Updated May 22, 2024 - News

San Diego Unified superintendent under investigation

A headshot of Lamont Jackson with a blue background.

San Diego Unified School District superintendent Lamont Jackson. Photo: San Diego Unified

San Diego Unified School District is investigating superintendent Lamont Jackson, but officials have not shared details, Voice of San Diego reported Monday night.

Why it matters: Jackson leads the second-largest school district in California, which serves nearly 100,000 students and 15,000 employees across more than 170 schools with a nearly $2 billion budget.

What they're saying: Jackson's role as superintendent has not changed and he has not been placed on administrative leave, according to San Diego Unified spokesperson Maureen Magee.

  • When asked for details of accusations and the investigation, she said via email: "The district is precluded from commenting on personnel matters."
  • She told the Voice that "all allegations received by the district are taken seriously and investigated."
  • Jackson did not respond to Axios' questions or request for comment.

State of play: San Diego Unified retained Los Angeles-based law firm Sanchez & Amador, LLP in April to represent the district "in sensitive internal investigations," according to a contract in board meeting documents.

  • The contract indicates the district hired the firm with "authority to begin the investigation without the need for board approval."
  • Lupe Valencia, who specializes in employment litigation and counseling, along with workplace investigations, will be the primary lawyer on the case.
  • The district's estimated cost for legal services is $100,000.

Context: Jackson has been employed by the district for more than three decades — including as a teacher, principal and HR chief — before becoming superintendent in 2022.

  • He replaced Cindy Marten, who was appointed U.S Deputy Secretary of Education.
  • Jackson's annual salary, plus benefits, is about $475,000, and he is two years into his four-year contract.

Flashback: Last year, 11 SDUSD police officers filed a lawsuit against the district, Jackson and the SDUSD police chief, alleging retaliation, negligence, discrimination and sexual assault.

  • Yes, but: It's unclear if the two issues are related, NBC7 reported.
  • The lawsuit claims Jackson retaliated against Roberto Lozano, one of the officers who brought the suit. The complaint asserts that Jackson sat in on the class of Lozano's girlfriend, a teacher at San Diego Unified, unannounced and without the principal's knowledge, "to intimidate her."
  • The district also declined to comment on the allegations.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with details of the SDUSD officers' lawsuit.

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