Stephen Winkler is no longer on the Saugus Union School District governing board, according to a default judgment issued Monday in Los Angeles.
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Saugus Union School District officials have sought to remove Winkler for more than a year, after his seat was vacated with a 4-1 vote last June.
Related article: Saugus Union School Board Votes 4-1 To Vacate Winkler’s Seat
“(Winkler), having been regularly served with process and having failed to appear and answer the verified complaint in quo warranto filed herein… it is ordered, ajudged and decreed… the defendant has usurped, intruded into, and unlawfully held and exercised the office of trustee.”
Winkler did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the ruling.
“We’re thrilled that the judge validated all the motions we put in place,” said Saugus Union board member Judy Umeck.
“The next step is we will be holding a special board meeting on Thursday so that we can declare the seat officially vacant,” Umeck said.
The board is then going to host a discussion about an appointment versus a special election for the seat.
Due to the cost associated with a special election, school district officials would like to make an appointment, Umeck said.
School district officials received the OK to remove Winkler — who was censured over inappropriate comments comments he allegedly made through social media accounts, then accused of maintaining a residence outside of school district boundaries in Sylmar two weeks later, from the state’s attorney general in February.
“Winkler is correct that a person may only have one true, legal residence at a time, but the question raised here by his acts and declarations is, where is that residence located?,” wrote Deputy Attorney General Marc Nolan in his statement from the Attorney General’s Office. “Although we cannot answer that question with certainty, it is not necessary for us to do so at this stage. Suffice it to say that there is a substantial factual and legal issue as to the location of Mr. Winkler’s domicile.”
School district officials filed their lawsuit shortly thereafter.
Related article: While Saugus Union Awaits Lawsuit, Stephen Winkler Remains Absent
District officials filed suit shortly after, but Winkler has not appeared at a board meeting or school function since the initial vote.
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Source: Santa Clarita News