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.
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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.