New Haven school board places retiring supe on paid leave, supe’s attorney hints at legal action

Some curious goings-on in Union City’s New Haven Unified school district recently:

UNION CITY — In a hastily planned special school board meeting late last week, retiring New Haven Unified Superintendent Kari McVeigh was placed on paid leave three months before her exit date, and two district employees were appointed her temporary replacements.

The unexpected decision surprised even high-ranking district officials and now may lead to legal action from McVeigh.

“We don’t have a clue as to why the board chose to do this at this time,” said Greg McCoy, McVeigh’s Danville-based attorney. “We’re hoping that they reconsider because it opens the door to a claim against the district for a breach of contract, which is something we don’t want to do.”

The five-member school board on Friday night replaced McVeigh with the district’s chief business officer, Akur Varadarajan, and chief academic officer, Arlando Smith, who will serve as “interim co-superintendents,” according to a district news release.

Smith and Varadarajan both said they did not learn that they were being offered the district’s top job until the day of the special meeting.

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Chris DeBenedetti

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