The Los Angeles Board of Education voted 5-2 Tuesday to buy out the contract of Supt. David Brewer.

No decision on a successor was announced, but it is widely expected that Senior Deputy Supt. Ramon C. Cortines, who had been the mayor's chief education adviser, will accept the position on at least an interim basis.

Cortines, 76, previously served a brief stint as superintendent at the LAUSD and also headed school districts in New York and San Francisco

In an unusual move Monday, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce called on the district to hire Cortines as superintendent. The chamber's statement came within minutes of Brewer's announcement that he intended to seek an agreement with the board to buy out the remaining two years of his contract.

In the past, the chamber has tended to stay out of public sector management disputes, as have most chambers of commerce. That makes their intervention all the more unusual.

Brewer, 62 is a retired U.S. Navy admiral appointed by the school board to the post two years ago, has been under mounting pressure to leave the district from critics who say he has not displayed adequate leadership. The Board of Education last week was set to take up a motion to oust Brewer, but delayed until absent board member Marguerite LaMotte could be present.

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