LANCASTER — Antelope Valley Union High School District Board of Education member Victoria Ruffin called for Superintendent David Vierra’s resignation following allegations he and Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost attorney Jay Fernow were “engaging in corruptness.”
Fernow has served as the District’s general counsel since Ruffin, Board member Amanda Parrell, and former member Robert “Bob” Davis fired longtime District General Counsel Bridget Cook in May 2019.
Ruffin, who has made repeated personal attacks against Vierra and Fernow, said at the Board’s July 23 meeting that she would “absolutely” vote Vierra out of his position.
Ruffin’s demand followed disjointed comments she made about checks she said were for Fernow’s firm, which has a contract with the District.
Ruffin alleged the District made direct payments to Fernow.
“I just want to clarify, because it’s about me, I haven’t received a single check made out to me from the high school district,” Fernow said. “So that statement is inaccurate.”
Ruffin’s comments came during a public hearing on a proposed resolution that would permit the District to temporarily borrow money between funds for cash flow purposes in advance of state deferrals that will begin in February because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The state is going to be giving us significant deferrals on our monthly apportionment,” Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Brian Hawkins said.
When the District transfers money from one fund to another, it can pay the money back in the same fiscal year, or in the following fiscal year if the transfer takes place within 120 days of the end of the fiscal year, it can pay the money back in the following fiscal year. The state will stop paying the District from February through June. It will pay the District back beginning in July 2021, after the start of the new fiscal year.
The resolution for the temporary interfund transfers failed on a 2-2 vote, with Ruffin and Parrell dissenting.
“We will not be able to transfer funds,” Board Clerk Jill McGrady said. “Mr. Hawkins, I’m speechless.”