A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


Covina Superintendent Accused of Alleged Misconduct Involving Students

Superintendent has resigned for “personal reasons”

Update, June 1:

Covina-Valley Unified School District’s Board of Education voted unanimously to accept the resignation from Superintendent Dr. Richard Sheehan on Tuesday, May 26.

Sheehan wrote a letter to the board on Friday, May 22, stating his resignation was for “personal reasons.”

Sheehan’s resignation will take effect as of June 30, 2020. Until then, Sheehan will be on administrative leave and will receive his unused vacation time pay. In addition to that, he will also receive $46,464.96 in a lump sum. Additional details were not discussed.


The Covina-Valley Unified School District is boiling in controversy after its prominent superintendent came under fire for allegations of misconduct with students.

In a press release sent out on Friday, a representative for Covina Unified Education Association, Covina-Valley’s teacher’s union, stated, “It is the intent of the Board to release Dr. Richard Sheehan from his position as Superintendent.”

That press release was sent hours after the Board of Education released its board agenda for Monday’s regularly scheduled meeting, with a special board meeting scheduled to take place an hour before with the description “interim Superintendent.”

News of the board’s special meeting to fire Superintendent Sheehan quickly sent shockwaves throughout the community, as it was unclear why the board decided to take swift action in relieving the superintendent of his duties. The board’s agenda also came just four months after the Board of Education renewed Sheehan’s contract, keeping him with the school district through June 2023.

“The Covina Unified Education Association, representing all of C-VUSD’s certificated educators, stands adamantly opposed to this decision,” the news release read. “As an organization we demand that the Board honor, maintain and retain Dr. Sheehan for the entirety of his contract through June 2023.”

The press release goes on to state, “Amidst a worldwide pandemic and resulting fiscal crisis, now is not the time to enter into dramatic leadership upheaval that results in additional financial burden for our District.”

In addition to the press release rallying behind Sheehan, a change.org petition titled “Save Dr. Sheehan” received 500 signatures in just two hours. The petition is now closed with over 3,100 signatures.

Things quickly changed Saturday evening when an anonymous user on Twitter made serious allegations against Sheehan. Since the anonymous post, three individuals total have come forward, alleging the superintendent inappropriately touched them.

Covina-Valley Unified have yet to release an official statement on the issue. The superintendent’s Twitter account has also been deactivated since the post.

On Sunday, district administrators sent an all-call voicemail to parents, stating “serious allegations” were made against an employee. The voicemail did not specify which employee the allegations were against, nor did it list a name or position. It did say that local law enforcement had been notified and is currently investigating.

“Administrative Staff at the Covina-Valley Unified School District contacted the Covina Police Department regarding their internal investigation,” a news release from Covina Police Department obtained by SAC.Media reads. “Allegations have been made against CVUSD Superintendent Dr. Richard Sheehan of misconduct involving three potential victims. These three victims are former and current students of CVUSD.”

The investigations into Sheehan’s allegations “are in their very preliminary stages,” according to the news release.

However, according to the news release, Covina PD requested that their counterparts at Glendora Police Department take over the investigation due to Sheehan’s close ties with Covina PD, citing conflict of interest.

“The Covina Police Department is also aware of ongoing employment talks between CVUSD and Dr. Sheehan. We’ve asked the Glendora Police Department to assist us by handling this initial investigation,” the news release reads. “Our intent is to ensure a thorough and transparent investigation by law enforcement.”

Despite the turmoil surrounding Sheehan, community members flocked to Covina District Field on Sunday to caravan around the city in support of Sheehan.

John Comstock, former C-VUSD parent, said that he’s “completely against” the firing of Superintendent Sheehan.

“You have to do due process. It should’ve been brought up to everyone’s attention,” Comstock said when asked about the recent allegations. “Do it the right way, not just sneak it through without bringing it to everyone’s attention.”

Comstock said he believes the allegations are a “smear tactic” in an effort for the Board to “sneak their people in.”

Kim Rogers, a community liaison for the city, said she is in “100% support” of the school board and the decisions they make. Rogers also went on to praise the board for their efforts, stating “they’re doing a very good job,” and called the board members “transparent.”

At Monday’s meeting, board members were met with passionate chants as they entered into Covina District Field. Supporters were seen lined up against the entrance holding signs reading “#WeStandWithSheehan.”

The meeting was also held virtually due to the current coronavirus pandemic.

The public comment portion of Monday’s meeting consisted of a coalition of C-VUSD administrators, teachers, parents, and former employees who weighed in their opinion on the Board’s decision to fire Sheehan.

Betty Williams, a former co-worker who worked under Sheehan said during public comment, “I know that you are up for re-election in November and I will remember this when I go to the polls.”

“Is this the way you want to be known for your time on the Board?” Williams added. “A person with a personal vendetta, as it appears to many of us.”

Williams was not the only one with this opinion, as others sparked similar sentiment.

“You should be ashamed of yourselves for doing this while we are all social distancing,” a special education teacher working in C-VUSD said. “He [Sheehan] should not be removed as Superintendent. If you remove Dr. Sheehan, you will be held accountable in the next election.”

The rest of the public comments were similarly praising Sheehan for his record and ability to work with teachers and administrators in the district, and voiced their contempt for the C-VUSD Board of Education’s handling of the situation.

There were 132 public comment cards sent in via online submission. However, not all public comments were read before the board adjourned to a closed session.

After the closed session, the president of the board, Sonia Frasquillo, announced that the vote to release Dr. Sheehan would be postponed to a later date.

“It is in the best interest of our district and the community to postpone or make any decision in respect to Dr. Sheehan and the developing allegations and evidence that has been brought to our attention,” she said.

Just hours after the meeting concluded, Assistant Superintendent of Education Services, Elizabeth Eminhizer, was announced as the new interim C-VUSD Superintendent. Sheehan has been placed on administrative leave.

This is an ongoing story. Check back for updates.

Correction: An earlier version of the story had wording that made it appear that there were four individuals with allegations. There are three total so far.

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About the Contributors
Andre Tinoco, Broadcast News Editor
Andre Tinoco is a senior staff writer and reporter for SAC.Media, and Broadcast News Editor and Producer of SACAttack. He is a wholehearted news junkie who enjoys hearing both sides of the story while reporting the facts. You can find him out in the field chasing breaking news, or shadowing a reporter during their live shot. He loves a good story and enjoys connecting with the community.
Osirus is a senior contributor for SAC.Media. He is a political nerd who loves reading or watching anything about politics. However, he also likes to follow arts & entertainment, and loves watching the Denver Broncos win football games.

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    ErinSep 27, 2021 at 10:40 pm

    Has there been any follow-ups after this was published? Is there any other story regarding if the allegations were true or not?