PALMDALE – An assistant superintendent awaiting trial for child abuse, dog fighting and animal cruelty has been fired, according to a press release by the Palmdale School District.
“[Tuesday, Feb. 24,] the Board of Trustees of the Palmdale School District held a special board meeting to consider whether the District should terminate the employment agreement of Assistant Superintendent Pauline Winbush and dismiss her as an employee of the District. After conducting a hearing in closed session, the Board voted unanimously to terminate Ms. Winbush’s employment agreement with the District for cause,” the press release states.
“Since Ms. Winbush was entitled to a position as a tenured teacher notwithstanding the termination of her employment agreement, the Board also considered a statement of charges for her immediate suspension and dismissal as an employee of the District. The Board voted unanimously to dismiss Ms. Winbush as a District employee and immediately suspend her without pay pending any appeal of the dismissal. Ms. Winbush has thirty days to appeal the Board’s dismissal decision,” the press release continues.
Following a raid on her Antelope Acres home, Winbush and her boyfriend, Kevin Ray Williams, were each charged with four felony counts of dog fighting, 17 felony counts of cruelty to an animal, one felony count of child abuse, and multiple Los Angeles County code violations, including unsanitary conditions and failing to license and vaccinate their dogs. [View a copy of the complaint here.]
Both were arrested Dec. 29, and Winbush bailed out of jail the next day. The couple pleaded not guilty to the charges on Dec. 30.
At a preliminary court hearing last month, an animal control investigator testified about what officers found when they raided the home Winbush shared with her boyfriend and minor child.
On the property, which was overgrown with weeds and debris, the team found 19 pit bulls in various stages of poor health and malnutrition, about 19 dead pigeons decomposing in a coop, two containers of dead mice that had decomposed and were “in pieces,” and a dead puppy in a trash can, according to court testimony by Sgt. Rachel Montez of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control.
The team also recovered a “large quantity” of dog fighting and dog breeding materials from the master bedroom, including several dog fighting magazines and a handwritten note bearing the address and signature of a known, convicted dog fighter, according to court testimony by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy Robert Ferrell. [Read more about the preliminary court hearing here.]
Following that court hearing, Winbush and her boyfriend were ordered to stand trial on all charges.
Winbush had been on paid administrative leave since Dec. 1, while the Palmdale School District “commenced its own investigation of her conduct and the circumstances giving rise to the actions of local law enforcement officials,” Superintendent Raul Maldonado previously stated.
In the press release regarding Winbush’s termination, Maldonado stated: “The public should know that the Board and District staff has acted professionally and diligently throughout this entire matter.”
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