The battle to determine if Orange County Board of Education Trustee Tim Shaw was illegally appointed to his position continues after the state Attorney General approved a lawsuit against him on April 7.
Local resident Michael Sean Wright filed a quo warranto—a legal challenge questioning the ability of someone to hold a public office—on March 2 to Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office to sue Shaw.
The March 2 lawsuit was filed shortly before an Orange County Superior Court Judge denied Wright’s challenge to sue the board of education over Shaw’s reappointment on March 10.
“It would be very extraordinary to overturn the Board of Education in reappointing me and the will of the voters who voted for me two years ago,” Shaw told The Epoch Times in response to the most recent lawsuit.
While the original legal challenge filed by Wright was directed to the board, the new lawsuit is toward Shaw only—making him responsible to pay for the legal fees.
The lawsuit is the latest in an ongoing debate. Shaw received a legal challenge in January 2021 that questioned his ability to serve simultaneously on the La Habra City Council and the Orange County Board of Education.
To avoid costly legal fees, Shaw stepped down from his seat on the board in November 2021.
Less than one month later, Shaw stepped down from the La Habra City Council and was reappointed to the county Board of Education.
Plaintiff Wright said that Shaw was illegally reappointed to the board of education due to a state law that says, “the local board may not re-appoint to the office the person whose resignation caused the vacancy in the first place,” according to the report from the attorney general.
However, Shaw said that law only applies to governing bodies, of which the county board of education is not.
Shaw said he is wary about the intent of Wright to challenge his position as his seat will be up for grabs during the June election.
However, Wright and his attorneys believe that the court should resolve the issue prior to the election, according to the attorney general’s report.
While a date for the lawsuit to be heard has not been issued yet, Shaw expects it will be requested to be heard on an emergency basis.
“We are grateful for the Attorney General’s decision and are working with his office to move forward with all deliberate speed, and will be taking those next steps soon,” Wright’s lawyer, Lee Fink, told The Epoch Times in an email.