Thursday, July 19, 2007

Michael Hersh says CTA will not change

CTA Legal Dept
Michael Hersh

Hi Michael:

My goodness, you’re not your old self lately! You’ve been following a more imaginative course of action than CTA’s time-honored practice of continually insisting that you weren’t properly served. I was impressed by your filing responses to my lawsuit when you knew I was working on a first amended complaint, and I didn’t plan to serve the original complaint. Tricky! Who gave you that idea?

I called up the court today and found out that you filed pleadings on July 10, 2007 and July 13, 2007. Apparently the court has not filed my motion to dismiss (enclosed) or your motion to declare me a vexatious litigant. But I’m sure it will all get straightened out. There are many different ways to deal with this case, all of which, I trust, will eventually lead to good outcomes for everyone.

I will argue, of course, that you have no right to attorney’s fees or court costs when you were not even served with a summons. It was your choice, your wish, done for your own purposes.

I will also argue that you left out the most significant case of all in terms of vexatious litigants: my suit against Kathleen Elton for filing a false police report. That suit was settled in my favor for $75,000, as you well know, and precludes my being labeled a vexatious litigant.

Have your new advisors ever mentioned that you might want to deal with true facts in this case? Do you really think you can keep the truth hidden forever by continually playing legal games? Are you really that cynical about the justice system? Are you completely convinced that you and Beverly can hide your crimes indefinitely?

Beverly Tucker and CTA certainly made vexatious litigants of themselves in the Turlock case. That case demonstrated how little CTA cares about kids, how much it cares about power, and what a pathetic lapdog Bob Thompson is to Beverly Tucker.

The current case is just a small part of a larger battle between those who want education to be fixed, and those who want to maintain the status quo in the vastly powerful California Teachers Association, which, you once told me, “is not going to change.”

Yours truly,
Maura Larkins

[Note: The Turlock case was about CTA members wearing buttons in the classroom to campaign against the efforts of teachers to have another union replace CTA in the Turlock School District. The administrative law judge at the Public Employees Relations Board (PERB) ruled against the teachers. The judge's decision was clearly correct, since the California Court of Appeal had decided the question of campaign buttons in the classroom in a case from San Diego. But the PERB board overruled its own judge. When Turlock School District appealed, Bob Thompson, general counsel at PERB joined with CTA head lawyer Beverly Tucker to fight the appeal. They lost.

But Bob Thompson and Beverly Tucker did prove that they care more about the power of those who control CTA than they care about the taxpayers or children of California. How did they prove this? They used tax dollars to fight this self-serving lawsuit during the 2003 budget crisis in California.

Bev and Bob lost; the decision is HERE. So what did they do then? They appealed to the state supreme court and lost again. These are truly vexatious litigants.]

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Does Chula Vista need new leadership?

I found this interesting comment about the Chula Vista Gaylord project on Scott Lewis' blog on Voice of San Diego.

"Maggie" wrote on July 7, 2007:

There are other factors about this project's demise that many aren't taking into consideration, much of which VoSD helped uncover: The failure of the LLC created to manage the project, in which Gaylord had 10% ownership, was killed.

The only Chula Vista staffer involved, Laurie Madigan, was exposed for involving her husband's business partners in the deal.

The City Manager, Dave Rowland, who initiated the deal was fired and it took the City a year to hire a replacement. Political leadership was not at the table to facilitate stakeholder negotiations.

And lastly, but probably most importantly, the EIR port staff and Laurie Madigan produced was insufficient and would never have past muster with the Coastal Commission and Statelands Commission.

And labor wasn't smart enough to realize they were being baitd and eventually faulted for killing the deal. This deal was done a long time ago!

Does Cheryl Cox need to sit in on a 6th grade vocabulary lesson?

Former CVESD board member Cheryl Cox, who is now mayor of Chula Vista, has the attitude that the wonderful developer who was going to put a huge hotel on the Chula Vista bayfront gathered his marbles and went home because the unions were too demanding. Gaylord Entertainment said that union demands would add $50 to $75 million in costs to the project. Cheryl Cox failed to point out that public agencies were planning on investing $308 million in the project as part of the deal, and that agreeing to union demands would mean that the deal would only give Gaylord $233 to $258 sheer profit at the outset.

