Monday, March 23, 2015

From the archives: GCCCD's Rick Walker will challenge corrupt officials

Maura Larkins' note: A few months ago I depublished about 400 posts, and I'm gradually republishing them. I'm working to censor certain allegations against Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz law firm while continuing to make information available about the actions of public officials.

California Attorney Gerneral says Rick Walker should not have been fired as a web analyst simply because he was elected as a non-voting student trustee.]

The problems at Grossmont Cuyamaca Community College District (GCCCD) have been growing. Chancellor Omero Suarez (who changed his own contract without permission from the board) and his powerful but unethical friends have been challenged by Rick Walker, a student who was fired by GCCCD because he was a student representative on the board of directors.

Rick Walker press release

Press Conference to Be Held:

Charges of Wrongful Termination, Discrimination, and Retaliation will be brought against Chancellor Omero Suarez, Vice Chancellor Ben Lastimado, Trustee Rick Alexander with additional allegations of public corruption and extortion to be alleged against the three District Officials.

When: September 18, 2007
Where: Governing Board Meeting
Heritage of the Americas Museum
Cuyamaca College

California State Attorney General Issues Legal Opinion:
Grossmont Student Should Not Have Been Terminated

The States Attorney General published opinion 06-406; Is a community college district required to terminate the employment of a student who becomes a member of the district's governing board.

The legal opinion was requested by the Honorable Christine Kehoe, Member of the State Senate on behalf of former Grossmont student and former Grossmont College student trustee Rick Walker who was suddenly terminated December 13, 2005 from his part-time student hourly job as a web analyst which he had been employed at since 2004.

Rick Walker will attend the regular Governing Board meeting on September 18, 2007. Last month Walker requested that board include two items on the Governing Board agenda which would allow him to discuss the ruling by the Attorney General. Trustee Rick Alexander denied his request, Walker made 4 additional requests and has followed Board Policy and state law (Brown Act) which give Walker the right to place
items in front of the Board of Trustees.

The District's flagrant denials are violations of the State Law.
Walker will attempt once again to have these items placed on the agenda. If the District denies the request, Walker will hold a press conference at the Heritage of the Americas Museum at Cuyamaca College, to discuss the agenda items that Trustee Rick Alexander is trying to suppress.

Additionally, Walker will bring forward allegations that his termination from his student job was retaliation for Walker's support of Dr. Ted Martinez Jr., and Grossmont College Faculty, he will provide evidence that Chancellor Omero Suarez did in fact use the termination of his employment as a means to extort from Walker his resignation as Grossmont Colleges Student Trustee, the actions by Chancellor Suarez, Vice Chancellor Lastimado and Trustee Rick Alexander is a violation of the State Education Code.

Walker will make an additional plea to District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis to investigate the corrupt practices of the District, and the numerous violations of state law.


Protesters want chancellor to resign
By Leonel Sanchez
November 4, 2006

EL CAJON – Faculty leaders stepped up their demand yesterday that Chancellor Omero Suarez resign from the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District because he had his contract changed without board approval.

“Omero must go! Omero must go!” chanted nearly 100 protesters, mostly Grossmont College faculty members, during a rally organized by the faculty's union outside the chancellor's office.

Others held signs that said: “We want you to resign: Suarez, Weeks, Lastimado.”

Board President Deanna Weeks and Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Ben Lastimado are also targets, Weeks because she signed the altered contract and Lastimado because he allegedly asked a district employee to make the change.

Weeks said she signed without knowing of the change. She issued a statement this week saying she was “appalled” by the chancellor's actions and demanded an investigation.

Reached by e-mail yesterday, Lastimado said he had no plans to resign. He did not respond to questions about the contract.

Suarez, who remained in his office during the rally, said in a statement that an independent investigation is under way. He called the rally an “election-related faculty union” event.

A spokeswoman for the district said the investigation will begin once an outside accounting or legal expert is hired to review the way the contract was handled.

The rally was organized by the United Faculty, the labor union representing faculty at both colleges, four days before the election. Shannon O'Dunn, Mary Kay Rosinski and Greg Barr, three of four candidates supported by Suarez's critics, spoke at the rally.

In addition to Weeks, demonstrators demanded that trustees Bill Garrett and Rick Alexander resign for not supporting a request to hold a special board meeting to address the issue. Weeks, Garrett and Alexander are seeking re-election Tuesday.

Alexander said he's satisfied with the investigation taking place and vowed not to be pressured to do more in a “super-charged political environment.”

“We will handle it after the election,” he said.

Suarez, hired in 1999, came under fire after trustee Tim Caruthers revealed last month that the chancellor had the buyout clause in his contract deleted without board permission...


From the archives: California Attorney General disagrees with law firm hired by Grossmont-Cuyamaca College

Maura Larkins' note: A few months ago I depublished about 400 posts, and I'm gradually republishing them. I'm working to censor certain allegations against Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz law firm while continuing to make information available about the actions of public officials.

Why did Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College fire non-voting student trustee Rick Walker from his job as a web analyst for the college?  The reason they gave was that he had a conflict of interest if he was employed at the same time that he sat on the board. But he didn’t even vote! All he could do was talk?

