Home People OC Board of Education Trustee Beckie Gomez Resigns Amid Lawsuit

OC Board of Education Trustee Beckie Gomez Resigns Amid Lawsuit

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Orange County Board of Education Trustee Beckie Gomez announced her resignation June 15 after she was sued in March for simultaneously holding positions on the board and the Tustin City Council.

In May, Attorney General Rob Bonta approved the lawsuit, which argued that the two offices Gomez holds are “legally incompatible” under a state law that claims a person who holds two incompatible public offices must forfeit the first office presumed.

Instead of arguing her case in court—like her colleague Tim Shaw, who recently faced similar litigation for holding positions on the board and the La Habra City Council—Gomez announced her resignation at the close of a board meeting.

“After being recruited to run in 2016, I received more than one legal opinion which did not indicate an incompatibility,” Gomez said. “With deep regret, I will be resigning as the board of education trustee for Area 1 effective July 1, 2022.”

Gomez, who has served on the Tustin City Council since 2010 and on the board of education since 2016, won re-election for both seats in 2020.

She had two years left of her second term for Area 1, which represents Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, and parts of Garden Grove and Tustin.

Gomez’s colleagues now must appoint a replacement.

“It is my hope the trustees elected in June will appoint a reasonable, judicious colleague who is willing to do the work,” Gomez said.

Gomez previously claimed her seats are not incompatible and disagreed with the lawsuit, stating that the legal challenge was not a solution to the situation and would be against public interest.

Gomez’s legal challenge comes after Shaw faced a similar lawsuit in January 2021 for simultaneously holding positions on the county Board of Education and the La Habra City Council.

Shaw initially resigned from the board in November 2021. But then left his post on the city council to reapply for his seat on the board of education.

His colleagues later voted 3–1 to re-appoint him to the board, with Gomez dissenting.

In April, Shaw was blocked by a judge from serving on the board again due to another lawsuit that claims Shaw’s re-appointment violated state law.

However, Shaw appears on track to win his seat back with about 50 percent of the vote in a short-term June election.

“I would like to thank Beckie Gomez for her years of service on the board and the kindness she has shown to me as her colleague,” Shaw told The Epoch Times. “I wish her well in her future endeavors.”

Gomez is currently running for mayor of Tustin; this election year also marks the first time Tustin voters can elect their mayor directly, whereas before councilors appointed the mayor.

Gomez did not respond to a request for comment by press deadline.

Micaela Ricaforte

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