Reform Trustees Save CUSD $5.5 Million Dollars - Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Brought By CUSD's Disgraced Former Supt. Carter
Read OC Register Article
Read Carter's Termination Report
The Trustees obviously did the right thing when they fired this corrupt and greedy educrat. It really makes us wonder why Erin Kutnick's pro-union "Children First" group, as well as hundreds of union members, fought so hard to protect Carter from being fired. Why did they fight so hard to protect Carter when the facts so clearly showed he'd been caught "red handed" trying to rip off the school district by inserting a golden parachute severance clause into his own employment contract without board approval? Read More...
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. An Orange County Superior Court has stricken “in their entirety” the 200-word candidate statements filed by recall targets Marlene Draper and Sheila Benecke, two trustees of the Capistrano Unified School District. A copy of the court order is attached hereto.
The court’s action ensured Draper and Benecke’s illegal campaign statements will not be published in the sample ballots to be sent to all voters prior to the June 24 special election.
Leaders of the CUSD Recall Committee filed the lawsuit seeking court intervention to strike numerous “false, misleading and illegal statements” made by Draper and Benecke in their optional “Candidate Statement of Qualifications.” Read More...
Lawsuit Asks Court To Sanction Trustees Draper and Benecke for Illegal Campaign Statements
Committee leaders and lawsuit petitioners Jennifer
Beall and Tom Russell
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA.
April 28, 2008, a superior court judge will hear the
lawsuit brought by members of the CUSD Recall
Committee asking the court to strike numerous false,
misleading and illegal statements contained in
candidate statements filed by recall targets Marlene
Draper and Sheila Benecke, two trustees of the
Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD). The matter
has been scheduled for hearing before Judge Steven L.
Monday, April 28, 2008, at 8:30 a.m., in Department C32 of the Superior Court of California, County of Orange, at 700 Civic Center Drive West, Santa Ana, CA 92701.
CUSD Recall Committee Members Ask Superior Court To Sanction Trustees Draper and Benecke
Recall Committee leaders Jennifer Beall and Tom Russell
See copy of complaint and press release.
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. Yesterday, leaders of the CUSD Recall Committee filed a legal action in Orange County Superior Court against Marlene Draper and Sheila Benecke, two trustees of the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD).
The legal action seeks expedited court intervention to strike numerous false, misleading and illegal statements made by Draper and Benecke in the optional “Candidate Statement of Qualifications” each filed with the Orange County Registrar of Voters on April 12th. Any final approved Candidate Statement of Qualifications will be published in the sample ballot sent to all voters prior to the special election. Read More...
• District Officials Illegally Accessed Confidential Records on Multiple Occasions
• Action Seeks to Hold Wrongdoers Accountable and to “Send Message” to Future Leaders
• Plaintiffs Pledge to Return Net Proceeds to Cash-Strapped School District
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. Today, members of the CUSD Recall Committee – and their children – filed a legal action in Orange County Superior Court against Capistrano Unified School District’s recently indicted former superintendent James Fleming, recently indicted assistant superintendent Susan McGill, and each of the seven elected “old guard” trustees who for years worked with Fleming.
The legal action seeks to hold the defendants accountable for their unlawful actions that violated the plaintiff’s civil rights and right to privacy, including actions related to the creation and use of illegal “enemies lists” and sending moles into private homes to spy on their political enemies.
See copy of Complaint and Press Release. Read More...
The criminal trial of former CUSD superintendent James Fleming and former CUSD associate superintendent Susan McGill, scheduled to begin on December 7, 2007, has been delayed for two months after a judge granted a motion by McGill's attorney to reconsider the evidence for McGill's perjury charge. The hearing on the perjury evidence has been set for February 8, 2007. Fleming has been charged with embezzlement by a public officer, use of school funds to urge support or defeat of a ballot measure or candidate, and conspiracy to commit acts injurious to the public. McGill has been charged with perjury and conspiracy to commit acts injurious to the public.
Day In Court For Indicted Ex-Sup Delayed
By Daffodil Altan, OC Weekly
An Orange County judge granted a new pretrial hearing date for ex-superintendent of Capistrano Unified School District, James Fleming and ex-assistant superintendent, Susan McGill. The pretrial hearing was scheduled for this morning, with a jury trial set to begin Oct. 29, but lawyers for both McGill and Fleming requested the new date of Dec. 7. A new jury trial date will not be set until after the Dec. 7 pretrial. Both Fleming and McGill were indicted in late May for conspiring to commit acts injurious to the public and misappropriating district funds to create lists of proponents of a recall election intended to oust the seven school board trustees. McGill was additionally indicted on a perjury charge. (See "Hard Knocks", Oct. 5). Read More...
1990-1991 Grand Jury Report exposes the deep roots of, and players behind the CUSD culture of corruption
Opponents of the indicted former Capistrano Unified superintendent are now going after remaining trustees who supported him.
Dana Parsons, Orange County, The Los Angeles Times
You bet they feel vindicated. What they aren't feeling is charitable. You could say, in fact, they're just getting warmed up.
The foes of former Capistrano Unified School District Supt. James Fleming — yes, the man had enemies — had reason to celebrate Thursday, if that's the right word. They had been loudly proclaiming in recent years that Fleming was running a corrupt administration, and now they've got county grand jury indictments against Fleming and his assistant superintendent to back them up. Read More...
It's official - former superintendent James Fleming, former assistant superintendent Susan McGill indicted!
