Lawmakers Call for UC Davis Chancellor’s Resignation

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DAVIS --

It seems to be same song different difficult verse when it comes to the chorus of those who believe Linda Katehi should be cut right out of her chancellor's office at UC Davis.

"This is taxpayer money, and when taxpayer money is spent on PR firms trying to scrub the Internet, I have a serious problem with that," said Assemblyman Mike Gatto via Skype.

"Look at all the money they get and look what was done with this amount of money. Couldn't it have been better spent on students or programs? Or issues with students," questioned Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez by phone.

Rodriguez and Gatto are upset over what they say is just the most recent misstep by Katehi's administration -- the choice to spend at least $175,000 to have consultants remove images of a 2011 incident from the World Wide Web.

That incident?

The now infamous pepper spraying of protesting UC Davis students by UC Davis police.

An expensive effort that didn't work.

Taxpayer watchdogs are outraged.

"It was an unfortunate turn of events, but accept it and move on. Don't try and hide it and use taxpayer money to do so," said David Wolfe, legislative director from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association.

The growing legislative chorus challenging Katehi is backing up a united student voice that's been front and center on the protest stage since March 11.

Students have been camped out in front of her office demanding she resign after it was revealed she was paid more than $400,000 for serving on the board of a textbook company and almost $200,000 for a board seat with a for-profit college.

"This is an unfortunate thing. This sets a bad image and tone and the decisions made at the university at the chancellor's office at the top they're in question." said Assemblyman Kevin McCarty of Sacramento.

While there's angst accruing on campus and at the Capitol, constitutional and University of California system rules prevent the kind of legislative remedy many might want.

Still some Gatto is confident about a new administration for UC Davis.

"There needs to be some changes at the very, very top and I think we'll see them, " he said.

When asked about what was giving him such confidence he said, "well, you know, sometimes things reach a tipping point, and I think today you've seen things reach a tipping point."

FOX40 asked UC Davis for comment about the latest lawmaker calls for Katehi's resignation and about the money spent to scrub the web, but received no response.

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