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Moreno Valley school official accused of attempted murder

February 22, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A Moreno Valley Unified School District board member has been charged with two counts of attempted murder.

Mike Rios, who plead not guilty to five felony counts on Tuesday, was arrested at his home, where investigators say he shot at two men in a passing car.

Rios told police the men followed him home from a club and threatened him. A follow-up investigation led to evidence contradicting Rios' statements and he was arrested.

A judge on Tuesday denied Rios' request to reduce his bail, which is set at $1 million.

Elected to the board of trustees in 2010, Rios still holds his position.

An effort to recall him has been launched.

"It's really important for elected officials to have a level of integrity, and as I told the school board last night, you are the board of trustees, trust being the operative word here and he broke that trust," said Ruthee Goldkorn, who is leading the recall on behalf of the Democratic Club of Moreno Valley.

This is not first time Rios has gained media attention.

In 2010, Eyewitness News interviewed him after he offered a reward in the disappearance of 17-year-old Norma Lopez.

At the time, Rios told Eyewitness News he was a city council member, which he was not.

Superintendent Dr. Judy White says Rios will remain on the school board for now.

However, school bylaws do allow for the board to remove him after a period of three months.

White said the beginning of those three months would start the day he misses a meeting.

That time frame will be critical if there is a recall.

"The criminal process will take a long time and we can't afford to have an empty seat on the school board," Goldkorn said.

If convicted on all five felony counts, he could face more than 25 years behind bars.

Rios is back in court on March 1.