Jesus Jara

Clark County School District superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara, arrives at Veterans Tribute Career and Technical Academy on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, in Las Vegas. (Pool Photo Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Reaction continues to pour in after the stunning shakeup in the Clark County School District.

The CCSD Board of Trustees voted Thursday night to end Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara’s contract.  

Trustee Danielle Ford was the trustee who initiated the discussion of ending Jara’s contract, and was one of the four who voted him out.

“I have stated in the past that I hear from employees that there is a culture of fear and retaliation, that he has repeatedly threatened the board … There have been instances where he clearly lied to public officials,” Ford said.

Trustee Katie Williams was one of three trustees who voted to keep Jara.

Williams said she didn’t always agree with him, but liked that he stood up to the board.

“I think it’s clear that I was upset. I was pretty heated. I said somethings, but I don’t apologize for them obviously,” Williams said.  

Williams said paying out the superintendent’s contract will cost the district an estimated $700,000 to $1,000,000.

His contract runs through January 2023.

Williams also believes the district is going to get sued by Jara.

“Because trustee Cavazos went on her press conference and said that it was for a cause, or issue with a staff member as opposed to by convenience, what it said on the agenda, now he has a very strong case to sue the district and that could cost us, my rough estimate, up to five million dollars in damages,” Williams said.

FOX5 reached out to trustee Cavazos for a response, but has not heard back.

Because Jara was terminated for convenience by the board, he will still be paid by the district to the end of his contract. His salary is $320,000 a year with another $100,000 in benefits including health and life insurance, $700 a month for his vehicle, and up to $5,000 for health and wellness.

“Now we go forward, and we have no plan as a board. We have no plan as a district and there is no leadership leading this district now,” Williams said.

“I do not feel like the district is going to fall apart. I feel like it’s a good opportunity to slow down for a second and really think about what kind of leadership we need,” Ford said.

FOX5 reached out to CCSD to ask when a search might start for a new superintendent. An e-mail reply stated the office was closed because of Nevada Day and will reopen Monday.

Williams said she is interested in someone from outside the district to step into the role of superintendent.

Ford hopes it will be someone who is already here, someone who knows the district to fill the role, at least on an interim basis. 

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