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Principal at center of LAUSD's latest sex abuse scandal may lose credential

A file photo of a police car outside George De La Torre Jr. Elementary School in Wilmington.
A file photo of a police car outside George De La Torre Jr. Elementary School in Wilmington.
NBC Los Angeles

The Commission on Teacher Credentialing will decide today whether to suspend a principal for allegedly failing to report abuse by one of her teachers.

Irene Hinojosa was a principal at George de la Torre Elementary School in Wilmington, where former fourth grade teacher, Robert Pimentel, is accused of sexually abusing 19 students.

Although Hinojosa has since retired from LAUSD, the Commission will vote in a closed session on a recommendation to suspend her Administrative Services Credential for 60 days, preventing her from working in any other school district. Hinojosa’s current certificate allows her to work in the state through October 1, 2014.

The Commission revoked Pimentel’s teaching credential on January 28.  He too, resigned from the district last March, when Superintendent John Deasy began dismissal proceedings.

Since Pimentel’s arrest last week at least two parents have come forward saying Hinojosa repeatedly ignored allegations concerning the 57-year-old teacher.

Los Angeles Police Capt. Fabian Lizarraga said the department is investigating whether Hinojosa should face charges for failing to report alleged abuse, as required by state law.

In addition, the Los Angeles District attorney is reviewing evidence gathered by law enforcement in Orange County where Pimentel was alleged to have assaulted other children years ago. Charges were never filed, reportedly due to the strength of the evidence, but those allegations are now being reviewed in the context of the L.A. cases.