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Ex-LAUSD Super Accused of Using Fake Badge to Pull Woman Over

Ruban Zacarias, who left as the top dog of the Los Angeles County Unified School District in 2000, plead not guilty did not enter a plea* today in response to a charge of impersonating a police officer, the Los Angeles District Attorney's office reported.

Zacarias, 80, is accused of using a school police badge to pull a woman over in Pomona in July. The ex-super was not in court, and an attorney entered the plea for him. He faces a misdemeanor count and is due back in court Sept. 29.

The incident is said to have taken place on the 57 freeway. A California Highway Patrol unit stopped Zacarias and he was cited with using the badge.

The LAUSD's police department was the subject of a lengthy feature in LA Weekly last week. In fact, the Weekly found, leadership at the department failed to address the issue of real-looking but fake badges being issued to movie stars and other notables.

The D.A.'s office argues that when he was pulled over, Zacarias had a badge issued by the LAUSD school police, but it wasn't clear if it was allegedly one of the controversial, fake badges.

Zacarias spent his career at the LAUSD, but only 2 and one-half years as its superintendent. While he claims that test scores started to inch higher during his tenure, critics called his term lackluster.

*The D.A.'s office at first said an attorney for Zacarias plead not guilty but it later reported that no plea had been entered.

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