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Sweetwater Superintendent Gandara Fired

A unanimous vote by school board members ousted Jesus Gandara after he was accused of inappropriately using district funds.

The Sweetwater Union High School District fired Superintendent Jesus Gandara in a marathon meeting that ran into the early hours Tuesday.

The five board members met behind closed doors for nearly six hours before emerging to announce the unanimous vote to fire Gandara.

A crowd at Southwest High School cheered the announcement.

Gandara is in line to get severance pay totaling about $500,000.

He was accused of billing the school district for meals, even though he had an $800 per month food allowance, hiring two public relations consultants without the board's knowledge and having contractors attend his daughter's bridal shower, which included a money tree.   

The district also has been in conflict over grade changes and students being charged for extracurricular activities.

The board is scheduled to meet tonight at 8 p.m. to discuss his replacement.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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