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Los Angeles school board member Ref Rodriguez pleaded guilty Monday to a felony count of conspiracy and resigned from office, marking a dramatic fall for a widely admired educator who became the first charter schools executive elected to the Board of Education.
Rodriguez, 47, was once the leader of the charter school-backed majority that took over the board a year ago after the nation’s most expensiveschool board elections ever.
But two months after becoming school board president, the criminal charges compelled him to step back — giving up his presidency but retaining his seat amid the distractions of defending himself.
Under the deal with prosecutors, Rodriguez will avoid jail time. Instead, he will get three years’ probation and 60 days of community service.