SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (KSAZ) - The Scottsdale Unified School Board has voted to fire embattled superintendent Denise Birdwell and Chief Operating Officer Louis Hartwell.
The pair was on paid leave since February, amidst investigations into district finances, bidding practices and potential conflicts of interest. School District officials say if the two do not request a hearing within a couple of weeks, they will be terminated.
There is no word on who may replace the two.
Birdwell's hiring in 2016 reportedly caused a lot of the discontent with Scottsdale teachers, with teachers saying that their voices were ultimately cut off. From there, spending practices were reportedly called into question.
Teachers registered a no-confidence vote in February, which is reportedly a rare feat. Two investigations were opened, and resulted in the Attorney General‘s office suing the school district for procurement violations. Chief Financial Officer Laura Smith immediately resigned, and Hartwell, along with Birdwell, were placed on leave.
The connection between Birdwell and Hartwell has also been scrutinized.
If Birdwell is fired, she will have an appeals process, afforded through constitutional law, that could take as long as 30 days.
In the last 10 days, Birdwell reimbursed the district for nearly $5,000 in legal fees.