Education · Merced

Merced City School District superintendent faces sexual harassment allegations

The details behind Merced City School District Superintendent Dr. Al Rogers’ leave of absence are being revealed more than two weeks after he was temporarily removed from his leadership role. 

The Merced City School District Board of Education unanimously voted on March 5 to place Rogers on a leave of absence following a series of complaints that had been made against him. 

According to Madera County Superior Court documents, Merced City School District Chief of Staff Nicole Hamlin filed a complaint against Rogers and the district accusing the superintendent of sexual harassment, sexual assault and battery. 

The allegations against Rogers include demeaning comments, unwanted touching, and unwanted sexual advances. 

When the board placed Rogers on leave, the district announced that an independent investigation into the complaints is underway. 

Birdi Olivarez-Kidwell – the Merced City School District Board President – released the following statement on Thursday: 

“The District has secured an independent attorney to conduct the investigation and to ensure that the investigation process respects the rights of both the complaints and the Superintendent,” Olivarez-Kidwell said. 

“We expect the investigation to be fair, thorough, and as prompt as possible. The Board will be following all legally required protocols as it moves through this process.” 

Deputy Superintendent Dough Collins has been tasked with filling in for Rogers in his absence. 

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at