Who was it who really had a conflict of interest?

Clearly, the board wanted to silence him.

The California Attorney General issued an opinion that there was no conflict of interest.

Leonel Sanchez of the San Diego Union Tribune wrote on Sept. 11, 2007, "A spokesman for the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office said he was not aware of student trustees at other colleges being told they could not serve on governing boards while working for their districts."

Rick Walker took down his website in or about December of 2007, right after I was sued for defamation by the lawyers for GCCCD.

The "Rethinking"

Nothing much happened when GCCCD trustee Deanna Weeks "rethought" an issue. [Update: Ms. Weeks decided not to run for reelection after several embarrassing episodes when scrutiny of her actions became too uncomfortable.]

October 4, 2007
The "rethinking" allegedly done by GCCCD trustees regarding their firing of non-voting student trustee Rick Walker apparently resulted in no new insights. Certainly, it resulted in no new actions. The board decided to ignore the opinion of the California Attorney General.

Rick Walker succeeded in making GCCC officials at least go through the motions of reevaluating their actions in the light of a California Attorney General legal opinion that contradicts the opinion of Stutz law firm attorney Jack Sleeth.

If GCCCD board members stay true to form, the "reexamination" will result in no action at all.

What they should do, of course, is pay damages to Rick Walker for wrongfully harming him. Especially when they harmed the college by punishing a student trustee for bringing up issues that needed to be addressed for the good of the college.

Leonel Sanchez is doing a great job covering the story for the San Diego Union Tribune.

Here's his September 19, 2007 report:

"The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District will again review the issue of whether a student trustee can serve on the district's governing board while holding a job in the district.

"The last time the district looked at the conflict-of-interest issue, it led to the firing of former Grossmont College student trustee Rick Walker, who was let go from his job as a Web analyst in December 2005.

"Walker, speaking to the board last night, repeated his claim that he was unjustly fired...

"District officials said Walker was fired after district lawyer Jack Sleeth reviewed state education code and concluded that student trustees should not be allowed to be district employees...

"“You will ultimately find out what the law is if somebody will bring some litigation on this,” Sleeth said.

"Walker has threatened to take legal action. State Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, requested the legal opinion from the Attorney General's Office at his request.

"Trustee Bill Garrett said he found the attorney general's opinion “persuasive” and proposed changing the district's policy to reflect that opinion. No action was taken on his proposal..."

Leonel Sanchez: (619) 542-4568;

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I can't believe that SDCOE-JPA executive director Diane Croiser has suspended attorney Dan Shinoff

Update: See San Ysidro v. Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz complaint on U~T San Diego website.

Original Post:

Officials at SDCOE-JPA have worked closely--and almost exclusively--with attorney Dan
Shinoff for decades
, but have now cut him off from new case assignments!   What???
SDCOE itself should be investigated if Dan Shinoff should be investigated

Dan Shinoff always had SDCOE officials looking over his shoulder as he
conducted cases.  
SDCOE administrators sat in the courtroom during trials, made
decisions with Mr. Shinoff.   
SDCOE-JPA executive director Diane Crosier,
Assistant Superintendent for Business Services
Lora Duzyk, and
Randy Ward are responsible for Shinoff's actions.  They
oversee him
.  Why aren't they being investigated?

Schools office suspends law firm
U~T San Diego

A law firm that does legal work for school districts across San Diego County has been
suspended from new assignments by the agency at the Office of Education that taps
attorneys for certain liability cases....

[Diane] Crosier wrote to [Dan] Shinoff...
"Due to the severity of the allegations [by San Ysidro School District] we feel it is
in the best interest of our members to suspend any new assignments until the
lawsuit and bar complaint are resolved. We appreciate your many years of
dedicated work for the JPA membership."

...Shinoff told the U-T on Friday that the San Ysidro actions were baseless. He issued
this statement today, in response to the JPA reaction:
   The JPA felt it was in everyone’s best interest to suspend new assignments to the firm
until all issues have been resolved. We certainly understand why the JPA feels this is
necessary, given the misguided action of one of its school district members. We have
had a long and successful relationship with the JPA members. We expect a speedy
resolution to these issues and look forward to our continued relationship with its

In comments on the Watchdog’s story about how the legal work is distributed, personal
injury attorney Daniel Gilleon spoke up for Shinoff and attorney Randy Winet, who
receives the second largest helping of legal work from the JPA.

“Randy Winet and Dan Shinoff represent the school districts for a simple reason,”
Gilleon said, “they are two of the best attorneys in San Diego, and their ethics are
beyond reproach.”
Maura Larkins note:

The San Diego Union Tribune reports in the above article that the SDCOE-JPA
is now "
known as  the San Diego County Schools Risk Management JPA." Since when????
It's always been known as the SDCOE-JPA.
It sounds to me like SDCOE is trying to distance itself from its own JPA.
 A few short years ago it was easy to find
documentation about the JPA on the SDCOE website, but the whole operation
has become very secretive.
The UT also says the JPA "is governed by a board of
administrators from the school districts that use its services.  

