School board likely to appoint replacement for disgraced trustee

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San Diego Unified School District Board President Marne Foster

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Unified School District Board of Education will decide Tuesday evening how it will appoint someone to fill a vacancy created by last week’s resignation of Marne Foster.

Since Foster’s seat was up for election this year, staff has recommended that the board select a fill-in, rather than hold a special election.

Foster, 47, resigned last week after she pleaded guilty to receiving financial gifts over the legal limit. She admitted that a benefactor gave her son money toward a theater camp in 2014 and paid for his airline tickets. By law, Foster could only accept a gift of $460 per year, said Deputy District Attorney Leon Schorr.

Her plea brought to an end a long-running investigation into Foster’s dealings in office.

She was also accused of abusing her powers with her alleged involvement in a staff shakeup at the School for the Creative and Performing Arts; being secretly behind a $250,000 claim against the district filed by her son’s father that accused the school of sabotaging the youngster’s college plans; and holding a fundraiser to cover her son’s college expenses.

Foster was ultimately charged with just one misdemeanor count.

Superior Court Judge Lisa Rodriguez placed Foster on three years probation, ordered her to pay $3,487 in restitution and perform 120 hours of volunteer work. Foster is also barred from running for office for the next four years.

District staff recommends conducting special meetings on Feb. 16, and either Feb. 23 or March 1, to conduct interviews, name finalists and make an appointment to fill Foster’s seat.

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