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Compton school board member vows to keep seat after arrest

Compton school board member vows to keep seat after arrest
Community activist Najee Ali, center left, exchanges words with Jasmyne Cannick, center right, outside the home of Compton school board member Skyy Fisher following his arrest. Cannick is a spokeswoman for Fisher, while Ali wants him to resign. (Al Seib, Los Angeles Times)

A Compton school board member arrested last week on suspicion of sexually assaulting a sleeping man, said he will not step down despite numerous calls for his resignation.

In a statement released through his spokeswoman, Skyy D. Fisher said inaccurate information has been disseminated in an effort to force him from the school board. He vowed to fight the allegations while continuing to serve the students and parents of Compton.

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"Mr. Fisher expects to be fully exonerated and vindicated in this matter," Jasmyne Cannick, his spokeswoman, said in the statement.

But community members protested Monday outside his home, and again pushed for his ouster during a late afternoon board meeting. Fisher was not home at the time of the protest, and was absent from the board meeting.

"I don't know how long we are going to go before we take action," said Maria Villareal, a parent who lives in Compton. "Maybe he needs to kill somebody or rape somebody before the board takes action."

According to an arrest warrant, a 26-year-old man told San Diego police in April that Fisher had performed oral sex on him as he slept.

The two men were on a trip to San Diego and shared a room, but were sleeping in separate beds, according to the arrest warrant. The man told police he woke as Fisher was sexually assaulting him.

In May, authorities obtained a search warrant to collect Fisher's DNA. An analysis confirmed the presence of Fisher's DNA on the man's body, according to court documents.

Fisher was arrested last week while he was at work in downtown Los Angeles, and booked in San Diego County on suspicion of oral copulation of an unconscious or sleeping person. He was released the next morning after posting $100,000 in bail.

He is expected to plead not guilty when he is arraigned Thursday. He faces a maximum eight-year prison sentence and would have to register as a sex offender if convicted, said Steve Walker, communication director of the San Diego County district attorney's office.

City leaders, including Mayor Aja Brown and school board President Micah Ali, urged Fisher to relinquish his seat and resolve his legal issues privately.

"Public servants are held to a higher standard of conduct," Brown said in statement. "While Skyy Fisher is innocent until proven guilty, the allegations of wrongdoing Mr. Fisher faces are serious and troubling."

Since Fisher was elected to the Compton Unified School Board of Trustees in 2011, he has faced a recall effort and relentless criticism. City leaders and residents tried to unseat him after he used a homophobic slur to refer to Trayvon Martin, who was at the center of a Florida shooting case, in a podcast in 2012.

He issued an apology and said he would take a 60-day leave of absence but returned to his school board seat a few weeks later.

Fisher was embroiled in another controversy when he used an expletive to describe the superintendent and in November he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. That case is still pending.

"As education policymakers [leaders] we cannot afford any distractions or lack of focus on our most important goal — our student's success," Ali said.

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