Quo warranto proceedings have not yet been initiated by the Saugus Union School District to clear the removal of Stephen Winkler, according to an email from the state’s Attorney General’s Office.
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SUSD Superintendent Joan Lucid said the district’s governing board has done “everything it needs to” in regard to the ouster of Winkler, who was censured by the board June 16 and then had his seat vacated by the board July 1.
“Everything is in the hands of our legal department right now,” Lucid said, adding that she was unable to get into specifics other than referring to steps in a process.
Saugus Union officials sought permission to hold a special election to fill Winkler’s seat in July, and they were told they need to hold quo warranto proceedings by the Los Angeles County Office of Education.
Quo warranto proceedings are a legal process by which an authority proves it has the legal right to do what it claims.
“Our role is reviewing the request to file a quo warranto proceeding,” said Becca MacLaren, spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s Office. “If the request is approved (by Harris), then the party may go forward with a quo warranto, subject to the attorney general’s continuing supervision.”
The vacating of Winkler’s seat came after more than two months of investigation, according to SUSD board member Doug Bryce. Winkler voted against his own removal.
An ad hoc committee was formed in response to allegations presented to the district in February anonymously that implied Winkler maintained a residence out of district boundaries, which was a violation of the state’s Education Code.
Board members agreed with the findings of the ad hoc committee, which was comprised of board President Judy Umeck and Bryce.
Winkler’s term was set to end in 2015.
County and state officials could not cite legal precedence on whether Winkler was able to show up to a Saugus Union board meeting to challenge the removal; however, SUSD officials said Winkler has made no attempt to do so.
“That’s kind of where we’re at right now,” Lucid said, referring to the district’s waiting on quo warranto proceedings. “(Winkler) has not attended any meetings — we have not heard from him or seen him.”
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Source: Santa Clarita News