After the contract was awarded, the second institute was held at the Silverado Resort in Napa in July 2008; it cost the district $1,150 in conference fees, a rental car and parking. But the rest of the costs were again absorbed by eight sponsors (including WLC), who paid for wine tastings, stress lectures and facials.

Both trips would have been considered gifts, according to state ethics laws, and would have required public disclosure because Carter received more than $50 in gifts over the weekend. In his disclosure form for 2007, Carter did not report the trip. The forms for 2008, which would include the Napa trip, have not yet been filed.

At the district board meeting Monday, during a 10-minute speech given a few hours before he was fired, Carter claimed to have been a victim of a smear campaign and told the board of trustees to “grow up.”

Illustration by Evan Yarborough

He had this to say to “you bloggers”: “I have never had a facial or a massage, and I certainly did not have one at a conference last summer.”

Editorial Fellow Spencer Kornhaber contributed to this story, versions of which first appeared on the Weekly’s Navel Gazing blog.

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