The truth is that SDCOE gives orders to the school
administrators, not the other way around
.  For example, it has
ordered them to DENY ALL CLAIMS!!!!
"See Rick Rinnear's directive to all SDCOE-JPA schools."

Also, as the UT itself
reported recently sometimes the "board members" don't even know that they're on the board, and they don't know when the (rare) meetings
are held.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Why is Darren Chaker stalking Maura Larkins--even though his conditions of release from federal prison forbid it?

Related story: Completely false allegations made in an effort to banish woman from California school (Article about a situation similar to the story below; the accusers were the ones who ended up in jail when two parents at an Irvine, California elementary school tried to destroy the reputation of a parent volunteer)  

See also The Letter that got Maura Larkins fired regarding Castle Park Elementary School in Chula Vista.

A sampling of Darren Chaker cases: 
Wendy Mateo
Chaker v. Crogan
Zaya v. Chaker

Why is Darren Chaker stalking Maura Larkins?

by Maura Larkins

San Diego--Darren Chaker, who is currently on supervised release from federal prison for bankruptcy fraud, is stalking me (teacher/blogger Maura Larkins).  As his rap sheet makes clear, Chaker doesn't let honesty interfere with his efforts to achieve his goals.

Why is this man so interested in me?

Darren Chaker has been sending letters about me to people on my street. Some of us are a little bit nervous, since Mr. Chaker has a troubling law enforcement record.

It seems clear that Darren Chaker got interested in me because I reminded him
of Wendy Mateo, the grandmother of his child.  A few years ago Chaker sued Mateo for calling
him a "deadbeat dad".   His suit was thrown out as a "SLAPP" by San Diego
Superior Court.

In July 2011, Chaker was appealing his loss to the Court of Appeal.

At the same time, I was appealing a ruling by Judge Judith Hayes, who ordered
me never to speak or write the names of Stutz, Artiano Shinoff & Holtz law firm or
any of its attorneys.

My case was clearly very similar to the Mateo case.

Mr. Cahker sat down next to me at the Court of Appeal in July 2011 on the day
that attorney Shaun Martin presented winning arguments in my case.

I spoke to Chaker for a while, then I moved to the front row of the gallery.

My friend remained seated near Chaker.  She reported to me that Mr. Chaker
became very disturbed as he listened to the oral arguments and the comments
of the judges.  I suspect that Mr. Chaker was upset because it seemed likely
that the judges were going to come down on the side of free speech.

If that is what he believed, he was right.

On August 5, 2011 the California Court of Appeal in San Diego ruled that Judge
Hayes' injunction permanently forbidding me from mentioning the name of Stutz
law firm, either orally or in writing, was "exceedingly unconstitutional."

As I walked out of the Court of Appeal after oral arguments, I was approached by
Darren Chaker.

From the FBI website:
Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Bankruptcy Fraud
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Dec. 17, 2013
HOUSTON—Darren David Chaker, 41, of Beverly Hills, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada, has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of bankruptcy fraud, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Chaker was found guilty April 4, 2013, following a five-day bench trial before U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas.

Today, Judge Atlas sentenced Chaker to a term of 15 months in prison, to be immediately followed by a three-year-term of supervised release. He was further ordered to pay a $2,000 fine. As part of the sentencing, Judge Atlas included special conditions that he not stalk or harass anyone and obtain mental health counseling and anger management..
Mr. Chaker advised me to take down my website in exchange for the law firm's
agreement to not to make me pay attorney's fees.

I told Mr. Chaker that I would rather go to jail. He said, "I'm just advising you to do
this because they are so nasty."

Then Mr. Chaker went over to two members of the Plaintiff's law firm, and walked
out of the courtroom chatting with them! I do not believe that they had asked him
to approach me.  I believe he hatched the plan all by himself.

I reported the Court of Appeal incident with Mr. Chaker on my blog, thus apparently earning the ire of a man who is widely known for dishonest, malicious and aggressive behavior.

Mr. Chaker seems to have became even more enraged when he lost the appeal in the Mateo case.

He makes bizarre accusations about all sorts of people.  He refuses to acknowledge that Chula Vista
Elementary School District desperately tried to get me to go back to work after I
had been viciously harassed by Robin Donlan and other teachers at Castle Park Elementary.

I refused to go back to work without an investigation into the harassment I
suffered.  The district refused to produce a report on the "investigation" it claimed
to have initiated.

I was fired for "insubordination" because I refused to go back to work.  Here are
the charges against me.

Darren Chaker fails to mention that Robin Donlan and other teachers who
harassed me were transferred out of Castle Park Elementary when the district
realized that it had made a mistake by paying huge amounts of taxpayer money to
defend teachers who had behaved unlawfully.

Castle Park Elementary was out of control, with a $20,000 PTA embezzlement by Kim Simmons,
a parent who was a close associate of Robin Donlan.  The school was almost ungovernable as 11 principals in 11 years struggled to create a professional working climate.

Complaint board on Darren Chaker 
Scott McMillan 
Child molesters