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7/9/2009 12:24:00 PM
Superintendent's son offered $78,000 to leave

Jaclyn Randall
Associate Editor

BLYTHE - Palo Verde Unified School District (PVUSD) Board of Trustees Clerk Dr. Norm Guith called for the dismissal of PVUSD Superintendent Dr. Alan Jensen, Asst. Superintendent Dr. Yul Whitney and Director of Special Services Jacob Jensen, son of the superintendent, at the July 7 board meeting.

Guith called their behavior, "Fraud, nepotism, misuse of public funds and duplicity."

The request was made in light of the recent discovery that the school board considered a contract buyout of Jacob Jensen in the amount of $78,000 prior to the Board being told of a job offer presented to Jacob Jensen from Santa Barbara School District.

Jacob Jensen was unanimously approved for the job as a special education director at a June 23 Santa Barbara Unified School District Board meeting.

Guith said that the Brown Act was violated when the Board directed Whitney to negotiate a severance package.

Never was the item properly placed on the closed session agenda and the result of the request was never made public following the closed session.

"As a result of these shortcomings, there was no public comment on this topic," Guith said. "There was no action reported out from the June 23 closed session regarding the Director of Special Projects position. The Board had no knowledge that the employee had already verbally accepted another job at time of the June 23 closed session."

Guith further explained that without Board knowledge of this information, there was no way the Board could have made a "fully informed" decision that night.

Guith was a no-show until the very end of the closed session hearing that night, stating a Board meeting in Desert Center, of which he is the superintendent, ran late, but that other board members had shared with him what had occurred.

Guith said Whitney received a letter of resignation from Jacob Jensen after it was known that he had accepted a job offer from Santa Barbara.

Guith stated that Whitney called Guith on June 25 to "convince me to agree to the wholly unnecessary $78,000 expenditure."

Jacob Jensen has disputed the claims that he accepted the job offer from Santa Barbara School District. When the job was offered to him on June 24, he declined the position stating that he would not want to abandon the district while there are issues that need to be resolved here first.

According to Santa Barbara School District Superintendent Dr. J. Brian Sarvis, "Jacob Jensen withdrew from the Director of Special Services position prior to assignement abd before an employment agreement was signed."

Sarvis said that Jacob Jensen told him that there were complaints in his own district and he felt it was upstanding to put his own house in order first.

"I appreciate that," said Jarvis.

This was not the first meeting that Guith has stated that he, as a board member, has had problems with the administrators.

Previously he said that Supt. Jensen has scheduled special meetings that coincided with his duties as superintendent and principal in Desert Center; refused to place items on the agenda at his request and failed in his quest to modify the early/late start school day schedule, Guith also had issued with the Jensen's K-8 school model, classified negotiations, lay-offs and other items.

Board member Jim Carney added an agenda action item prior to the approval of the agenda at Tuesday's meeting, a Resolution of Disagreement where he states, "Dr. Guith made statements regarding Dr. Jensen and administrative staff that do no reflect the opinion of the school board as a whole and, in fact, do not align with the truth."

Carney suggested that the remainder board members refuse to associate with Guith's remarks and continue to support the administration.

"The administrative team has worked tirelessly with strong conviction to make our district function as well as it can in today's economic environment," said Carney. He further denounced Guith's accusations by saying that no actions have been taken by the board without their knowledge.

He ended by asking the board to ensure that their contracts continue for the 2009-'10 school year as written.

The board voted 4-1 to uphold the item, Guith being the lone holdout.

Discussion and possible recourse for the public employee discipline/dismissal/release will take place at a special meeting called for July 9, 4 p.m. at 295 N. First St.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, July 10, 2009
Article comment by: Rom

How is it that they wanted to pay Jacob Jensen $78,000 to resign and then they turn around and contract him for another year? Does the Jensen cult have something over on four of the school board members? Especially, Carney? Come on in FBI and check it out. Generous of Jacob Jensen (JJ) to come back to "put his house in order". Who the hell wanted him back? Didn't they just try to pay him the big bucks to resign? Resigned his job here and comes back to it. How does that work school board? Was that in your little payoff, that if it didn't work out he could come back and plague Blythe? Lies, nepotism and money squandering. Yul Whitney, Jacob Jensen and Alan Jensen the three buffoons.

Posted: Friday, July 10, 2009
Article comment by: Julio Hernandez

Do you mean qualified as in a good teacher or qualified as in cheaper teacher? So what happen at this emergency meeting today? Did the school board hire more H-2 Teacher and Fire the American Teachers? or did the School Board decide to give each other $78,000.00 and go on a summer vacation. How can you say it with a straight face when you tell the American teachers that there is no jobs for them here because they suck in math?

Posted: Friday, July 10, 2009
Article comment by: JEE

What a poorly written article. Go back to journalism 101.

Posted: Thursday, July 9, 2009
Article comment by: No name provided

Julio: We hire people from other countries with H-2 visas because we cannot find qualified teachers especially in math who will come to Blythe. We are lucky have them and appreciate their good work.

Posted: Thursday, July 9, 2009
Article comment by: No name provided

If Jacob was offered 78k to leave and he turned in a letter of resignation, why is he still around

Posted: Thursday, July 9, 2009
Article comment by: Julio Hernandez

Let ask a question Why would the School Board Hire an H-2 as a teacher from another Country when we have a lot of unemployed teacher here in Blythe. An H-2 is a person that you can hire if there is no one here to fill in for that job. Did they hire H-2 because of cheaper pay? or there was no one qualified for the job here?

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