My wife and I have been involved with CUSD since our boys attended Ambuehl and Dana Hills HS. As a result of these activities, my wife and the boys were placed on Superintendent Fleming's infamous "enemies list" in 2005. I personally witnessed an act of political retaliation against my oldest son by a former Principal of DHHS.
As a direct result of these misdeeds, we removed our boys from CUSD schools and enrolled them in private schools at considerable personal sacrifice and expense.
Our oldest son has autism and required specialized educational support. Supported by CUSD's own internal investigation and work of the Orange County District Attorney and Grand Jury, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of both boys. Ultimately, CUSD's insurance agency settled this claim out of court at no cost to CUSD.
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Sadly, my opponent and Children First are fully aware of these facts. Last month, Fran Sdao, a retired teacher and President of "Children First", sought documents from CUSD to support their wild accusations, and were told that there were no settlement agreements or payments made. The complete record of their fishing expedition through CUSD records can be found here.
You may also note that Children First sought records concerning Oxford Preparatory Academy, CUSD's successful new charter school -- which they would soon falsely accuse of "cheating" on standardized tests during the course of the union's political assault.
Costly Actions of Alpay, Pritchard, Hatton
After the bruising union recall campaign in 2009 that resulted in the election of Alpay, Pritchard and Hatton to the school board, the new board decided at their first meeting to restore pay cuts that had been negotiated following the teacher's strike in the prior year. This decision was made improperly during a meeting closed to the public and then kept secret. However, once the increased pay began to appear in paychecks, the details of a secret deal between these new board members and their union election benefactors emerged.
Knowing that CUSD could not afford an increase in teacher pay, I requested that the board conduct a public meeting at which they would be expected to discuss the matter openly and vote in public. This request was ignored until I filed a formal complaint under the California "open meeting law", the Ralph M. Brown Act.
The Brown Act contains provisions designed to protect the legislative discretion of government boards by allowing a no-penalty "correct and cure". Basically, the board can place a disputed question on an upcoming public meeting agenda and vote again in front of the public, thereby satisfying the complaint. Instead, the union-elected trio of Alpay, Pritchard and Hatton sought to further conceal their secret decision, thus inviting a formal lawsuit.
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As a result of the complaint and lawsuit, the Orange County District Attorney wrote a scathing report on the actions and behavior of these board members. It is well worth reading, if only to serve as clear evidence of why these three board members should be dismissed.
Perhaps my Brown Act complaint did result in some expense for CUSD. The board decided to pay their lawyers, after all. But this was a self-inflicted wound. Correct-and-cure was always an option, even if the board decided to sustain the original decision. But whatever the cost of lawyers, it was a tiny fraction of what was paid in an improper reversal of pay reductions negotiated in the prior year. Ultimately, that restoration of pay added to CUSD 2010 and 2011 year-end deficits, compounding the problems that actually created increased class sizes, a shortened school year, and today's massive deficit.
A Negative Campaign Strategy
"Children First" and related committees such as Taxpayers for Safer Neighborhoods and union's own "HOPE" political action committee are conducting a purely negative campaign against all who would challenge their control and chosen candidates. They have no proud record to run upon; in fact, some such as McCormick and Hanachek have no record whatsoever. Voters should reject this strategy and elect me, along with Steve Lang (San Clemente) and Bill Perkins (Aliso Viejo) to your school board -- so we never see another scandalous report from the District Attorney!