Delano superintendent speaks out against school district

For reasons not made clear, Delano Union School Superintendent Ronald Garcia was placed on paid administrative leave by the board of trustees Tuesday (September 16) evening.

"I'm concerned about the step they took to embarrass me, I'm just not going to accept that,"said Garcia in an interview with 29 Eyewitness News.

A press release issued by the district said Garcia is on leave until
September 30 to negotiate "a mutually acceptable settlement of his employment claims with the district."

Garcia said he was surprised by the district's action. He claims certain board members have threatened him. He says that board member Ramon Cardenas is one of them.

"I don't think it's right...for a board member to spit in my direction on the floor and then threaten me physically," said Garcia. "And on top of it, he lied to the police to say that I somehow provoked it."

Calls place to Ramon Cardenas and other board members by 29 Eyewitness News were not returned. The district office referred all calls to district lawyers, but they too did not return repeated calls for comment.

But the president of Delano Union Elementary School Teachers Association Diane Jacobs says the district action of placing Garcia on paid leave is no surprise to her.

"The teachers support their decision," said Jacobs. "We have had several issues in the past with the superintendent, bargaining other issues that are important to us," said Jacobs.