Saturday, February 02, 2013

Emma Leheny leaves her job as head counsel at CTA; Priscilla Winslow steps in again as temp chief counsel

UPDATE FEB. 19, 2013: Emma Leheny is back as CTA chief counsel!

UPDATE FEB. 18, 2013: Priscilla Winslow appointed to PERB board.


Former (and future?) CTA head counsel Emma Leheny

There's been an upheaval in the legal department at California Teachers Association. Chief Counsel Emma Leheny has stepped aside from her position at the top of the CTA hierarchy. It appears that attorney Priscilla Winslow has challenged Leheny's power. Winslow is acting chief counsel.

CTA did not explain these goings on. It posted only the following on its website:

"The Legal Services Division is directed by Associate Executive Director and Acting Chief Counsel Priscilla Winslow."

This isn't Priscilla Winslow's first time as acting chief counsel. She also took over the CTA legal department temporarily when previous head counsel Beverly Tucker retired in 2008. Then Winslow went back to being Assistant Chief Counsel before becoming Assistant Executive Director.

It seems that Priscilla might be somewhat hard to get along with. Emma Leheny's predecessor, Ann O'Brien, served for a very short time.

On behalf of CTA, Winslow represented child molester Charles Bateman, helping him keep his credential for six years. CTA spent far more on Bateman than it was obliged by its member contract to spend.

Apparently, PERB was impressed with Winslow's practice of law. It's 2012 annual report states that on July 23, 2012, Priscilla Winslow was appointed Legal Advisor to Mr. Hugeunin. At the same time, she was Associate Executive Director of CTA as well as Assistant Chief Counsel of CTA.

Why did Emma Leheny leave her position so soon, after less than three years? Is she really gone, or did she just step aside from her leadership role, while remaining at CTA? Why isn't anyone saying anything about why Leheny left?

In fact, Leheny is still listed by the State Bar Association as working for CTA:

Emma Leheny - #196167
The following information is from the official records of The State Bar of California.
California Teachers Association
1705 Murchison DrBurlingame, CA 94010
Phone Number: (650) 552-5413
Fax Number: (650) 552-5019
County: San Mateo
Undergraduate School:Brown Univ; Providence RI
Sections: Labor; Employment
Law School: Northeastern Univ SOL; Boston MA
6/29/1998 Admitted to The State Bar of California

Perhaps the Bar Association is right, and Leheny is still at CTA, just not in the chief counsel position.

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