Sunday, December 27, 2015

School district, Fragozo face off in court

On March 25, 2016 San Diego Superior Court Judge Richard Whitney dissolved the restraining order obtained by Escondido Union School District against its own board member Jose Fragozo.

From the Superior Court website:

03/25/2016Minutes finalized for Hearing on Restraining Order
heard 03/25/2016 01:30:00 PM.

03/25/2016Temporary Restraining Order dissolved.

03/25/2016Restraining order as requested denied without prejudice.

Original story:

It seems we have familiar shenanigans going on in San Diego school districts. Escondido Union School District is trying to silence a whistle-blower by destroying his political career.

Here's a pathetic accusation against Jose Fragozo, a board member in Escondido Union School District: "violating personal space."  How is this an offense that deserves a restraining order? 

Then we have "pointing a finger"! Seriously--pointing a finger. 

And my personal favorite, "demeaning staff."  Demeaning staff is normally considered de rigour behavior in school districts. 

Other school officials have committed actual crimes and yet managed to maintain the full support of their districts, and immunity from prosecution. 

I assume this entire case is based on political conflicts.

School district, Fragozo face off in court
by Steve Puterski
Coast News
December 23, 2015

VISTA — The battle between the Escondido Union School District and trustee Jose Fragozo went before a judge on Dec. 18 at the San Diego County Superior Court.

Fragozo is subject to a temporary restraining order filed by Superintendent Luis Rankins-Ibarra with supplementing statements from three other EUSD administrators on Dec. 2 after the four alleged threatening and harassing behavior from Fragozo. The district is attempting to make the order permanent.

During last week’s hearing, EUSD Board of Trustee Zesty Harper testified Fragozo’s behavior grew increasingly volatile over the last year.

The hearing lasted several hours and was continued until Dec. 23.

Trustee Zesty Harper testified as a witness for the district and Rankins-Ibarra saying Fragozo’s demeanor behind closed doors increasingly grew more aggressive, intimidating and threatening over the past year.

Harper, who was elected last year, said she saw several incidents of Fragozo violating others’ personal space, pointing a finger in faces and demeaning staff during meetings.

The district’s attorney, Daniel Shinoff, told the court his clients suffered through tirades and threats of physical violence from Fragozo. In addition, Shinoff said Deputy Superintendent Leila Sackfield felt, at one point, she had been falsely imprisoned, while Assisatant Superintendents Kelly Prins and Kevin Rubow were targets of bouts of yelling “as close as possible” with Fragozo pointing his finger in their faces.

[Maura Larkins' comment: Sackfield "felt" she was falsely imprisoned? Why didn't she call the police? Why didn't she file a criminal complaint? I suspect the accusation was dreamed up long after the event in question. Has anyone questioned Sackfield's propensity for paranoia?]

Shinoff also cited 158 school shootings since 2013 including three local shootings have given the four added reasons for concern, but Fragozo’s attorney, Laura Farris, blasted Shinoff for attempting to link her client and mass shootings.

During Farris’ opening statement, she said her client has not threatened any district official and his passion for the district stems from wanting the best for its students. She added Rankins-Ibarra is overly sensitive to others in disagreement with how to approach the district’s issues.

In addition, Farris claims the district has prevented Fragozo from performing his duties and “obliterated” his constitutional rights.

“He demanded accountability for test scores,” Farris said. “They are using the shootings to get Mr. Fragozo out of the picture.”

Update from Superior Court files:

Court request to continue the Hearing on Restraining Order and reissue the temporary orders was granted. The Hearing on Restraining Order was continued to 01/08/2016 at 09:00 AM in Department N-21.

For more on Escondido Union School District, see Coach Carter case.

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