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  • Tuesday, October 11, 2016


    Another OUSD Brown Act violation? Abuse case settlement

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    Independent insight into OUSD      
    a news service of
     Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    Will OUSD Trustee Ortega violate Brown Act on Thursday?
    Does a Homeland Security facility's entry gate security building meet the California Brown Act requirements for public access needed in teleconferencing of an OUSD public meeting?
    According to the October 13, 2016 Orange Unified School Board Agenda, OUSD Trustee John Ortega will be participating in the meeting by teleconferencing from a secure Homeland Security Center for Domestic Preparedness facility in Alabama.  The agenda lists the teleconference call will take place at the "Security Building at the Entry Gate".  

    The California Brown Act, which governs teleconferencing of public meetings in California  requires  teleconferencing meetings-like OUSD's October 13 meeting-to be held in a public place with public access and the ability for public to participate from the teleconference meeting place.  The Brown Act, in addition to specific requirements for teleconferencing meetings, also requires all other requirements of the Brown Act apply to the location of the teleconferencing call. In addition to open access, the Brown Act requirements include teleconferencing locations meet other requirements like the public's ability to freely recording  and video tape the proceedings, and requirements of ADA adherence.

    The picture below from Google Earth shows the security building at  61 Responder  Drive in Anniston, Alabama that is listed in the October 13, 2016 OUSD Agenda as the site OUSD Trustee John Ortega will be participating in the Board meeting by  teleconferencing.  (click on Center for Domestic Preparedness)

    Security building at entry gate building  listed in OUSD Oct 2016 Agenda for teleconfrence

    As seen in the above photograph, three sides of the security building are inside the security perimeter. The  one side outside the security fence has a door (presumably locked) that has a U.S. Government warning sign on it. 

    The Homeland Security Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama - run by the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency (FEMA)-sits behind the security fence. 

    Ariel view of Center for Domestic Preparedness with security building at entry gate in foreground

    The FEMA facility includes: the high security Chemical, Ordnance, Biological and Radiological Training Facility (COBRATF), the  only program in the nation offering training exercises in a real toxic environment, using chemical agents and biological materials; the Noble Training facility for hospital emergency trainings; and the Advanced Responder Training Complex (ARTC)- a full-scale replica training area with simulated buildings that might be found in a real city.
    For more information Click on: FEMA CDP

    The  Homeland Security Center for Domestic Preparedness facility sits on the part of the former U.S. Fort McClellan that is now occupied by a  secure Alabama National Guard Base and the home of the Alabama National Guard Officer Candidate School.  To access the Alabama National Guard Base, one must enter through the secure Fort McClellan Gate (pictured below). Thus, to get to the Homeland Security Center for Domestic Preparedness, a visitor must first get access to the secure Alabama National Guard Base. (Click on Fort McClellan GATE)

    Fort McClellan Gate entry to secure Alabama National Guard Base-home of CDP

    The OUSD Closed Session begins at 5:30 pm PST- which is 7:30 pm CST in Alabama, with the Regular Session beginning at 7:00 pm PST -9:00 pm CST.  The offices of the Center for Domestic Preparedness close at 4:30 pm CST.

    OUSD has had numerous past problems with the Brown Act. In March of 2014 the OUSD Agenda announced that Trustee Kathy Moffat was suppose to teleconference from a private residence in Maryland.  After Brown Act watchdogs Californians Aware was notified, the teleconference never took place. In 2010, OUSD re-voted on items that were originally approved during teleconference meetings that did not vote be the Brown Act required roll-call votes.  In 2003 OUSD was under court order to record all of its Closed Session meetings for potential judicial review because of  Brown Act violations of Closed Sessions in 2001.  In another court case in 2006, OUSD prevailed in a Brown Act case brought by Californians Aware on behalf of then Trustee Steve Rocco over a censure resolution.

    For more information Click on:

    OUSD Trustee John Ortega is currently seeking reelection to the Orange Unified School Board in November.  His challenger is Daniel Correa.

    For more information CLICK ON:
    Daniel Correa

    Settlement notice filed with court on Sept 16, 2016

    OUSD Trustees to vote on approve of settlement deal in autistic student abuse case

    The OUSD Trustees will vote on October 13 to approve a settlement on a case involving the alleged physical abuse of an autistic OUSD student.

    The notice of a settlement was filed in the case with the Orange County Superior Court on September 16, 2016.

    The lawsuit Andrew Ashline v Orange Unified  is listed under Closed Session Agenda Item 4 B. The case centers around an alleged 2014 incident where an autistic student was physically restrained at Palmyra Elementary.

    The story was widely reported when a classroom aid reported the incident to the family. The student's Special Ed teacher Jayme Barks, plus various administrators and the district were all named in the civil suit. 

    For more information CLICK ON:

    OC Weekly

    NEXT OUSD BOARD MEETING October 12, 2016
    Next OUSD Board Meeting -OUSD BOARD ROOM
    CLOSED SESSION- 5:30 pm
    OUSD Regular Session: 7:00 pm

    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office at 714-628-4040
    For budgeting questions call Business Services at 714-628-4015

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