PSD Superintendent resigns, $332K payout

The District’s legal counsel Framroze Virjee speaks at a Special Board Meeting Friday morning to consider a resignation agreement for Palmdale School District Superintendent Roger Gallizzi.

The District’s legal counsel Framroze Virjee speaks at a Special Board Meeting Friday morning to consider a resignation agreement for Palmdale School District Superintendent Roger Gallizzi.

PALMDALE – In a special meeting Friday morning, the Palmdale School District Board of Trustees accepted the resignation of Superintendent Roger Gallizzi and agreed to pay Gallizzi a lump sum equivalent to 18 months of his regular compensation and stipends totaling $332,765.

The Board voted 4-1 to approve Gallizzi’s Resignation and Mutual Release Agreement, with Trustee Maria Molina casting the sole dissenting vote.

The resignation agreement also holds Gallizzi harmless “from any and all claims and liabilities, arising on or before the Resignation Date, from or otherwise related to employment activities…” [Read the entire agreement here.]

Gallizzi has been on an indefinite medical leave of absence since last month.

Gallizzi has been on an indefinite medical leave of absence since last month.

Prior to the vote, a handful of speakers at the sparsely attended meeting voiced opposition to the resignation agreement.

“We have over $330,000 being sucked out of the classrooms… I don’t think this is right,” said Don Wilson, who ran unsuccessfully for Palmdale School Board in the past election.

Maria Velasquez asked the Board to postpone the matter to allow stakeholders a chance to give input.

“Put it at a time where your parents can come in, and it [does] not look like something was rammed through,” Velasquez said.  “This is something that truly none of you should be doing right now, and you should give the opportunity to parents and the community and the stakeholders to give their input.”

Palmdale School Board Trustee-elect Nancy Smith took issue with a section of the Agreement [9. Nondisparagement] that prohibits the District from criticizing or disparaging Gallizzi orally or in writing.

“If the new administration coming in finds things that should be brought to public light, they should be  free to talk about them and not worry about the District being sued…” Smith said, adding that the clause gags the new school board from criticizing Gallizzi. “He has been free to criticize anyone and everyone that he wanted to and now you’re putting a gag on the future Board, and I think that’s totally wrong,” Smith said.

Smith, Juan Carrillo and Joyce Ricks won seats on the Palmdale School District Board Of Trustees in the November 5 election, ousting incumbents Sandy Corrales, Jeff Ferrin and Carol Stanford. The new school board will be sworn in on December 10.

In a strongly worded letter to the PSD Board of Trustees, Assemblymember Steve Fox urged the current Board to “do the right thing and let this matter be handled by the new school board.”

“By all appearances this appears to be a sweetheart deal by a lame duck school board to help out an employee,” Fox wrote. [Read Fox’s entire letter here.]

Speaking at the special meeting Friday morning, Fox said he believed the resignation agreement was a misuse of public funds. He said he believed Gallizzi’s employment contract expired Dec. 31, 2014, therefore Gallizzi was only entitled to 13 months’ severance pay under California law.

“[That’s] my clear interpretation, there appears to be others. I would suggest and urge the Board to err on the side of caution and allow the next Board to consider making [the decision,]” Fox said.

Citing an evergreen clause and addendum to Gallizzi’s employment contract, the District’s attorney, Framroze Virjee, said the superintendent was actually in the first year of a three-year contract, which expires December 2015. [Read Gallizzi’s employment contract and all addendums here.]

Virjee made it clear that he was representing the District’s interests only, and said the District was following the law by allowing Gallizzi 18 months’ severance pay in the resignation agreement. Gallizzi has been on an indefinite medical leave of absence since October.

Virjee said the Board also had the option of doing nothing and continuing to pay Gallizzi during his sick leave while waiting to see if Gallizzi was able to return. But the Board would also be paying for an interim superintendent during that time as well, Virjee said.

Paying two salaries while facing uncertainty about Gallizzi’s return was unfair to the taxpayers, said PSD Board President Sandy Corrales.

“This general release agreement is not ideal. It’s probably not what the Board wants, it’s probably not what Mr. Gallizzi wants, it’s probably not what our employees or anybody wants,” Corrales said. “But it’s an agreement, it’s a settlement, it’s a compromise…”

“Moving forward with this agreement will allow the newly-elected Board to start with a clean slate, to chart their own course and not have to worry or deliberate on the issues of the past,” Corrales continued.

