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Coleman Resigns from School Board

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By Jorge Casuso

August 31, 2022 -- School Board member Keith Coleman resigned from his appointed position on Wednesday but will still appear on the November ballot in the race for four open seats.

Coleman's resignation, which is effective immediately, was announced by Superintendent Ben Drati Wednesday night in an email message that included Coleman's letter.

"Earlier this week I moved my elderly father from out of state to live with me in Santa Monica," Coleman wrote. "My father is in very ill health, and I am currently his primary care giver.

"After only a few days, I realize that caring for my dad will require much more time and energy than I had initially imagined; and that doing so will affect my ability to serve effectively on the board."

Coleman's resignation comes five days after he announced his withdrawal from the School Board race ("Incumbent Abruptly Drops Out of School Board Race," August 26, 2022).

City Clerk Denise Anderson-Warren said that Coleman's name will appear on the November 8 ballot, where he will be the third candidate listed.

"The deadline to withdrawn as a candidate was the last day of the nomination period, which for incumbents was August 12, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.," Anderson-Warren wrote in an email to The Lookout.

In his resignation letter, Coleman said that threats and allegations made against him have caused him to fear for his safety and that of his family.

"In addition to full-time caring for my ailing father, my family has been the target of false allegations, hurtful threats, including stalking, harassment, and bullying, over the past several months," Coleman said.

"These anonymous threats, vitriol, and hateful messages have caused me to fear for my safety and for that of my family members, including my son, if I continue to serve on the board."

Coleman -- an education tech consultant -- has come under fire from parents who have questioned whether he has lived in the District after being appointed to the Board in January 2021 ("School Board Chooses Coleman to Fill de la Torre's Seat," January 15, 2021).

On June 30, one of the parents requested that the City Attorney's office investigate whether Coleman lives in the rent control apartment he listed as his address or in a condominium in Brentwood where his son attends a private school.

Constance Farrell, the City's spokesperson, said the City Attorney's office "has been made aware of it (the residency issue) and is working with the Police Department to determine if there will be an investigation."

The Lookout has confirmed that the Brentwood condominium in question is owned by the Coleman and Pavlova-Coleman Trust, which consists of Keith H. Coleman KHC) and Tatiana Pavlova-Coleman (TPC).

In July 2021, Coleman acknowledged in response to a letter from a parent published in the Daily Press that his son would attend Brentwood School that fall.

In his message to parents, students and staff Wednesday Superintendent Drati thanked Coleman for his service.

"Mr. Coleman has served with honor, integrity, excellence, and the best interests of SMMUSD students in mind," Drati wrote.

"I appreciate his service and dedication to our communities, his passion for diversity, equity and inclusion work, and his dedication to student success and opportunity."

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