Superintendent, Settlement Top SMUSD Leaders’ Concerns

Although the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education did not reach a decision last week on its next step regarding the soon-to-be-open superintendent job, it was poised to take another closed-session crack at it during a meeting this week.
In another matter taking place behind closed doors, district officials also continue to hammer out a settlement agreement in a lawsuit they are facing.
The board was scheduled to meet in closed session starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, after The Outlook’s press deadline. It previously met in closed session after its regular meeting Aug. 28, although no decisions were made. Continue reading “Superintendent, Settlement Top SMUSD Leaders’ Concerns”

Settlement Conference Planned in Norgaard Dispute

Lawyers for a variety of San Marino Unified School District officials and the school board member who is suing them plan to meet for a settlement conference this month, a development that delayed a special school board meeting in which the plaintiff faced possible censure from his colleagues.
In addition, counsel for the defense filed a motion this week indicating its plans to request the dismissal of the lawsuit at a Sept. 6 hearing, citing what it says are shortcomings in the allegations. Continue reading “Settlement Conference Planned in Norgaard Dispute”

School Officials, Norgaard Spar Over Restraining Order Request

Attorneys for San Marino school board member Chris Norgaard said this week that a statement filed in court by Superintendent Alex Cherniss is a public smear against the longtime official and also disputed an assertion that Norgaard’s application for a restraining order was untimely.
Norgaard’s request for a temporary restraining order — the second he has filed this month in federal court, after an earlier application was rejected — seeks to allow Norgaard to take part in meetings with the four other school board members to evaluate Cherniss’ job performance, even though Norgaard is now suing all of them for alleged defamation and violations of his civil rights. Continue reading “School Officials, Norgaard Spar Over Restraining Order Request”

Norgaard Lawyer Criticizes District

A lawyer for school board member Chris Norgaard lambasted San Marino Unified School District officials for their latest moves against his client, taken in response to his legal threats against the district.
In an email, attorney Guy Glazier pointed out Norgaard has served for 14½ years in all capacities on the school board, was a founding member of two of the board’s most important committees and has always performed one of the board’s central functions: the superintendent evaluation. The four other members of the board, however, removed Norgaard from that process this month, creating a subcommittee that excludes him. Continue reading “Norgaard Lawyer Criticizes District”

SMUSD, Norgaard Reach Impasse on Cherniss Evaluation

Embattled school board member Chris Norgaard, who is claiming damages against the San Marino Unified School District in a legal complaint regarding a sexual harassment investigation, has agreed to recuse himself from closed session meetings regarding the potential litigation, but not from evaluations on Superintendent Alex Cherniss — who also is a defendant in Norgaard’s complaint.
Simultaneously, the SMUSD Board of Education was scheduled to take up two items regarding these issues at its meeting Tuesday — the establishment of two committees, one addressing specifically Norgaard’s threat of litigation and another to conduct Cherniss’ annual performance review. Continue reading “SMUSD, Norgaard Reach Impasse on Cherniss Evaluation”

Following Investigations, Norgaard Seeks Damages

After the district attorney declined to file criminal charges against him, school board member Chris Norgaard submitted a legal complaint against the San Marino Unified School District, Superintendent Alex Cherniss and Assistant Superintendent Linda de la Torre over the district’s sexual harassment investigation into him.
Cherniss, de la Torre and SMUSD have until Tuesday, June 19, to respond to the complaints, after which the matter enters the court system unless the parties reach a settlement. Continue reading “Following Investigations, Norgaard Seeks Damages”