  41 comments for “PSD Superintendent resigns, $332K payout

  1. Citizen
    December 9, 2013 at 12:50 am

    These three outgoing Board members are reneging there duties on their last day as Board members. They are supposed to be attending their last board meeting on Tuesday and they have chosen not to attend. They are sore losers. Tuesday’s organizational meeting is when the new Board members will be sworn in. Sandy Corrales, Jeff Ferrin and Carol Stanford show their true colors…is this what the children of Palmdale are to be taught… that when you lose at something you become a poor sport and you do not shake your opponents hand? How big of you. Good riddance then to all three of you!

    • Quigley
      December 9, 2013 at 7:11 am

      C’mon now..did you really think they would show their ugly heads after “legally” stealing money from PSD and the Palmdale taxpayers?? Gallizzi is the one who should attend to apologize for raping the city of Palmdale before heading to Nevada! Good riddance you thieves!

  2. Mike
    November 30, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    The reign of the self important and self absorbed Gallizzi has come to an end, and with the new board soon to truly oversee district administration, all should be well.

    Or will it? Rotten leaders hire and spawn rotten subordinates, and all assistant superintendents, directors, principals, and various other Gallizzi hires currently remain in place. If you were Gallizzi’s friend and incompetent, no need to worry. A new position would be created for you. If you turned a blind eye towards Gallizzi’s cavalier attitude regarding integrity and accountability, you solidified your job security.

    A district principal recently created a powerpoint presentation singing the praises of Gallizzi. If she truly believes he was great, that’s a problem. If she did it to steer clear of his iron fist, that’s a problem too. Principals are supposed to be leaders. Principals are supposed to be moral. Principals should be wary of becoming “super” politicians and brown nosers. Does anyone really want someone like that running a school?

    Assistant Superintendents had to know what was going on. If they didn’t, they’re incompetent. If they did, they’re complicit. If they put their heads in the sand thinking “hearing no evil or seeing no evil” absolves them , they’re cowards. Bottom line: there are more rotten apples in the barrel, and the district needs to get rid of them.

    I doubt anything will happen. These people are chameleons, willing to change their values and morals to suit whoever happens to be holding the pink slips. Does anyone really think these people are “in it for the kids”?

    • Palmdalian
      November 30, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      The departure of Roger Galizzi leaves a huge void. He helped bring this school district back from the mire of the Nancy Smith years. Sadly, the teachers union and Rex Parris were successful in ousting a competent and qualified board. Looking forward to the next election.

      • Natalie Ynocente
        December 1, 2013 at 10:36 pm

        I am interested in your point of view. What is it that the superintendent and “the competent and qualified” board members did personally that entitles them to receive any of the credit for positive changes in the district? While I do concede that the board and superintendent did approve professional development trainings, I never saw them attend any classes, teach any lessons, reteach in small groups, or partake in any of the actual labor required in providing any of the actual education of the students of the Palmdale Schiol District. The only thing I have witnessed is an increased division and animosity, nepitism, and an almist perfect demonstration of Jackson’s spoils system in play.

      • Mike
        December 2, 2013 at 10:47 am

        The departure of Roger Gallizzi is a welcome change, on par with the departure of Sandy Corrales. Corrales brought absolutely nothing to the table. Trite, meaningless phrases disguised as serious answers were her forte. She was (and is) nothing more than a self-serving politico. May she follow in the footsteps of Diana Beard Williams… just go away. Please Corrales, just go away. By the way Palmdalian, you sound an awful lot like Corrales.

    • Fellow doctoral students
      December 3, 2013 at 9:19 am

      With regard to the principal piece you spoke of, I happen to know her and know that the prezi was an assignment for a doctoral project and all info is public and was taken directly from the PSD website. Before making derogatory claims you should investigate facts, speak with the person directly that you take issue with and stop inflammatory accusations that have no merit. I hope that in the future you use your passion for great things with students instead of hiding behind online websites.

  3. Dave
    November 25, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    The outgoing board knows this move looks bad.

    They know it looks suspicious.

    They know it looks inappropriate, dirty, improper.

    They know it would be better for the incoming board to handle it.

    But they did it anyway. Wow. Imagine what kind if dirt and crimes they must be covering, in order for THIS MOVE to be the lesser if two evils for them.


    • Quigley
      November 25, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      How do you hold kids accountable for poor choices and not the adults?

