By Kellen Browning and Ashley Han,
The DJUSD School Board formally accepted John O’Brien’s resignation on Sunday, Jan. 11, according to a press release provided by Public Information Officer Maria Clayton. O’Brien, a teacher from Harper Jr. High, was charged with sexual battery of a student on Nov. 14, 2014, and was subsequently placed on unpaid leave by the district.
On Dec. 19, 2014, the school district accepted his resignation, which was formally confirmed on Sunday. According to the press release, “As a result of [O’Brien’s] resignation, the district will no longer pursue an action for termination before a Commission on Professional Competence.” O’Brien agreed to resign “for a payment of $37,000 to buy-back a portion of his unused sick leave.”
According to School Board President Alan Fernandes, “The Board, on a 5-0 vote, agreed to sever the relationship with Mr. O’Brien immediately. The security of our children is paramount.”
“This agreement was designed to secure a resignation at the least possible cost to the district,” Fernandes added. “We are certain that the cost of pursuing this matter through the dismissal process would likely exceed $100,000.”
“District staff completely supports the unanimous decision of the School Board on this matter. This brings closure to this situation for our district,” Superintendent Winfred Roberson said.
The district will report O’Brien’s resignation from employment to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) due to allegations of misconduct. The CTC could either suspend or revoke O’Brien’s teaching credentials. O’Brien also continues to face criminal charges in the Yolo County Court.
In a December article published in The Davis Enterprise, O’Brien’s lawyer Ken Moyal denied the charges leveled against his client.
“We are most definitely going to be fighting these charges vigorously,” Moyal said.
This story will be updated as more details become available.
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