March 14, 2021

CA education official who authored articles espousing conspiracy theories put on paid leave

An administrator at the California Department of Education was put on paid leave Thursday while department officials investigate allegations that he authored books and articles about conspiracy theories and used anti-Semitic rhetoric.

The department began an internal investigation of Craig Heimbichner, who was promoted in January to the position of education administrator in the charter schools division, after receiving a complaint last week related to his published writings and statements, said Daniel Thigpen, spokesman for the department.

The department also is planning to hire a third-party investigator to assist in the review, Thigpen said.

Heimbichner also was the subject of a Sacramento Bee article Thursday that revealed he had written articles calling the 9/11 terrorist attack an inside job and promoted Holocaust conspiracies. One of Heimbichner’s two books focuses on fraternal organizations, like the Scottish Rite Masons, which he has intimated was behind the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

As an education administrator, Heimbichner’s job involves helping plan, develop, administer and evaluate educational programs, according to the California Department of Education website. In that role, Heimbichner is part of a team that reviews the appeals of schools that have been denied a charter by school districts and county offices of education.

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