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By Brian Hews
In the past few weeks, ABCUSD Board Member Linda Johnson has been angrily singling out ABCFT union members, pushing others to get ABC Board President Olympia Chen to resign, finally getting into an expletive filled one-sided argument with ABC Vice President Chris Apodaca after the July 19 ABCUSD Board meeting.
HMG-CN published an article on the confrontation based on the observation of two people who witnessed the conversation.
The two told HMG-CN that it was not peaceful, saying that Johnson dropped a few f*** words and bashed the ABCFT union.
Johnson vehemently denied it was an argument calling it a “peaceful conversation.”
After the article published, Johnson, in an angry email to her supporters, accused this newspaper of defamation.
Johnson said in emails, “to my supporters who know my style, nature and spirit, you will know that these articles are grossly inaccurate and will recognize that there is no truth to these stories. It is unfortunate, that Los Cerritos Community News continues to print defamatory articles. To clarify, reports of my communication with Vice President Apodaca are completely false (in LCCN). In fact, other than Mr. Apodaca and I, there was also a member of the union in our presence that witnessed our peaceful conversation.”
But ABCFT union members Gavin Riley and Richard Hathaway both refute Johnson’s statement.
Riley and Hathaway have come forward with a completely different version of the events that occurred July 19, a version that calls into serious question Johnson’s written and verbal statements that “a member of the union was present” and “heard the conversation.”
Riley told HMG-CN that Hathaway and he were the only ABCFT union members at the July 19 meeting.
All other union members were at a convention in Minneapolis.
When asked if he was near Johnson’s conversation, Riley said “absolutely not, I did not hear about it [the conversation] until I read it in LCCN.
HMG-CN contacted Hathaway and asked him if he was near the conversation between Johnson and Apodaca.
In his email response to HMG-CN this past Sunday, Hathaway said, “it wasn’t me.”
Riley stressed to HMG-CN that “every ABCFT union member was attending the convention in Minneapolis” and that “no other ABCFT union members would have been present at the meeting or in the parking lot.”
After the initial article broke about Johnson singling out Riley for exclusion and the subsequent argument in the ABCUSD parking lot, HMG-CN emailed Johnson several times requesting comment.
Johnson emailed back writing, “the report was inaccurate, there was also a member of the union in our presence that witnessed our peaceful conversation.”
When questioned about the two people who said no one else was present Johnson fired back, “you are harassing me I will not answer your emails anymore, any questions must go through the district now.”
HMG-CN sent a request to ABCUSD to forward an email to Johnson informing her that Riley and Hathaway are going on the record saying they were not present at the ABC parking lot.
Johnson has not sent a response as of the time of publishing this article online.
Compounding her apparent fabrication that a union member was present, HMG-CN has obtained an email sent by Johnson pressuring her supporters to email VP Apodaca and “demand” he “retract his statement” that the argument in the ABCUSD parking lot on July 19 was confrontational.
Told of the latest revelations about Johnson, ABCUSD VP Chris Apodaca told HMG-CN, “ Regardless of comments made, in public or private, I respect the office she was elected to by her constituents. It is my sincere hope that the dialogue between all of us on the board will be an open, honest, and uninhibited one as we seek to govern in the best interests of our students.”
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