregulated environment. UTLA joins with our community in demanding more equity and access for all students as well as more safeguards and protections, not less. 
 
Tomorrow, a press conference will be held where we will call on Rodriguez to recuse himself from voting on charter-related items as well as to resign from his position on the School Board. 
 
PRESS CONFERENCE
What: Educators, parents demand that Ref Rodriguez recuse himself and resign from the LAUSD School Board
When: Tuesday, Nov. 7
Time:  8:30 AM
Where: LAUSD School Board Headquarters
333 S. Beaudry Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90017
 
UTLA, the nation’s second-largest teachers’ union local, represents more than 35,000 teachers and health & human services professionals who work in the Los Angeles Unified School District and in charter schools.
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