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BREAKING: Bellflower Unified Board Fires Superintendent Dr. Drati

Dr. Ben Drati

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February 9, 2024

By Brian Hews

Note: Video of meeting at end of story.

Los Cerritos Community News has learned that, at last night’s meeting, three Bellflower Unified School District Board members voted to engage in a contract settlement and termination with Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati.

Dr. Drati had been on the job for only thirteen months, hired in January 2023.

Those voting to fire Dr. Drati were Board President Brad Crihfield, VP Amie Stewart, and Clerk Mayra Garza. BM Renita Armstrong voted no, while BM Dr. Sue ElHessen abstained.

Dr. Drati replaced Tracy McSparren — who was put on leave shortly before a state audit, first reported  by this newspaper, revealed the district had misconstrued its finances for years.

Bellflower Unified’s financial issues had been a concern for years, prior to the state’s audit, the district had a series of run-ins with the Los Angeles County Office of Education and the State Superintendent’s Office.