A school board president was recently arrested on a DUI charge for the second time, and now Val Verde parents are demanding answers.
The San Bernardino Sun reports that public pressure is mounting on Val Verde School Board president Matthew Serafin to step down after he was arrested on a second DUI charge in August.
According to a report from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Serafin was arrested on suspicion of DUI after striking a parked vehicle near Redding Way and A Street on August 27. Serafin was booked into the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta and released the following day with a citation.
The second arrest came just over a year after Serfin completed a previous DUI arrest and conviction in Orange County in 2015.
Officials say that following Serafin’s second DUI arrest, two school board members who had supported him in the past withdrew that support at a meeting on Tuesday, October 3.
One of those withdrawing support was school board member Daniel Aquino, who voted to keep Serafin on as president after his repeated use of profanity behind the dais. Because Aquino lost two friends to an intoxicated driver, he was no longer willing to stand by Serafin.
“I completely agree that Mr. Serafin should step down,” Aquino said. “I do not believe his actions reflect that of Val Verde.”
Nearly a dozen parents and community leaders have joined the call for Serafin to step down.
“I am not a saint,” Serafin said in a statement to the school board. “I take responsibility, and I pray daily to the creator, to my ancestors, to the sun, and to the moon. I strive to be a better person and will be a better person.”
Members of the Val Verde community have been looking to Superintendent Michael R. McCormick to respond to the calls for Serafin’s ouster. However, during his speech at the school board meeting on Tuesday, he focused on the positive things in the district.
“I know that this good work that happens in Val Verde doesn’t happen because of a single individual,” McCormick told the assembly. “It happens because of a team that includes people at all levels of this organization.”
This is a developing story.