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Bill Honig drops bid to return to state Board of Education

January 10, 2011 |  1:40 pm

Less than one week after being named to the state Board of Education, Bill Honig has withdrawn his name from consideration, according to the governor's office.

Honig, who served on the state board during Brown's first tenure as first governor and went on to be elected state superintendent of public instruction three times, was among the governor's most controversial early appointments. Honig resigned as state superintendent in 1993 after being convicted in a conflict-of-interest case involving state education payments received by his wife's nonprofit organization.

Honig said there were "some complications" with his nomination, but he refused to elaborate. "I'm not going to comment on what they were," he said. Honig currently works as the president of CORE, which offers professional development services for teachers and education administrators.

Brown spokeswoman Elizabeth Ashford did not offer an explanation for Honig's decision, but said "the governor has encouraged him to stay involved with state education policy." Honig said he planned to be an informal adviser to the governor on education issues and praised Brown's board of education picks. "I think they have a very strong board," Honig said.

In Honig's sted, Brown on Monday appointed Ilene Straus, an assistant superintendent in the Beverly Hills Unified School District, to the state Board of Education.

-- Anthony York in Sacramento