School Trustee to Take Post He Sought to Avoid

From Times Staff Reports

John Ortega, a newly elected trustee in the Orange Unified School District who tried but failed to pull his name off the ballot, said Friday that he will accept the job.

Ortega, a sheriff's deputy who is on workers' compensation leave, said he tried to withdraw from Tuesday's recall election for family reasons. He did not elaborate.

Because he was too late to get his name off the ballot, he won anyway, though he did not campaign.

The new trustee did not reveal his plans until Friday after the county registrar of voters certified the election, making it official that three conservative school board members had been recalled. They were replaced by three people more sympathetic to the teachers union.

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