Rialto Unified School District

The Rialto Unified school board accepted the retirement of embattled superintendent Harold Cebrun on Friday March 7, 2014 saving the district 18 months of salary, $360,900, that they would have owed him if he were fired. The 4-1 vote after two hours of closed-door discussion makes his retirement effective March 31.

By Beau Yarbrough, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 03/07/14, 2:02 PM PST | Updated: 4 hrs ago

RIALTO >> Bringing six months of uncertainty to an end, the Rialto Unified school board accepted the retirement of embattled superintendent Harold Cebrun on Friday, saving the district 18 months of salary — $360,900 — that they would have owed him if he were fired.

Cebrun’s retirement is effective March 31. He has led the 26,485-student district as superintendent since February 2009.

“The board respects Dr. Cebrun’s long history of service to public education, thanks him for his service to the district and wishes him well in the future,” board president Joanne Gilbert said, reading from a prepared statement.

The 4-1 vote came after two hours of closed-door discussion, with board member Edgar Montes was the lone dissenting vote.

If the board had chosen to fire Cebrun and his deputy, James Wallace, it could have cost them up to $417,733: Under the terms of Cebrun’s October 2012 contract, the board owes him 18 months’ worth of salary — $360,900 — if he was terminated with more than 18 months left on his contract, which runs through Nov. 30, 2016.

The five-person board was aware of that potential fiscal impact, according to board member Nancy O’Kelley.

“The board’s objective in this situation was to do what was necessary in the most cost-effective and time-efficient manner, so that the district can immediately begin to heal itself and move forward,” she said after the board’s prepared statement had been read.

Wallace, whose contract only extends through the end of June this year, will be paid for his remaining time — $56,833 — if he’s fired “without cause.” If the board fires him “with causes” — for failing to “substantially perform the duties and responsibilities” of his job, his pay stops immediately, under the terms of his October 2012 contract.

No mention of Wallace’s fate was made Friday night.

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