Fresno Unified School District trustees met with outgoing Superintendent Michael Hanson and attorneys in closed session for more than four hours on Wednesday – but had nothing to say when they emerged.
This is the second special meeting the board has held to discuss “discipline/dismissal/release/reassignment/resignation” of an employee and anticipated litigation, according to the agenda. While the board will not identify the employee the agenda pertains to, Hanson was seen attending Wednesday’s meeting alongside Fresno attorney and former federal judge Oliver Wanger.
School board President Brooke Ashjian said he could not discuss what happened behind closed doors, citing personnel issues, but confirmed that Wanger was not representing the district.
“He was not here for Fresno Unified tonight,” Ashjian said following Wednesday’s meeting.
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Ashjian says the board is “very serious” about the matter at hand and hopes the board will “have a great consensus.”
A similar special meeting was held last week, a day after the Fresno Teachers Association demanded that the board vote to oust Hanson immediately, expediting his plans to resign in August. Hanson announced last month that he will step down this summer after overseeing the state’s fourth-largest school district for 12 years.
On Tuesday, Fresno City Councilman Oliver Baines, former Councilman Blong Xiong and community activists met outside Fresno Unified headquarters to demand a superintendent search that is fair and open to the public, citing concerns about politics on the board.
Ashjian has assured that process will be transparent, but said it’s premature to discuss Hanson’s replacement.
The school board is to meet in another special meeting next week, in addition to its regular public meeting on Wednesday.