Former Superintendent Sutton discusses his controversial termination for the first time

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Former Central Unified superintendent Mark Sutton says he's humbled by the community's kindness. (KFSN)

In his first interview since his controversial termination, former Central Unified superintendent Mark Sutton says he's humbled by the community's kindness.

But that kindness couldn't save him from the board's decision, in fact, Sutton believes trustees may have seen his popularity as a liability.

For weeks, as Central Unified teachers, students, and parents wondered why the board wouldn't renew Mark Sutton's contract, the former superintendent says he was wondering the same thing.

When asked if he felt any animosity towards the board, Sutton said: "Naturally, you are disappointed and you feel that they made the wrong decision."

When asked why he thinks four board members voted to end his contract, Sutton said: "I think that's a question they have to answer. I've heard the board president repeatedly say it's a personnel matter and they can't discuss it. By saying that he intimates there was something wrong and I know I didn't do anything wrong."

This narrative is strikingly similar to what happened back in 2015 when Sutton was superintendent at Selma Unified. When he was working there, again, he was let go, for inexplicable reasons.

When asked if he has a problem getting along with school boards, Sutton responded: "I really don't know. I think sometimes politics get in the way. Boards may be listening to people that they trust that they have the pulse of the district. Some come with hidden agendas. I'm not in their heads I don't know, but yes it is ironic it has happened a couple of times."

There is a process now underway to recall the board members who voted to end his contract. When asked how he felt about that, Sutton said: "I think a lot has to happen for that to come to fruition. If called to serve again, I would definitely consider that because our work, from where I started, and where I ended, is not complete."

We did reach out to Central Unified board president Caesar Granda for his response, but he has not called us back.

WATCH: Extended interview with Mark Sutton:
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Extended interview with former Central Unified Superintendent Mark Sutton

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central unified school districteducationFresno CountyFresno - Northwest