Case surrouding animal abuse at Tehachapi school comes up during board meeting

TEHACHAPI, Calif. - A controversial case was brought up at the Tehachapi School Board meeting Tuesday night, regarding a school maintenance worker who was arrested on animal abuse charges last week. 

The worker was allegedly trapping stray cats in carbon dioxide filled boxes and suffocating them to death.

"We're working as quickly as possible to gather all the facts and further the investigation,” said the school board president, Mary Graham. 

Graham addressed the ongoing investigation then moved on to other topics but that didn’t stop Susan Ormsby from speaking up.

"Someone gave him that order but we don't know who gave them the order.  Custodians do not come into work and say this is what I'm gonna do today," Ormsby, a retired teacher herself, tells 23ABC.

Many questions came up whether there is a conflict of interest surrounding this case -  the district’s superintendent, Lisa Gilbert, also happens to be married to the man in charge of the suspect arrested.

Additionally, the investigation is being conducted by the Kern County superintendent’s legal team.

"I think they need to find out who gave that order," Ormsby said.  "And that person should have to face greater consequences than the person that carried it out.”

Teachers would not speak to 23ABC about this issue, but did say the school board sent out an e-mail this morning advising them that the maintenance worker is still on paid administrative leave until this investigation is complete.
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WATCH reporter, Lauren Ettlinger's interview with school officials. Click the video above

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