    • Lynn
      December 8, 2013 at 4:13 am

      isn’t that the truth….liars, cheats, thieves,morally corrupt, the list goes on, if the walls could talk, the public would hang them all out to dry…..may they all rot in hell

  4. Quigley
    November 24, 2013 at 8:19 am

    It seems those posting on this thread are all on the same page. For the past year the morale in this District has been in the toilet. Guess what people…it’s officially flushed! Winbush has stepped in to a HUGE pile of crap. I would have to assume that the employees in her District will have no trust in anyone of authority and that is going to be the hardest part of her new position. How do you show pride in your work and strive for perfection when those in charge don’t?!?

  5. AF Folk
    November 24, 2013 at 6:45 am

    I will say that it’s not very common in business to badmouth a former employee anyway. What purpose does it serve? It just opens up potential lawsuits against the former employer. The actual writing of it into a contract is odd, but whatever.

    The part that really chafes is the flawed logic on the money. ‘We can’t pay two at once so we’re going to pay Galizzi for 3 more years.’ Further, it is just crooked. An outgoing board shouldn’t start making million dollar decisions with taxpayer money. That’s enraging, dishonest, and raises far more questions than it settles.

    Also, what happened to Carol Stanford. She was a teacher, but seems to have lost any respect she had among her peers.

    • anotherdummy
      November 24, 2013 at 11:31 am

      Badmouthing is not common in business, but in politics it is the scapegoat people use to distract from their shortcomings.

  6. Larryo
    November 23, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Absolute power (and money) corrupt absolutely. When the board stopped overseeing the superintendent and began worshiping him instead, this district was doomed. The board has a lot of explaining to do. They obviously got something in return for showering him with such extravagance. The new board needs to examine EVERYTHING to see what went on. And someone needs to interview district personnel to see if anyone has direct evidence of wrong doing.

    Just found this prezi dedicated to Roger Gallizzi
    I wonder what the quid pro quo from Roger was to have this sycophantic monstrosity created….perhaps a cushy job at the district office?

    • Fellow doctoral. Student
      December 3, 2013 at 5:46 pm

      With regard to the principal piece you spoke of, I happen to know her and know that the prezi was an assignment for a doctoral project and all info is public and was taken directly from the PSD website. Before making derogatory claims you should investigate facts, speak with the person directly that you take issue with and stop inflammatory accusations that have no merit. I hope that in the future you use your passion for great things with students instead of hiding behind online websites.

  7. GC
    November 23, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    This matter should have been left to the new board, not rushed through. Shame, old board. Shame. Shame.

    November 23, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Here are some observations on this article:

    1) First of all, I read Assemblyman Fox’s letter to the Board. Steve, you are on too many
    committees in the Assembly if the letterhead of your letter is to be believed. You should
    on no more that 2 committees (e.g. Veterans and Economic Development). How you
    manage to balance all of the committee assignments is beyond me.

    2. Secondly, the chickens were not watching the foxes in the chicken coop. Apparently, no
    one was keeping an eye on the Board because they were amending Roger’s contract on
    a regular basis. That is why I get up before the Lancaster City Council five or so times
    every meeting to keep an eye on them and call them on the carpet.

    3. I found it interesting in the original contract with Roger, it was mentioned that a
    physical exam had to be taken on a yearly basis and the Board informed. Did he have
    a pre-existing condition?

  9. AV Folk
    November 23, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Someone should contact John and Ken from KFI. They do well publicizing this kind of corruption.

  10. j s
    November 23, 2013 at 8:46 am

    I recall when Smith was the super, I and others who were credentialed teachers, were bumped from our jobs by non credentialed teachers who had more seniority. There was not any standard at this district. Ask yourself, if you needed surgery, would you want an educated credentialed doctor, or some undereducated, non credentialed person on the hospital staff who had more seniority? One was her son, who had taught at the district for several years with no credential. A shameful legacy.

    • Sidney
      November 23, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      There was a lot that went on while Smith was super. I find this all a little ironic. I don’t

  11. Quigley
    November 23, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Right on Jan! I don’t think paying two salaries is correct. Winbush is already on the payroll, just received a nice raise. Another example of how out of sync Corrales was when it comes to finances.

    • Sheila
      November 23, 2013 at 8:56 am


      E-Mail us directly at

      US mail to:

      District Attorney’s Office
      County of Los Angeles
      210 West Temple Street, Suite 18000
      Los Angeles, CA 90012-3210

      Telephone (213) 974-3512
      Fax (213) 974-1484

      • Snyder Ronay
        November 24, 2013 at 4:13 pm

        yeppers they all screwed the teachers and the children

  12. The Anti-REX
    November 23, 2013 at 6:54 am

    I don’t know? are superintendents are in CalPERS or CalSTRS. If so will this payoff bump up his pension also?

