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Berkeley Unified still stonewalling on student sex harassment case

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Remember that guidance counselor that Berkeley High School refused to fire after a female student claimed he sexually harassed her? And the $94,000 the district shelled out on lawyers to fight the student’s claim? And the $57,500 the insurance company spent to settle the student’s lawsuit? California Watch says the financially-strapped district has spent even more. How much more no one knows because Berkeley Unified officials have stonewalled public records requests from California Watch and the First Amendment Coalition for more than a year.

From California Watch:
For the past year, Berkeley officials have balked at disclosing how much they spent defending [guidance counselor Anthony] Smith. In July 2011 and again in September, California Watch wrote to the district, citing the Public Records Act and asking for records of the expenditures. The district didn't respond.
California Watch reporters also telephoned and emailed schools officials seeking the payout information. Those contacted include Huyett; Delia Ruiz, assistant superintendent of human resources; public information officer Mark Coplan; and Jerry Johnson, who until recently was the district’s risk manager.
Most queries were ignored. Sometimes an official promised to look into the matter, but failed to respond to follow-up queries.
Image: Berkeleyside
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