The Capistrano Unified School District board of trustees voted unanimously to fire superintendent Woodrow Carter late Monday night, after emerging from a fifty minute closed session meeting at 11:45 p.m. The board voted to terminate the embattled superintendent for "material breach of contract," according to a press release issued by the district at around midnight.
Trustees didn't elaborate further at the board meeting, according to reports, explaining only that the district's legal counsel would be issuing "a statement consistent with its decision."
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Carter gave a ten-minute speech at last night's board meeting (listen here), lashing out at the newly elected "reform" trustees, saying that he'd been a victim of a smear campaign waged against him in blogs and e-mails. "Get a life," he told them, "and I mean that in the most sincere and affirming way possible." He said the time he's spent at home (where we briefly caught up with him last week and found him looking relaxed and tan with his shirt off) since the board put him on paid administrative leave Jan. 6, has been "torturous."
He didn't comment in his speech about the conflict of interest allegations that surfaced last week in our story about the awarding of a lucrative contract to an architectural firm which partially paid for two weekend wine-tasting, spa getaways for Carter in 2007 and 2008.
About 100 supporters gave him a standing ovation after his speech. Carter was given a list of 60 charges in late February detailing why he was put on leave. He told the Register last night that he has refuted all the charges in a 22-page rebuttal prepared by his lawyers.
Rumors of a possible termination began floating through the district last summer, after Carter became mired in controversy over a $58,000 pay raise, a $400,000 severance package and allegations that he negotiated a teachers'-union contract without board approval.