    • SoccerMom
      November 23, 2013 at 8:06 am

      As a payroll clerk for a public agency these type of payments are not permissible for retirement purposes. That is part of recent retirement reform with PERS and STRS.

  13. Jan
    November 23, 2013 at 6:50 am

    Corrales said “paying two salaries while facing uncertainty about Galizzi’s return was unfair to the taxpayers”…so what exactly does she think they have done…the taxpayers are now on the hook for the $332K payout (plus benefits that continue)…YES Ms. Corrales a payout is still taxpayer dollars. What an absolute insane agreement. The man resigned, most often when someone resigns they do not get 18 months of pay, they get whatever vacation time they have accrued and a “goodbye”; and never a gag order to hide any wrong doing. This entire matter STINKS and should definitely be investigated…SHAME on the 4 selfish, vindictive board members who voted to approve such a travesty (kudos to Maria Molina for standing up for the children of Palmdale with a “nay” vote).

  14. Jason Zink
    November 23, 2013 at 4:17 am

    Headline: Bell R”izzo” – Palmdell S.D. Gall”izzi” ???

  15. Desearee
    November 23, 2013 at 3:46 am

    There needs to be an investigation into the reign of this man!! Scandelous!

  16. ME
    November 22, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Why is this so unfair? There’s been employees that have been laid off, others have had their hours cut and this guy gets all this money that obviously he doesn’t deserve. What kind of board of trustees, they’re obviously on his side and are looking after his best interest and not the districts employees or students. Lack of motivation for all the teachers to teach our children the best that they can and putting so much extra work on all the other employees that are also being affected by this idiot’s selfish decisions.

  17. [Removed]
    November 22, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Assemblyman Fox – please do not let this go. Demand an investigation!!

  18. [Removed]
    November 22, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Thanks for some real reporting AV Times. The AV Press article on the same subject was nothing but a love letter to Gallizzi. The school board and Gallizzi claimed the district was in financial crisis over the last several years, and yet they give the supt. 40K in raises over that period? And now a 330K payout? Outrageous!! The classified and teachers were right all along about this den of thieves. Hope a full investigation is forthcoming. What a racket!!!

  19. Y
    November 22, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    Needs to be investigated!! This is completely insane!! He gave himself 40,000.00 in raises over seven years while holding medical over teachers heads with no raises, implemented a medical cut anyway, then tried forcing pay cuts on teachers all the while saying there was no money…..but now there is money to pay him out!! Seriously what more do people need to call for a investigation of the board and Gallizi??

  20. Luisa Hidalgo
    November 22, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    There are no iron clad contracts in this world. Corrales, Standford & Ferrin you were ousted, now is the time to oust Bob Bynum the last cronie. Suffice to say, I will be consulting with legal counsel expert in Contracts for his opinion on the validity of Gallizzi’s agreement with the ousted PSD members.

  21. Luisa hidalgo
    November 22, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    The bigest fraud perpetrated by Gallizzis’ cronies. So the RAT got his ill gotten money. But its not over. We the People will not forget.

  22. Quigley
    November 22, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Corrales is worried that the new Board would have to “deliberate on the issues of the past” if she didn’t sign off for her buddy Gallizzi…you bet ur a## she’s worried and she should be, they all should…..pissed off some who will demand answers. The never ending PSD saga continues!

  23. m
    November 22, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    agreement signature page signed in Clark County Nevada… Partying in Las Vegas with a bad heart condition ?

  24. A. Steele
    November 22, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Hmmmm, seems the truth keeps getting squashed. How is the payoff being divided? And if everything is on the up and up, why the gag order? Smells fishy. Another Bell type situation?

  25. Gary S.
    November 22, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Not golden handshake as much as looks more like a payoff, along with the gag rule on the future board.

    Dirty coverup of the current board’s dirty dirt.

  26. Luis Luna Jr
    November 22, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Funny thing. most of us get last pay when we get fired. This guy gets 3 years salary for screwing up?

  27. m
    November 22, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    a golden handshake engineered with favors owed. Children pay attention… this is how democracy now works :(

  28. AV Folk
    November 22, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Wow. That just looks very backroom deal shady.

Comments are closed.