CONCORD -- The Mt. Diablo School Board voted late Thursday to release Superintendent Steven Lawrence and General Counsel Greg Rolen from their contracts by May 1 without cause, Board President Cheryl Hansen announced.

Both had contracts that were to run until June 2014.

The board had met several times previously to discuss action against Lawrence and Rolen, and finally voted earlier this month to spend up to $20,000 on outside lawyers to advise them.

The board voted 3-2 to release Lawrence, with trustees Linda Mayo and Lynne Dennler dissenting. The vote to release Rolen was 4-1, with Dennler against letting the general counsel go.

Both employees have their supporters, but Hansen, Vice President Barbara Oaks and trustee Brian Lawrence (no relation to the superintendent) have publicly stated that they favor a change in leadership due to low employee morale and lack of public trust in the district.

The board plans to meet at 8 p.m. Sunday to sign the separation agreements, appoint an interim superintendent and begin its search for a new superintendent.

Theresa Harrington covers education. Reach her at 925-945-4764 or tharrington@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow her at Twitter.com/tunedtotheresa.



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