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Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 1:20 pm
Under LAUSD rules, CBMWD special daytime meetings constitute a second job, which could result in felony fraud charges filed against Roybal, as well as immediate termination by the LAUSD.
Video of HMG-CN catching Roybal attending noon special CBMWD meeting appears at the end of this article.
By Brian Hews and Randy Economy
A Hews Media Group-Community News undercover investigation has revealed that embattled Central Basin Municipal Water District President James B. Roybal has been removed from his teaching responsibilities and has been placed in Los Angeles Unified School District‘s infamous “Teacher’s Jail.”
Sources have given HMG-CN specific details that claim that Roybal is attending the controversial program at LAUSD’s Local District Five Offices on Soto Street since approximately March 2013. Roybal was a special education instructor at Wilson High School at 4500 Multnomah Street in El Sereno.
Beginning in the mid 90’s, teachers accused of misconduct have been removed from their teaching assignments and held in district offices while administrators and law enforcement agencies investigate allegations. The process typically drags on for months, with teachers collecting their full pay – an average of $6,000 a month, plus benefits – until they’re returned to work or fired.
Under written rules, teachers in jail are to check in at a designated location every day for 2 hours and then go back to their home. They are not to seek a second job, take a day trip, or enjoy outside entertainment, such as, going to the movies, sporting events, shopping, etc.
On Wednesday, HMG-CN took a video camera inside the embroiled water district offices in Commerce and confronted Roybal about the situation while he was attending an Administrative Committee Meeting that started at noon.
Roybal was directly asked if he is enrolled in Teachers Jail and he quickly acknowledged that he goes “to the building” where Teacher’s Jail is held, but quickly ended the interview by saying “this conversation is over.”
HMG-CN asked him if he thought he was breaking the rules by working when he should have been home and Roybal again said “this conversation is over.”
In a January 15, 2013 televised statement made by LAUSD Superintendent John, only teachers accused of “egregious acts” are housed. They are returned to their classrooms only after being cleared by law enforcement.
Deasy went on to characterize actions that would land a teacher in teacher’s jail as “molesting a child and acts involving prostitution.”
A HMG-CN source inside teacher’s jail could only confirm that “allegations had been made” about Roybal but could not be specific regarding the case.
According to information provided by LAUSD, teachers are pulled from their classrooms only after credible allegations of misconduct are made. Figures provided by the District as of September 2013 indicate that 280 teachers are currently being housed costing the struggling school district upwards of $2.2 million a month in teacher’s salaries while the District also pays for substitutes to actually teach students.
Roybal was elected to the five-member CBMWD Board in 2012, and has only been in office since January of 2013. In his campaign, Roybal boasted on his campaign literature that he has earned two Master’s Degrees in Education.
One former LAUSD administrator also confirmed to HMG-CN in an interview that Roybal was indeed enrolled at Teachers Jail.
“How can we have a guy like this elected board member overseeing a water district for God sakes? If you are in Teacher’s Jail, you cannot just come and go at your pleasure,” the source said in an interview.
Roybal has openly discussed his teaching career with colleagues at the water agency during the past several months, and sources tell HMG-CN that the elected official “moves between schools quite often” and has recently taught at Garfield High School and Griffith Middle School before landing at Wilson High.
HMG’s sources at Teachers Jail noted that Roybal was seen wearing a CBMWD logo shirt.
During the course of the HMG-CN investigation, a document was received listing the rules for those held in teacher’s jail. The one-page rules document is an interoffice correspondence entitled Procedures/Protocol During Reassignment.
The document lists stringent rules prohibiting all electronic equipment and a direct order to “refrain from speaking to, contacting, emailing, intimidating, or retaliating against students, staff, or parents at your school.”
According to the HMG-CN source, the rules prohibiting contact is strictly enforced and monitored by the District.
Roybal’s regular attendance at CBMWD meetings, maximized as a result of his position as Board President, could be a felony and grounds for dismissal according to the rules document obtained by HMG-CN.
The document refers to a teacher’s assigned hours and work hours when a teacher may be reprimanded to home assignment.
The policy states that, “you are to remain at home…you are assigned no duties while at home.” The policy continues to state…”you are not to seek a second job, take a day trip, or enjoy outside entertainment, such as, going to the movies, sporting events, shopping, etc.”
According to CBMWD on-line documents, Roybal attends upwards of seven daytime meetings monthly including committees, caucus, board and frequent special meetings, while earning an LAUSD teacher’s salary that averages $67,000.
Each of these meetings render financial payment to CBMWD Directors with Roybal having received $28,856.61 since being was sworn in January 7, 2013.
Such payments would constitute a second job by LAUSD’s definition according to a HMG-CN source familiar with school district policy which could result in felony fraud charges filed against Roybal and as well as immediate termination by the LAUSD.
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