That amount would make Ms. Contreras Smith by far the highest paid K-12 employee statewide, according to a survey of nearly 700,000 employee pay records posted on TransparentCalifornia.com.
But even stranger than the size of the payment is the timing. A Los Angeles Times report states that Ms. Contreras Smith was fired in November 2016, and filed what would ultimately be a successful whistleblower lawsuit against the district in July 2017.
So why did the school make such a large payout to someone who was no longer on the payroll?
That's not something the public has a right to know, according to school administrator and de facto public records officer Jose Suarez.
When Transparent California asked about the unusual payout, Mr. Suarez refused to provide any information, asserting that the "Public Records Act creates no duty to answer written or oral questions submitted by members of the public."