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UPDATE: Saugus Union School District board member censured

Investigation ongoing into residency status

Posted: June 13, 2013 8:26 p.m.
Updated: June 13, 2013 10:10 p.m.

Despite being censured by his peers Thursday night, Saugus Union School District board member Stephen Winkler reiterated he has no plans to give up the seat he won in 2011.

But pending the outcome of a district investigation into his residency status, he may not soon have a choice.

Winkler’s admitted online postings on sites such as Facebook and Twitter and alleged postings on YouTube include references to Nazism and depictions of animal cruelty drew the community’s ire during Thursday’s meeting, with speakers from the standing-room only crowd demanding he resign his position.

Santa Clarita resident Christhiaon Coie called Winkler a “repugnant human being” for posting information referencing convicted child molester and controversial evangelical leader Tony Alamo on his Facebook account.

Coie is Alamo's stepdaughter. 

Winkler reiterated that the Facebook and Twitter accounts in his name and all posts on them are indeed his, but continued to claim the YouTube account, which contains numerous references to Nazism and graphic depictions of animal cruelty, was the result of his email address being hacked.

“I’m sorry you don’t believe me,” Winkler said. “But it wasn’t me.”

Debbie Rocha, the president of the Saugus Teachers’ Association, said an effort to recall Winkler is ongoing.

“It’s time for you to leave, Mr. Winkler,” she said.

Members of the public were not the only ones to call for Winkler’s resignation Thursday. Each of his fellow board members, speaking as private citizens, also asked him to resign.

“I think there is enough here that we’ve heard for you to do the noble thing and resign today,” said board member Paul De La Cerda.

“Stephen, you need to resign,” agreed board member Doug Bryce.

Though the recall effort appeared to have plenty of supporters Thursday, it is lingering questions about his residency status that may mark a quicker end to Winkler’s controversial term.

The district has conducted a months-long investigation into whether Winkler is a resident in the Saugus Union School District, according to board President Judy Umeck.

The findings of that investigation will likely be revealed at Tuesday’s meeting, when the board will vote on whether to remove Winkler from his seat, “based on information he may not reside” in the district.

Mike Devlin, a blogger at posted court documents Thursday night where someone with the name “Stephen Winkler” attempted to take a protective order out on his neighbor. Those documents, signed under penalty of perjury, list a legal address in Sylmar.

These documents are dated August 2012, putting them squarely in the middle of Winkler’s board term.

If such is the case, Winkler could be removed from his seat on the Saugus district board for failing to meet residency requirements.

Winkler has told The Signal he currently rents a room in Valencia and has been there since November. Winkler said Thursday that prior to that, he lived on Avenida Terraza in Valencia from September 2011 to November 2012.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney





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