Central Unified superintendent's job still up in the air after felony dropped

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Central Unified superintendent Andrew Alvarado won't face domestic violence charges, but he does still have a misdemeanor criminal case looming.

His job is still up in the air.

Prosecutors announced Friday they won't pursue charges against Andrew Alvarado after a felony domestic violence arrest in early June.

But the Central Unified superintendent is still facing a misdemeanor case for alleged contracting violations.

Those could also resolve without a conviction on his record.

"Normally in these kind of cases, unless we have somebody who is blatantly violating the system in numerous instances, the district attorney's office usually looks at these and offers what would be known as an 'earned dismissal,'" said Alvarado's defense attorney, Steve Smith.

Alvarado was already fighting the 2020 case when Central Unified put him on paid administrative leave after the recent arrest.

Now that the felony case is in his past, his defense attorney says the school district should let him return to work.

"I think it's important that he get back into his position right away, particularly for the families and students over there at Central Unified," Smith said. "He's a great leader."

But the district says his paid leave continues.

They won't comment beyond that, saying it's a confidential personnel matter.

Legal analyst Tony Capozzi says there will probably be a lawsuit if Alvarado doesn't get his job back.

But he says school board members may want to see evidence that Alvarado is treating any underlying issues leading to the domestic violence arrest and two DUIs from before the district hired him.

And, he says, the district should keep track of the misdemeanor case as well.

"They may delay a decision until that case is resolved," Capozzi said. "But the way it looks at this point in time, it looks as though he should be given his job back. The domestic violence case is gone."

Any decision about Alvarado's position will be made in closed session. But the public can have input at Tuesday's night's Central Unified board meeting. That's at 7 p.m. at the Central East High School Performing Arts Center.
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