HomeCity NewsLongtime School Board Member’s Restraining Order Denied

Longtime School Board Member’s Restraining Order Denied

The longtime San Marino School Board member’s temporary restraining order was denied Thursday by a district judge on procedural grounds, according to the minute order issued by the court.

Chris Norgaard was seeking to force the San Marino Unified School District to allow him to participate in the job performance evaluation of Superintendent Dr. Alex Cherniss. The School Board had voted to recuse Norgaard from participating in reviewing the job performance because he named Cherniss in a claim and a subsequent federal lawsuit along with all the board members and Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Linda de la Torre. The School Board members named in the lawsuit are President Shelley Ryan, Vice President Lisa Link, Nam Jack and C. Joseph Chang.

Norgaard countered his recusal by saying he has every right to evaluate Cherniss as an elected school board member.

Norgaard filed the federal lawsuit – claiming his civil rights had been violated under the First and 14th Amendments of the Constitution – Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Connected to the lawsuit was the temporary restraining order, which was denied Thursday. However, the basis for the denial was procedural and one of Norgaard’s attorneys, Guy Glazier, said Saturday they are going back to the judge with another restraining order.

“The denial was without prejudice for procedural reasons,” Glazier said in an email to The Tribune on Saturday. “We will refile in accordance with the court’s order early this week.” Norgaard’s other attorney of record for this smatter is Deborah M. Parker. Both attorneys are from Glazier Yee LLP, with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Cherniss, on behalf of the School District, declined to comment.

The Norgaard lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory, special and punitive damages as well as attorney fees.

Norgaard also is seeking a permanent injunction against the School District for what he claims is the violation of his constitutional rights as a member of the SMUSD Board of Education.


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