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Sweetwater Union High School District superintendent terminated amid financial troubles

Posted at 3:02 PM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 19:17:42-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) -- The Sweetwater Union High School District said Tuesday that it decided to end the employment agreement of Dr. Karen Janney, the district’s superintendent.

Janney had been under pressure to step down following a multi-million dollar budget shortfall that prompted an investigation into possible misappropriation of funds.

In June of 2020, the board voted 4-1 to place Janney on paid administrative leave.

Tuesday afternoon, a district spokesperson wrote to ABC10 News that a new vote happened in a board meeting on Monday night. Video posted by the district only refers to the termination of an employee. Tuesday, the district spokesperson sent ABC10 News the following statement:

"The Sweetwater Union High School District Board of Trustees provided Dr. Janney a 90-day notice to end her employment agreement, pursuant to Article 17b of that agreement. On behalf of the entire Sweetwater community, we want to thank Dr. Janney for her many years of service and dedication to the district, its board, and our students."

Janney took over as superintendent of the district in 2015. Three years later, the district reported a $30 million budget deficit.

Also in June, a report from California’s Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team reported that there was enough evidence that fraud or misappropriation of funds may have occurred within the district. The report stated that issues dated back to 2018.

According to Transparent California, Janney's pay and benefits combined were nearly $294,000 in 2019.