Twin Rivers Unified School District officials announced Tuesday they will speed up the retirement of the superintendent at the same school board meeting where the district's deputy superintendent demanded to know why she is on paid leave.
Superintendent Frank Porter's retirement was pushed up 15 days to be effective Friday. The outgoing board announced Rob Ball, associate superintendent for business support services, will be interim superintendent until July 31.
Following last week's election, four new trustees will be sworn in next month along with three incumbents.
During public comments, Deputy Superintendent Ziggy Robeson addressed the board, saying she was unlawfully placed on an indefinite paid leave April 24.
Robeson referred to herself as "nominally and contractually" the deputy superintendent of the district.
"My contract does not allow me to be put on paid leave," Robeson said.
"Under this leave order, I was also forbidden to speak to anyone in the district except for the superintendent and the board president, and then only in writing and never to communicate to one without the other."
Robeson provided The Bee with a copy of letters she received from the district detailing her leave. The letters warn that "failure to adhere to the directions and/or prohibitions of this notice may result in disciplinary action taken against you."
Robeson said the district is putting employees on administrative leaves so that they can't ask questions or be allowed to defend themselves.
"These leaves do not protect due process, they seek solely to circumvent it," she said. "What is astonishing is that these illegal acts are being continually and universally condoned and ratified by the board."
Robeson and Porter oversaw the district's Police Department, which has faced months of scrutiny starting with allegations that officers excessively had cars towed for profit.
Accusations initially focused on a rogue school police force. Scrutiny, however, has turned in recent months to top administrators such as Porter and Robeson.
Both Porter and Robeson testified before the Sacramento County grand jury. Results of the grand jury's second consecutive investigation into the district are expected to be released later this month.
Among the allegations being investigated, sources said, is whether district officials ordered school police to conduct background checks on hundreds of adult education students, as well as middle school and high school students.
The Sacramento Police Department is also investigating the school district's police force and related staff.
Robeson provided The Bee with a district letter from Porter to Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel that said "if any staff is non-cooperative in this investigation with you or your designees, such staff will be, as determined by you, insubordinate, just as if they had refused an order from the superintendent's office to cooperate in this investigation."
Robeson likened her administrative leave to being under house arrest.
She said that since her leave, she has learned of other Twin Rivers employees who are also on leave, including Jeff Doyle, the district's facilities director.
Doyle filed a civil lawsuit against the district last month, alleging retaliation and corruption.
He also spoke Tuesday evening, saying he is on the 364th day of paid leave.
"These leaves are grievous breaches of basic employee rights," Robeson said. "I am requesting that this board rescind all illegal and unethical global gag orders against any and all Twin Rivers employees. This district cannot solve its problems until you understand what they are."