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Lawndale Superintendent’s $663K Salary Sparks Call For School Board’s Recall, Criminal Investigation

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School district officials are expected to decide on the fate of Superintendent Jose Fernandez (pictured), whose total compensation last year was $663,000. (credit: CBS)

School district officials are expected to decide on the fate of Superintendent Jose Fernandez (pictured), whose total compensation last year was $663,000. (credit: CBS)

LAWNDALE (CBS/AP) — The revelation that the superintendent of a tiny Southern California school district earned more than President Barack Obama last year sparked calls Tuesday for his resignation, a criminal investigation and a recall of the school board.

An angry crowd showed up at a special meeting of the Centinela Valley Union High School District Tuesday night after a newspaper investigation revealed Superintendent Jose Fernandez’s total compensation package. Many of the speakers called on Fernandez and the five board members to step down.

RELATED STORY: Residents Outraged Over Centinela Valley Superintendent’s Excessive Pay

Fernandez’s total compensation in 2013 was $663,000 for running a district of three high schools with about 6,500 students in the working-class suburbs of Hawthorne and Lawndale. In comparison, Obama’s overall compensation package, which included salary, benefits and other perks, amounts to $569,000 annually.

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy, who oversees the nation’s second-largest school district, had a nearly $390,000 compensation package.

Fernandez asserted at Tuesday night’s meeting that school conditions have improved and the once-insolvent district has reached financial stability since he became superintendent in 2008.

“The facilities here were, my God, some of them were similar to the situation in Haiti,” he said.

Several angry parents and teachers spoke at the meeting, including one unidentified man who called for a special recall election of the entire board and a criminal investigation for breach of fiduciary duty.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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