Teacher In L.A. Scandal Paid $40K To Go

Source: AP / CBS News

LOS ANGELES – The former third-grade teacher charged with committing lewd acts on students was paid $40,000 to drop an appeal of his firing, a newspaper reported Friday.

The Los Angeles Unified School District settled with Mark Berndt because it couldn’t defend his February 2011 firing, district general counsel David Holmquist told the Los Angeles Times.

Berndt was removed from the classroom in January 2011 and dismissed as the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was investigating him. He appealed but resigned in June after the district agreed to pay him four months of back salary and reimburse his health benefit costs.

“We were told we could not do any investigation” to avoid interfering with the criminal probe, Holmquist said. “We didn’t have any evidence and we couldn’t put on any witnesses. We didn’t have anything to successfully defend a challenge.”

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