SOUTHEAST COUNTY : Fresno Administrator to Head ABC School District

The ABC Unified School District board has appointed a Fresno school administrator as its new superintendent.

The board voted 7 to 0 Wednesday to hire Thomas J. Riley, 55, an area superintendent with the 78,000-student Fresno Unified School District. He will be paid $99,000 a year.

Riley replaces controversial former Supt. Larry L. Lucas, who was ousted last March when four members of the seven-member board abruptly voted to place him on leave. The vote followed an 11-day teachers strike in 1993 and a subsequent election in which a new board majority gained control.

The board later approved a $250,000 settlement with Lucas, who had three years remaining in his four-year contract.

Riley's appointment takes effect Tuesday.

The 21,000-student ABC district serves the cities of Cerritos, Artesia and Hawaiian Gardens and parts of Lakewood and Norwalk.

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