Navarro To Remain In Two Posts While AG Opinion On Matter Is Sought

The consideration of whether Gil Navarro can serve on the county school board and San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District Board will now be taken up by the state attorney general’s office.
The county board of education voted 4-1, with Navarro in abstention, to seek the state attorney general’s opinion on the matter. Navarro was elected to the water district board in November. He has been a member of the school board since 2006, having been most recently reelected to a four-year term in 2010.
County superintendent of schools Gary Thomas, with whom Navarro has had differences, sought from San Bernardino County Counsel Jean-Rene Basle an opinion on the potential incompatibility of Navarro holding both offices. Basle, citing a previous attorney general’s opinion, concluded there might be a “significant clash of duties and loyalties,” which would require Navarro to leave the school board. He did not comply with that suggestion, however, instead citing the precedent of Blanca Estella Rubio, a board member with the Baldwin Park Unified School District, who in 2004 was also elected to the board of directors of the Valley County Water District.  A challenge of Rubio’s dual capacities  went to civil trial and in October 2005, a jury ruled in a 9-3 decision that Rubio could hold both positions.
County school board president Bette Harrison called it “a legal matter that needs to be resolved…through the attorney general.”

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