Dr. Tony Vang to retire from the Fresno Unified School Board

September 17, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Dr. Tony Vang's resignation comes after months of controversy, following allegations he lived and voted outside of the district.

Some board members say his resignation doesn't answer any questions, nor solve any problems, and left a divided school board.

Vang does not address the residency allegation in his statement, instead saying it's what works best for his family and allows the district enough time to fill his seat.

FUSD Trustee Michelle Asadoorian says the entire issue has been a "dark cloud that's been hanging over the board and the district for months". Allegations surfaced this past spring. Since then, board meetings have been heated. Arguments ensued and at one point, police were forced to get involved.

Records from the elections office confirm he registered to vote from a house not only outside of his area, but outside of his entire district from 2007-2010.

In his statement, Vang says "the decision was not an easy one, I have dedicated 10 tireless and productive years in service to our community as a board member". Asadoorian said, "in reading Dr.Vang's email today, it appears again, that Fresno Unified wrote the email on his behalf, using public funds and that's a huge concern to me".

District Officials did not address the question of his residency, but did issue a statement saying that Fresno Unified will work "swiftly and deliberately to fill the open seat in the weeks ahead".

Vang had two years left on his term. Board member Cal Johnson told Action News that Vang will be missed, and that his familial responsibilites got misconstrued by the public.

Current board president Valerie Davis says "I humbly ask the community to respect his privacy during this transition period", and she adds, "the board will work hard to fill his vacancy".

The Secretary of State's Election Fraud Investigation Unit told Action News that complaints are kept confidential. The office does not have prosecutorial authority, meaning local authorities would need to step in if any wrong doing is found.

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Dr. Vang issued the following statement in a press release:

"Today, I officially announce my decision to retire as a member of the Fresno Unified School District Board of Education, effective September 17, 2012.

"This decision was not an easy one. I have dedicated 10 tireless and productive years in service to our community as a Board member. While there is still a lot of hard work to do, our district has made steady gains each year for the past 10 years as measured by the state Academic Performance Index. I am confident that district staff, our teachers, and our students and their families will continue to meet the challenges ahead.

"As for me, my growing responsibilities as a faculty member at California State University Fresno and the increasing needs of my family require ever more of my time. Resigning from my position at this time works best for my family and me and provides the District ample time to fill the vacancy.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed working with my colleagues on the Board, and serving the parents, students and faculty of Trustee Area 4. There are vast challenges ahead, but I am confident that Fresno Unified and its Board will meet those challenges head-on to ensure that every student has the opportunity to become academically successful and grow to be leaders in their schools and communities.

"I am proud of what we have accomplished during my tenure and will cherish all the friendships that have resulted from our hard work together. I look forward to what lies ahead and wish everyone within Fresno Unified the best."


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