L.A. school board member Ref Rodriguez resigns from state teachers commission

Los Angeles school board member Ref Rodriguez has resigned from the state’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing, which oversees the integrity and quality of California’s teachers.

Rodriguez faces felony and misdemeanor charges on allegations of political money laundering. Separately, his former employer, a charter school organization, has accused him of improperly authorizing checks to a nonprofit under his control.

Rodriguez, 46, has denied wrongdoing.

 His resignation from the state body was effective May 4, days after he was part of a narrow 4-to-3 majority that voted to begin contract negotiations for Austin Beutner to become superintendent of the L.A. Unified School District. Beutner’s first official day on the job is Tuesday.

The resignation from the commission is likely to fuel speculation about how long Rodriguez will remain on the Los Angeles Board of Education. But there are at least several reasons why he might wish to stay on, according to observers and legal experts.

Rodriguez could be relying on his $125,000-a-year board salary to pay legal fees, which mount quickly in a criminal defense. His position at the state commission was unpaid. According to public records, the house he owned with his husband in Glassell Park sold in March for $880,000. Click here to read more: http://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-edu-rodriguez-leaves-state-teachers-commission-20180512-story.html