EDUCATION POLITICS--“The appearance of law must be upheld, especiallywhile it's being broken.” – Boss Tweed from the film, “Gangs of New York.”
The Los Angeles Unified School Distinct has perpetrated the largest frivolous lawsuit in U.S. History. Over almost a decade and counting with an undeniablepattern of LA County “judges,” including Appellate, aiding and abetting LAUSD’s fraud, the District continues to undermine the rule of law and due process.
LAUSD, as an organization, is needlessly top-heavy, antiquated, avaricious, corrupt, and incompetent. The following payroll debacle lawsuits are case studies of law, civil code violations, union contract breaches, and contradictory and capricious legal reasoning in support of cases filed in the wrong jurisdictions. (NOTE: LAUSD reduced teaching staff by about 25% over approximately the past ten years, while increasing administrative staff by about 22%.)
LAUSD has taken full advantage of their still-broken payroll system, a problem stemming from the District’s 2006 bungled attempt to implement Deloitte & Touche payroll administration software. Years on, LAUSD’s payroll system remains riddled with flaws despite the District claiming the problems have been remedied and recouping millions in damages from Deloitte. Since 2009, LAUSD consistently filed collection actions against its former employees with the blessing of superior court judges such as Rex Hessman, Mary H. Strobel, C. Edward Simpson and the Appellate Court.
LAUSD’s giant malfunctioning payroll system ONLY “overpays” thousands of former employees 99% of the time. Such former employees cannot file union payroll grievances and are, therefore, easy legal marks for LAUSD.
The lawsuit against me, and other earlier ones, was an unlimited case (BC420518) in which LAUSD claimed defendants were "overpaid" by over $25,000 (i.e., $30,000 to $90,000). Since 2014, however, as if by magic, LAUSD's payroll system only "overpays" below $25,000, as in, all four current cases. With lower “overpayment” amounts, LAUSD attorneys found it was easier to acquire bogus payroll claims.
LAUSD has four revenue generating schemes:
- Teacher Jail: Attorney Mark Geragos attempted to sue LAUSD for $1 billion regarding “Teacher Jail,” perpetrated against higher-salariedsenior teachers who are tacitly “encouraged” to resign in lieu of being fired or continuing to be embarrassed by serving time in limbo. It is estimated that the District can save up to $55,000 per year in salary and benefits each time a teacher at or near the top of the pay-scale is replaced with a cheaper, often younger employee. “I think LAUSD is a completely corrupt organization,” said Geragos. “They have consigliere lawyers.”
- Another means by which LAUSD effectively ushers out its more expensive teachers is through attempts to decertify their teaching credentials on false charges via working in tandem with the nepotistic California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. An illustration of this practice is seen in the case of CCTC Attorney Kathleen Carroll who won a $3.5 million judgment (2012-00135527-CU-OE) for refusing to take away teachers' credentials without proof of wrong doing, etc.
- The aforementioned LAUSD payroll debacle lawsuit(s) impacting thousands since 2007, have succeeded with the exception of a handful of instances – due to systemic sycophantism within Los Angeles County Courts. The fraud is perpetrated by LAUSD attorneys inventing their own secondary “evidence”: non-contractual, incomprehensible no-net, non-Gregorian extraterrestrial calendar “evidence” dubbed “Fiscal-Year Salary Review” sheets and secondary no-contractual, with unknown payroll terms, “evidence” “paystubs” dubbed “Employee Statement of Earnings” with no apparent mathematical system or other reasonable means of proof. The hypocrisy of the District to tell students and teachers they must pass certain math standards while the District’s math in and outside the courts is unheard of. Up is down, left is right – all with the consistent assent of Los Angeles County Court justices.
- LAUSD also perpetrated the largest government payroll scam with these bogus payroll lawsuits and other ill-gotten monies via their payroll department, i.e., former employees who “settled” with LAUSD for “overpayment” only to have LAUSD come back later asking for more.
Since 2016 and currently, “judge” Elizabeth Feffer, despite defense Motions to the contrary, has allowed these lawsuits to continue in the wrong jurisdiction (Superior vs. Administrative court) where LAUSD argues “breach of contract” (as to the UTLA Contract -- ignoring classified and administrators’ contracts and those of defendants with NO contracts, such as consultants). However, LAUSD does NOT include the unions as an indispensable party of a contract dispute. Nor does the District include the actual UTLA Contract itself. Defendants are sued for “contract hours” despite being salaried. The fact that LAUSD refuses to amend defendants’ W-2 tax forms to the supposed “overpayment” amounts shows further proof that the alleged overpayments are a legal fiction.
Far from saving taxpayer money, the scam thus far has possibly cost California taxpayers $11 to $12 million in court expenditures, nationwide process server costs, Valer Enterprises collection, print costs, and outside attorney fees. These wasted public expenditures, clogging the already overburdened CA court system, never benefitted LAUSD because LAUSD may have only acquired about $4 million in returned “overpayments.”
Attorney Mark Geragos also stated regarding the firing of Rafe Esquith, “[I]t wouldn’t surprise me if LAUSD seeks review given their legal strategy is never cost benefit related but instead scorched earth. Interesting footnote is that their fools’ errand will cost them in costs and fees on the taxpayers’ dime…”
Finally, these lawsuits have also resulted in an environmental disaster with millions of gallons of fuel, hundreds of trees for paper and hundreds of gallons of ink unnecessarily consumed. If I kept all the documents LAUSD mailed me, it would have nearly reached the ceiling.(BC383410)
An extended version of this article as an FBI et al Complaint Letter can be seen at LAJudgeGate.com. [BC434071/BC434072/BC420518, 14K01633, 10K00762, BC430433, BC513602, BC487196, BC487197, *15K07864 (*now BC632878), 14K08370, 13K11778 (BC487197), BC549641, and 16k07779 and about 640 small claims to-date claiming they were “overpaid” (w/ employee payroll lawsuit vs LAUSD)].
(John Adams is a retired teacher who lives in Ventura County. He worked for LAUSD from 1996 to 2009 teaching History and spent six and a half years in litigation with LAUSD for return of payroll he claims he never owed, but which LAUSD inexplicably won.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.