By Canan Tasci

Staff Writer

Ontario-Montclair school board to discuss possible censure of member Paul Avila

The possible censure of Ontario-Montclair school board member Paul Vincent Avila will be one of the items discussed at a special meeting Monday night.

The censure is being sought after an investigator's finding that the central allegation about Avila's conduct at Serrano Middle School's award ceremony on June 18 was true. The report on the investigation by Liebert Cassidy Whitmore was released at the Nov. 20 board meeting.

Avila is alleged to have raised his voice at Principal Leticia Zaragoza and Elyse Zugates, the vice principal of the Montclair middle school, before the awards ceremony because his name was left off the program.

Avila has denied the accusations, and at the Nov. 20 board meeting said he doesn't agree with the investigator's finding, calling the report "shallow and incomplete."

The board will also discuss filling the seat of board member Debra Dorst-Porada, who announced her resignation at the Nov. 20 meeting to serve on the Ontario City Council.

The vacancy leaves the board with four members to vote on the possible censure.

Dorst-Porada said she has no comment about the possible censure or the report.

"I'm going to let these board members work things out by themselves," she said.

Board member Bob Hardy said the option of censure is the best option the board has.

"We can't go beyond that because all it does is say this person behaved badly," he said. "It's a shame that the person behaving badly is able to do that without paying a reasonable price."

At the Nov. 20 board meeting, Avila said he would not be able to attend Monday's meeting.

Member Steve Garcia said he is only prepared to discuss one item at a time and censure isn't one of them.

He said he agreed to meet to discuss filling the vacancy of Dorst-Porada.

"We didn't agree to talk about censure. Why would (Avila) agree not to be at his own censure? That's not what we agreed upon on Thursday," he said.

He said if other items were planned for the agenda, then they should include the issue of the impasse with classified employees or anything that affects students.

Garcia said that considering the volume of the report and its being revealed right before the holiday, there should be more time given to board members to carefully look at it and a separate meeting should be called to discuss it.

Phones call and e-mails to board President Doreen McDaniel and Avila were not returned Wednesday.

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