Preliminary Hearing in Ref Rodriguez Political Money Laundering Case Set for May

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A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on Wednesday set a May preliminary hearing date for L.A. school board member Ref Rodriguez, making it more likely that Rodriguez, who faces criminal charges, will be on hand to cast important votes on the school board in the coming months.

Rodriguez has pleaded not guilty to the charges, including three felony counts. Prosecutors allege he engaged in political money laundering in his 2015 campaign for office.

While he stepped down as school board president after he was charged, Rodriguez did not give up his seat. But he could be forced to should he be convicted.

The Board of Education, meanwhile, has launched a search for a new superintendent. Rodriguez’s vote — and his presence in the room — could be pivotal in choosing L.A. Unified’s new leader.

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