Retired Schools Chief Wants District to Buy Underwater Condo

Downtown San Jose luxury condo has lost a third of its value.

By Chris Roberts
|  Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012  |  Updated 2:25 PM PDT
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Santa Clara County board of education

Charles Weis, former superintendent of the Santa Clara County school district.

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Charles Weis never permanently moved into the luxury condo overlooking downtown San Jose he bought using a zero-interest loan from the county's school district. Now that the condo is underwater, he wants to sell it -- back to the school district, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

The retired Santa Clara county school superintendent was offered a $1 million loan -- half at zero interest, the other half at 3 percent -- from the school district to buy a condo. He bought a $915,000 unit on the 18th floor of the Axis building. It's now worth somewhere near $600,000, according to the newspaper, and Weis, who has moved back to Ventura County, wants the district to take on the property.

Weis, who earned $332,600 a year, said that "this is an unfortunate circumstance of the value of a home not inflating," according to the newspaper. He added that "if the County Office handles it right, they won't lose anything on it. They'll be able to lease it out" or sell it, according to the newspaper.

Weis has thus far paid off about $20,000 from the loan, the newspaper reported.

The school board is scheduled to consider taking on the remainder of Weis' loan and his property at its meeting Wednesday night.

"Taxpayers will be on the hook for the current value of the loan, and will lose money -- potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars -- if the county chooses to accept the transfer of the condo and then sell it at current market prices," the newspaper reported.

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