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Capo Unified Asks Judge to Dismiss Suit Against Restorations

School district attorneys filed a demurrer Friday.

Capistrano Unified School District administrators are asking an Orange County Superior Court judge to halt what they call a "frivolous" lawsuit filed by a San Juan Capistrano resident who is aiming to reverse the controversial restoration of teacher salary and furlough days.

The district's attorneys on Friday filed a demurrer, which contends on four fronts that Jim Reardon has no legal basis for the suit.

The demurrer states that Reardon "lacks standing" to interpret collective bargaining agreements made exclusively between the district employer and its bargaining groups. The board of trustees says it was upholding those contracts when it and the .

“We are asking the Superior Court to dismiss the case,” Superintendent Joseph Farley said in a statement.  “The district has made a commitment to reduce legal fees,  and frivolous lawsuits consume limited and valuable resources.”

In a statement, spokesman Marcus Walton said the attorneys are arguing that:

  • Reardon has no standing to request that the court invalidate contracts between the district and its employee groups because he is not a party to those agreements.
  • Reardon has failed to exhaust his administrative remedies with the Public Employment Relations Board before filing suit. But attorneys for the district argued that Reardon’s appeal to that body would have been rejected because he is not a party to the contracts.
  • The restoration language was contained in a binding agreement between the district and the associations. Failure to adhere to it would have hampered negotiations for the 2011-12 school year.
  • The district and its board of trustees are not distinct legal entities and cannot be sued separately as Reardon has attempted to do.

In his lawsuit, Reardon alleges wrongdoing on two fronts: One, that the board took action on the restorations in closed sessions when it should have been done out in the open; and two, that the conditions of the restoration language do not exist to justify pulling the “trigger.”

Reality Check May 04, 2011 at 03:10 AM
An earlier Patch headline says it all: "More Allegations of Brown Act Violations Thrown at School District." Reardon "throws" out charges just to see what sticks. This alleged controversy got no traction because there is no controversy. Our schools have limited resources. We should not waste them defending frivolous lawsuits filed by disgruntled politicos. I hope the district is successful in seeking dismissal.
Sharon Y. May 04, 2011 at 07:40 PM
my hope is that the case moves forward so we can have discovery and really see if the union was entitled to any money they have received in the form off restored pay and furlough days. I also find it odd that at no time did the the trustees discuss this law suit, never once listed on closed session agenda, is Farley acting on his own without directive from the BOT, things have never been worse @ cusd.
Capo Parent May 05, 2011 at 11:11 PM
I see that you have appointed yourself judge and jury. Clearly, reality is a state you have not yet reached. Keep trying and good luck!
Capo Parent May 06, 2011 at 07:27 PM
I assume the OC District Attorney's finding that the CUSD board committed 3 violations of the Brown Act lays to rest the claim by CUSD that the lawsuit filed by Jim Reardon is frivolous. If anything, the assertion by CUSD that the lawsuit is frivolous is frivolous in and of itself. Thanks to Mr. Reardon for looking out for the public and the CUSD tax payers.
shelly May 08, 2011 at 05:28 PM
Capo Parent, The D.A.'s office has just been accused by three appellate judges of prosecutorial misconduct in withholding exculpatory evidence to three courts of law in the McGill case. The D.A. thought that Fleming and McGill were guilty and spent a lot of tax payer dollars trying to prove it. The courts have accused the D.A.'s office of prosecutorial misconduct. Reardon was awarded taxpayer money for the enemies list of which Fleming was found not guilty of and the charges dismissed. Reardon was awarded thousands of CUSD taxpayer dollars by a vote of the former board who were supported by the recipients of the settlements. These enemies list cases did not go to trial but were settled by the former board to the tune of $653,350. $100,000 came directly out of the classrooms of CUSD. This is not conjecture on my part but fact. Please read the supporting articles in the OC Register and Capistrano Dispatch and other media outlets. There were statements made about the enemies list lawsuit by the settlment recipients before they were awarded the money, Russell stated, “We intend to return to CUSD all of the net litigation proceeds received from the school district.” http://cusdrecall.com/page26/files/category-enemies-list-claims.html So just because the D.A. may support Reardon's claim which the D.A. did before and the D.A. was found lacking and possibly committing misconduct, I do not thank Mr. Reardon for wasting tax payer dollars.

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