CHP building in Culver City. Photo by John Schreiber.
CHP building in Culver City. Photo by John Schreiber.

The state-appointed superintendent of schools in Inglewood is in trouble for having an armed California Patrol Officer as a driver and bodyguard, it was reported Monday.

When Don Brann arrived in Inglewood, his marching orders were to keep the debt-plagued school district from tumbling into financial chaos. He then cut costs and trimmed staff to save millions, including laying off 23 on-campus security officers, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Now, parents and community leaders are questioning why the cash-strapped school district is paying for an armed CHP officer to serve as Brann’s personal driver and bodyguard, according to The Times.

Though no known threats have been made against Brann, he inherited a $200,000 contract for the security detail in July 2013. Last month he approved another $135,000 in school district funds to extend the service through July 2015, The Times reported.

Brann, 68, told parents and community leaders at a Sept. 30 school board meeting that he feared for his safety in Inglewood.

“I didn’t come here to get hurt,” Brann said, according to The Times. He wrote a letter to the city a week later, apologizing for his “unfortunate choice of words.” But parents and school board members said they were stung, and one board member called for his resignation.

Some in the community said Brann’s comments about Inglewood show a man intimidated by the community he serves, someone willing to spend money on his protection but not on that of the students in the district he oversees.

“If he is afraid to be in Inglewood, then he should not be in Inglewood,” Johnny Young, a school board member, said in comments reported by The Times.

The school board acts in an advisory role and holds no legislative power, according to the terms of the state’s takeover of the financially troubled school district in 2012. The district is struggling with a $4.8 million deficit.

—City News Service

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