CONCORD -- The Mt. Diablo school board began whittling down applicants for interim superintendent Sunday, three days after severing ties with Superintendent Steven Lawrence and General Counsel Greg Rolen.

After meeting for nearly three hours behind closed doors, the board emerged around 11 p.m. to announce it had neither finalized separation agreements for Lawrence and Rolen nor found an interim replacement for the superintendent position, though it narrowed the applicant pool. The board expects to complete both tasks at a Wednesday closed-session meeting that begins at 8 p.m.

Making good on its promise for change, the board -- which added two new members after the November election -- fired Lawrence and Rolen on Thursday. The early terminations are effective this week. Each has more than a year remaining on their contracts.

An investigation by this newspaper last month revealed that Rolen previously approved recommendations for about $100,000 in contracts for translation services provided by his then-girlfriend. At the time, he did not publicly disclose their relationship.

The board also delayed a vote on hiring a headhunting firm to help recruit a permanent superintendent. Those services, which cost $33,500, will be discussed at Wednesday's meeting.

David DeBolt covers Concord and Clayton. Contact him at 925-943-8048. Follow him at Twitter.com/daviddebolt.



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