El Segundo Board Member Calls It Quits

Times Staff Writer

Last year, Andrew Wallet campaigned for a seat on the El Segundo school board by criticizing board members for lack of leadership.

It apparently worked. He won.

Now he’s calling it quits.

Board members are expected to accept Wallet’s resignation on Tuesday. His term expires in 1991.


Wallet, a 35-year-old attorney, said Friday that his home in El Segundo is for sale and that he plans to move his family to the Palos Verdes Peninsula. He said that by leaving the board and selling his home, he will be able to “free up” his time and finances, although he declined to be specific.

Wallet said he plans to devote more time to his real estate career and eventually phase out his law practice.

During his election campaign, Wallet criticized the board for abdicating too much responsibility to the superintendent. By resigning his seat, he said he does not believe he is betraying those who voted for him, although he acknowledged that some supporters undoubtedly will “feel let down.” But, he said, “things change.”

“I am not irreplaceable,” he said. “I am sure there are others who will carry on.”


Board Somewhat Upset

Ruth Parks, who has served on the school board for the last seven years, said Wallet’s resignation was “kind of a shock” to board members. She said board members are somewhat upset over the resignation because they may have to hold an election to fill his seat. Such an election could cost the financially strapped district more than $10,000, she said.

Under state law, the board can either hold a special election to fill the seat or simply fill it by appointment. However, if the appointment is challenged by at least 1.5% of the city’s registered voters on a petition, an election must be held.

Parks said that Wallet “worked cooperatively and made some positive contributions” to the board. But when he ran for election, Parks said, she felt that he was “unjustly critical” of the board. All of Wallet’s colleagues were on the board when he ran for election and attacked them. Wallet won the seat of Richard D. Work, who did not seek reelection.


After winning, Wallet told board members that the criticism was just politics, Parks said.

“After he was elected, he indicated that it was all campaign rhetoric and he didn’t feel it, that he just said these things to get elected,” she said. “So we were rather taken aback.”

Wallet conceded that “a lot” of what he said during his campaign was geared to gain votes.

“You got to get people’s attention, No. 1,” he said, adding that does not intend to run for public office again.


“My political career has come to an end.”