LAUSD Board Member Taken Into Custody For Suspected Public Drunkenness

PASADENA (CNS) - Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education member Ref Rodriguez was taken into custody on suspicion of public drunkenness last month in Pasadena, the Los Angeles Times reported today.

Rodriguez was taken into custody about 4:30 p.m. on March 16 at the Yard House at the Paseo Mall, Lisa Derderian, Pasadena's acting public information officer, told The Times, which reported that Rodriguez was jailed for more than five hours before he was released without being cited or charged.

Rodriguez told the newspaper police took him into custody for his own safety and he thanked officers for ``for being kind and seeing this for the non- event that it was.''

Rodriguez has pleaded not guilty to three felony and numerous misdemeanor charges for allegedly reimbursing nearly $25,000 to donors he listed on a campaign finance form. Rodriguez, a charter school founder, ran successfully for the school board in 2015 and was elected as its president over the summer.

After the charges came to light last year, Rodriguez resigned as board president but chose to retain his seat.

The criminal charges against Rodriguez stemmed from an investigation by the Ethics Commission after it received a whistleblower complaint in March 2015 about Rodriguez's fund-raising activities.

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