• Charges include misappropriation of funds, conspiracy, perjury
• DA says he's not finished, possibly more indictments to follow
• Recall leaders demand Fleming trustees' resignation or face recall
We get news that former Capistrano Unified School District Superintendent James Fleming and Assistant Superintendent Susan McGill were indicted by the grand jury. Fleming was indicted for misappropriation of public funds, for using school funds to defeat a recall of his political allies and conspiracy, according to DA Tony Rackauckas' statement. McGill was indicted for conspiracy and perjury. These are all felony charges, relating to their efforts to stop the recall and the compilation of an enemies list. Read More...
Capistrano Unified School District Superintendent and Assitant Indicted for Creating "Enemies List" and Misusing School Funds
• Highest ranking school officials charged in Orange County History
SANTA ANA – An indictment was unsealed this morning against the former Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent of the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) for using public and school funds to create an “enemies list” of citizens supporting a 2005 recall election against the School District Board of Trustees.Read More...
• CUSD Recall Committee Calls For Draper’s Immediate Resignation
San Juan Capistrano, CA. As part of the on-going criminal investigation of the Capistrano Unified School District, Board President Marlene Draper just spent three days testifying before the Orange County Grand Jury. A criminal defense attorney charging $395/hour is representing Draper … and, the taxpayers will be forced to pay the bill! Read More...
In case you missed Sam Miller's story, the Capistrano Unified School District trustees voted last night to hire a $400/hour attorney to represent former Superintendent James Fleming in investigations being conducted by the distict attorney and the county grand jury. Fleming resigned at the end of last month amid growing controversy. The Total Buzz dossier on the matter is here. Read More...
An investigation doesn’t mean guilt, of course, but there have been many troubling revelations about how Mr. Fleming and the board of trustees have been running the district. It’s a story of power and arrogance, and the unraveling of the administration contains warnings for other districts. Read More...
San Juan Capistrano. The CUSD Recall Committee announces that investigators armed with search warrants are raiding the headquarters of the Capistrano Unified School District.
Talega resident, attorney and all-around great guy Mike Winsten is getting his day in court.
On behalf of all Talega residents, he sued the Capistrano Unified School District claiming that their plan to bus high school age Talega residents to SJC (rather than allow them to attend San Clemente High School) is in violation of Prop 209. Read More...
Draper denies existence of enemies list & infiltration of Registrar's office after one-day "investigation"
By Jonathan Volzke
Editor, (949) 248-2296
The Capistrano Dispatch
This is a chilling abuse of power that should be thoroughly investigated by the county district attorney. One parent, appropriately enough, called the behavior “Nixonish.” Read More...
The Register's front-page article today details an outrageous abuse of power that should result in a DA investigation, civil rights lawsuits against the Capistrano Unified School District and the firing of its arrogant superintendent James Fleming.
Read "School district kept tabs on parents."
Posted at 10:32 AM
San Juan Capistrano, CA. The CUSD Recall Committee has learned that Sam Miller and the Orange County Register plan to publish a story about a database that was kept by someone in the Capistrano Unified School District. The database includes the names, email addresses and some other personal information for people who early on were associated with the recall -- in particular, people who were on the recall group's electronic mailing list.
I'm glad that the proponents of a recall of the Capistrano Unified School District board have filed a lawsuit against the Orange County Registrar of Voters. Parents claim that the registrar unfairly rejected their petitions, and the registrar argues that he was only following state law. The only way to resolve this is in court. I am sympathetic to the recallers and read their report alleging improprieties in the registrar's office. I can't know which side is right, given that I have not analyzed the signatures. But I do know that this needs to be looked at by an impartial party, and that if the CUSD recallers' allegations are correct, that there could be major problems in the registrar's office. Read More...
• C4BR rejects Committee's advice, instructs counsel to ignore Committee
• Committee sends following letter to counsel for C4BR on Mach 30, 2006
Mark S. Rosen, Esq.
600 W. Santa Ana Boulevard
Santa Ana, California 92701-4555
Re: Potential Legal Action Relating to CUSD Recall Petitions
Dear Mr. Rosen:
We understand that Becky Bauer, Kim Lefner and Kevin Murphy (collectively, your Clients) have approached you for the purpose of seeking a writ of mandate relating to mistakes made by the Orange County Registrar of Voters in refusing to certify the recall petitions against all seven members of the CUSD Board of Trustees. The purpose of this letter is to confirm that the CUSD Recall Committee does not support the proposed legal action. We would also like to make you aware of certain critical facts relating to the CUSD Recall campaign and the actions that have and are being taken by the CUSD Recall Committee.
An investigation into allegations of illegal activities at the Capistrano Unified School District has been commenced. The Orange County District Attorney’s office is leading the investigation.
This past summer, residents throughout South Orange County sought to recall the entire school board based upon allegations of corruption and gross fiscal mismanagement. More than 177,000 petition signatures seeking to remove the Trustees from office were delivered to the Orange County Registrar of Voters.
Susan Schroeder, spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office confirmed the District Attorney has assigned a Deputy District Attorney to the case. Schroeder also stated, “We are reviewing the evidence and witness statements.” Read More...
The following op-ed was co-written by Harold Johnson, a PLF attorney, and Arthur B. Mark III, a former PLF attorney.
Like Rip Van Winkle, administrators at Capistrano Unified School District apparently missed some big news. They’re acting as if Proposition 209, the 1996 initiative that forbids race-based policies in California schools, was never put on the books. The district recently redrew attendance boundaries in a disruptive way that uses students’ skin color, in part, to determine where they will go to school. Read More...