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By Jeff Pack
Writer 

TVUSD board member Adam Skumawitz resigns seat

 

Last updated 7/4/2019 at 11:23pm

Courtesy photo

Temecula Valley Unified School District Governing Board Member Adam Skumawitz resigns from his seat on the board after learning of a potential conflict of interest issue.

Temecula Valley Unified School District Governing Board member Adam Skumawitz turned in a letter of resignation to the district Wednesday, June 26.

Skumawitz, who represents District 4 and assumed the seat after being elected in 2018, made the decision to resign his seat after learning he could be found in violation of government code.

"Government Code 1090 is easier to understand when it relates to the promotion of a spouse of a board member. For example, a board member's spouse being promoted from teacher to principal would be a violation," Skumawitz said in a released statement. "As it relates to me specifically, my wife reduced her contract from full-time to part-time after the birth of our third child. With our son now reaching preschool age, it was time for her to return to full-time employment with the school district."

His wife, Jen, who worked as a two-day-a-week counselor in the TVUSD district this school year, was offered a full-time position in the same role.

Shortly after she received the offer, Skumawitz was contacted by the district regarding a potential conflict of interest.

"I was unaware of this interpretation, as was the district, and we were shocked and stunned when we were informed of Code 1090," Skumawitz said in the statement. "To be clear, the district office has been supportive and worked with us throughout this process as we searched for alternative solutions."

Rather than fight with the obscurity of the law either personally or through the district, or deny his wife the opportunity to accept the job, Skumawitz chose to step down in support of his wife.

"This decision has weighed heavily on us and was not something we took lightly," Skumawitz said in the statement. "Ultimately, we determined resigning from the board was the best choice for our family. My wife is a beloved counselor in this district and works tirelessly to serve our students. She radiates love and kindness and talent. She is the perfect example of what makes our school district staff so incredible, and I support her 100%."

Late Thursday, TVUSD released a statement.

"Temecula Valley Unified School District Board of Education member, Adam Skumawitz, announced Thursday, June 27, 2019, that he would be resigning from the board effective immediately. Mr. Skumawitz has served on the TVUSD board since December 2018, with his current term scheduled to end in December 2022. Mr. Skumawitz is resigning to comply with Government Code 1090."

TVUSD Superintendent Tim Ritter offered praise for Skumawitz and the work he has done on the board during his brief stint.

"Mr. Skumawitz is a high-quality individual who is significantly engaged in the community and representation of TVUSD. He has consistently shown his commitment to academic excellence and equitability for all students, collaborative problem-solving, fiscal responsibility and transparency," Ritter said.

TVUSD Board President Dr. Rutz-Robbins said, "After hearing from legal counsel, we understand the reason for his decision, we thank him for his service and appreciate his dedication to the TVUSD community. He will be missed."

Fellow board member Barbara Brosch was saddened by the turn of events.

"Adam has been a valued colleague and my friend," Brosch said. "Adam cares deeply about our community and our school district. An unfortunate chain of events has led to him making the difficult decision to resign. While I am deeply upset about the loss of Adam to our board, I support his decision 100% to choose his family."

According to Laura Boss, public information officer for TVUSD, the remaining members of the board will ultimately make the decision on who replaces Skumawitz.

"The Board of Education will consider making a provisional appointment to fill Mr. Skumawitz's Trustee Area Four seat within 60 days of the vacancy," Boss said in a press release. "The appointment process will include an advertisement of the position to solicit applicants. A board sub-committee will be convened to confirm the applicant's eligibility. Eligible applicants will then be interviewed at a public board meeting and selection of the provisional appointee will be by a majority vote."

Boss said the timeline and application process will be posted on the TVUSD website as soon as "the information is finalized."

"With regard to Adam's successor, that person should embody the values and integrity as Adam does," Brosch continued. "I am confident that process will be transparent for all of our stakeholders."

As far as he is concerned, he plans on running on again to retain his seat in the 2020 election.

"I am optimistic that this will settle in a positive light and come full circle when I run for the board again in the next election," Skumawitz said in the statement.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at [email protected]

 

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