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Los Angeles County prosecutors are reviewing alleged violations of the state’s open meeting law by the Temple City Unified School District board.
“We have an inquiry being conducted with regard to alleged Brown Act violations by the Temple City Unified School District Board of Education,” Jennifer Snyder of the District Attorney’s Office Public Integrity Division told Beacon Media Thursday.
Board member Joe Walker challenges that the board violated the Ralph M. Brown Act on Dec. 12 and on Feb. 13 when Kang-Smith used closed session meetings to specifically criticize and verbally attack Ken Knollenberg and him.
Walker claims that Kang –Smith has always loved to “stir up trouble at Board meetings,” and has “ violated the Brown Act on numerous occasions.”
Walker said he was censured by Kang-Smith during the Dec. 12 closed session for a comment posted by a community member on his Facebook page. The comment related to the Superintendent’s performance at the time her contract was up for renewal
Walker told the Temple City Tribune that Superintendent Chelsea Kang-Smith “ bullies board members .” “ I can’t wait until she is fired or resigns…” he said Thursday.
Board member Ken Knollenberg took a somewhat more reserved approach to the news that the DA is investigating the allegations but wouldn’t name anyone specifically. “ Let’s see what the report says,” Knollenberg told the Temple City Tribune Thursday afternoon by phone. “ I think there are some people who don’t like me to ask questions (at the school board meetings). But as I understand it, the Brown Act is supposed to to protect the communities we serve and keep everything transparent,” Knollenberg said. “I’ll still ask the tough questions,” he concluded.
Walker and Knollenberg voted at the Dec. 12 meeting against extending Kang-Smith’s contract for another year. Superintendent Chelsea Kang-Smith was given a one year extension of her contract by a vote of 3-2.
Walker maintains that Superintendent Chelsea Kang-Smith is contentious and uses harassment routinely.” “ She has complete inability to include the employees in decision making process and her lack of personal skills makes meetings very difficult; Literally some board members get shouted down…” Walker said. Stating that Superintendent Chelsea Kang-Smith has “ yelled at and made fun of Ken Knollenberg on numerous occasions.” Walker alleges that Chelsea Kang-Smith is “pitting people against one another other.”
Calls to Superintendent Chelsea Kang-Smith for comment went unanswered.
From Left to Right, Superintendent Chelsea Kang-Smith, Board Vice President Kien Tiet, Board Clerk Kenneth Knollenberg, Board President Bob Ridley, Member Matt Smith, and Member Joe Walker. -Story by Terry Miller and photo by Jerry Jambazian