Cheryl Cox is being criticized for taking the developers side in this matter. Rob Davis of Voice of San Diego reported that U.S. Rep. Bob Filner, D-Chula Vista, said he was "shocked at the lackadaisical role Cox had taken in negotiations and lambasted her for turning labor leaders into scapegoats for Gaylord's withdrawal.

"It's not the mayor's job to take the side of Gaylord versus labor," Filner said. "It's the mayor's job to ... help that agreement come to pass. She was aloof until the end here. I don’t think that's leadership. And I was shocked by that."

"Cox responded that she did not believe it was her role to be involved as a negotiator.

""I'm a little perplexed by his comments," Cox said of Filner."

Poor Cheryl seems always to be perplexed. She's always claiming she wasn't invovled with the current scandal, and knows nothing about it.

Last night on San Diego's Channel 8 News I heard Cheryl say that the union "blackmailed" Gaylord. That's fascinating, Cheryl. What was the dirty secret that the union was holding over Gaylord's head? it possible that Cheryl doesn't know the meaning of the word "blackmail?" Perhaps Cheryl is trying to say that the union "made demands of" Gaylord. That's right, Cheryl. That's what unions do. Individual workers can't make demands of huge corportations, so the workers unite and then they make demands. That's how it works. Unions don't just demand money, Cheryl. They also demand worker safety. And in this case, they demanded that Gaylord use local workers. That's apparently where the negotiations broke down. What have you got against Chula Vista workers, Cheryl? Why was that an unacceptable demand?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Chula Vista Educators' past president Gina Boyd in hiding?

It appears that former CVE president Gina Boyd is hiding out in Seattle, thinking that I can't serve a summons on her when she's up there. She truly believes she's going to get away with her criminal actions against a union member she was pretending to represent. I don't know for sure what the future holds, but I believe it's quite likely that the truth will come out in this matter.

I wonder if Gina is living in a bunker in Seattle, like a small time Dick Cheney. She and Cheney have a lot in common: they seem to consider themselves to be a separate, untouchable branch of government, one that doesn't have to answer to the justice system. Still, no one who was involved in my case, not even Gina Boyd, demonstrated more contempt for the justice system than Peggie Myers. She didn't even try to pretend that she had any respect for the Superior Court or the laws of California.

Did you know that 54% of Americans think Cheney should be impeached? The American public is so fickle in its affections, isn't it? You don't think that they could also turn against CTA, do you?

Update: It appears that Ms. Boyd came back to San Diego a few days after I posted the above post.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Why did CVESD's Lowell Billings approve this fraudulent document?


When he was Assistant Superintendent for Business Services at Chula Vista Elementary School District, current Superintendent Lowell Billings ignored a teacher's report that she had been tricked by a man who had been chosen by the district to go into classrooms and talk to teachers about investing. The man was Anthony Pavia.

Fortunately, the teacher was able to get her money out of the account that had been sold to her as a different type of investment.

But it turned out to be a double swindle. It wasn't until much later that the teacher discovered that money was being taken out of her paycheck every month for an account which she had specifically disapproved. Pavia presented the teacher with a form that had two companies names written on it. The teacher had never expressed any interest in the first company. She did want to invest in the second company.

Pavia told the teacher that he didn't have any extra forms, so she would have to cross out and intital the name of the company she didn't want. Then he said the company she did want would also have to be crossed out and initialed and its name had to be rewritten on the first line, above the crossed-out words.

Then came the real fraud.

Without the teacher's knowledge, Pavia (or his assistant) wrote in the name of the company the teacher did not want. Lowell Billings approved this bizarre document, and money started flowing out of the teacher's paycheck every month. She didn't notice it for a long time, because she was not in the habit of carefully examining her pay stubs.

How many such documents, with both first and second lines scribbled out, did Lowell Billings approve? How many complaints did he get from teachers? Why did he refuse to talk to teachers who complained? Did Billings have an account with Anthony Pavia that gave Billings financial advantages in return for looking the other way as Pavia swindled teachers?

When she reported the second swindle, Lowell Billings again refused to talk to the teacher. Billings even refused, until after repeated requests, to give her a copy of the document that had allowed the monthly withdrawals from her paycheck.