Mariposa & Yosemite

Mariposa superintendent who allegedly bit an officer is placed on leave

The Mariposa County Unified School District board of trustees put Superintendent Robin Hopper on paid leave on Thursday following her arrest in an alleged DUI and assault on a corrections officer.

Hopper will remain on leave until her contract ends at the end of June, according to board member Wayne Forsythe.

That includes her roles as both superintendent of the Mariposa County Unified School District, which oversees traditional schools, and the superintendent of Mariposa County Office of Education, which controls other programs like special needs classes.

Hopper argued that the board could not put her on leave from the office of education because it’s an elected position. She vowed to continue the elected position.

The board asserted she has been placed on leave from both superintendent roles.

Jeff Aranguena, who is the assistant superintendent of district operations, was appointed interim Superintendent.

The reason for the superintendent change stems from an incident Sunday when Hopper crashed into a utility pole along Highway 140 just east of Planada at around 6:05 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

Officers said she showed signs of intoxication and determined Hopper was under the influence after a number of sobriety tests.

The 54-year-old superintendent was transported to Mercy Medical Center for medical release and chemical testing.

Once cleared, she was taken to Merced County Jail, where she allegedly bit a correctional officer’s arm, according to Merced County Sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Coburn.

Asked about the biting accusation, she declined to comment or deny the incident happened.

Hopper has served as the district’s superintendent since 2014.

This story will be updated.