FUSD Supt. traffic ticket troubles are growing

FRESNO, Calif.

Michael Hanson has three tickets so far this year, all while his driver's license was expired.

Hanson's license is valid again as of this week. But the school board is in a closed session here right now and among the topics of their private discussion is a possible investigation into the head of the Valley's biggest school district.

Fresno Unified Superintendent Michael Hanson racked up three speeding tickets while he shouldn't have even been driving this year. Police even towed his pickup truck when they caught him driving without a license for a third time. Action News uncovered five tickets in the last three years.

"For myself, I feel that it is an important issue," Trustee Larry Moore said. "I think the public's perception of how we operate the district is important, I think it's important we clear up all issues.

Some of Hanson's critics say his traffic tickets are only the tip of the iceberg. In a radio interview Mark Arax said, "You're seeing some erratic behavior on his part. These traffic tickets, there are many more that aren't being reported on."

Author, journalist, and Bullard High School supporter Mark Arax leveled accusations against Hanson on Valley Public Radio Tuesday. And Arax made the same accusations in a phone conversation with Action News. He says he's also found evidence of an accident Hanson had that went unreported.

"The child that was almost killed, the father said, the mother is a school teacher and she did not feel comfortable to report this," said Arax. "The kid luckily only had a minor injury, but that should've been reported and it was not reported."

Arax's sister is school board trustee Michelle Asadoorian. She and other Fresno Unified Board members are aware of the allegations against Hanson, as well as some other rumors.

Not every board member believes the allegations. "He said that he had traffic tickets, I think that is the only important thing," said Board Member Cal Johnson. "And anything else that hasn't come out of his mouth and they say about him and it hasn't come out of his mouth, whatever others are saying about it, I don't believe it. I trust Mike."

Hanson provided a limited comment on the accusations or a possible investigation. "No, I'm not going to give that stuff credence," Hanson said. "I will say stuff is patently false, knowing that I haven't heard all of the outlandish allegations."

There's some disagreement among school board trustees about whether the public should find out if and when an investigation gets underway.

Several trustees told Action News it is a private, personnel issue.

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