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Ethics are Troubling as Lynda Johnson Assumes Deputy Post With Supervisor Janice Hahn

 


ABC School Board member Lynda Johnson.

ABC School Board member Lynda Johnson.

 

By Brian Hews

In a surprising move, ABC School Board member Lynda Johnson has left her post at the Compton District Attorney’s Office and is now working for Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn as a Deputy Field Representative.

The ethics on the surface seem troubling, as Johnson will represent the cities of Artesia, Cerritos, Bellflower, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood, and Paramount.

With the exception of Paramount, all other cities are within the border of the ABC Unified School District, which could cause conflicts of interest for Johnson in a number of areas.

It is also well known that Johnson is seriously contemplating running for Cerritos City Council in April 2016.

Many are questioning where Johnson’s loyalties will lie as she represents both the ABC and Hahn’s office in the comnunities.

It is a surprising hire for the progressive Hahn, as Johnson has demonstrated obstructionist tendencies during her tenure as an ABC Board Member.

Supervisor Hahn is very labor friendly while Johnson has shown her dislike for local labor several times during board meetings. In an awkward move, at an August 2016 board meeting, Johnson attempted to block the committee appointment of long-time employee and volunteer Gavin Riley.

 

ABCUSD Board Member Lynda Johnson Tried to Block Union Appointee Gavin Riley

 

 

Johnson also refused a cost of living increase for teachers and staff at ABC then pushed for a vote to upgrade to lunch area overhead structures that would cost over $10 million.

Supervisor Hahn would also advocate that the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes.

In October of this year, Johnson inexplicably “abstained” from supporting a non-binding board resolution in favor of Proposition 55, a proposition that would provide $27 million to the ABCUSD every year.

The state analyst indicated that Prop. 55 would not raise taxes and provide billions in funding to all state schools by keeping in place the tax on people making more than $250,000 per year, $500,000 per couple.

 

 

But Johnson said, “I am not really comfortable with voting to support this resolution. ” No reason was given by Johnson.

 

 

Op/Ed: ABCUSD Board Member Lynda Johnson ‘Abstains’ From Supporting The ABC School District

 

 

Also going against Hahn’s views, Johnson has made it well known that she wants to close schools in the some areas of the ABC and bus the affected children to other schools in the district.

In addition, the appointment will now accelerate Johnson’s recent request to have ABC’s attorney at every school board meeting.

With the likely conflicts of interest caused by the appointment, the possibility of Johnson having to recuse herself from board votes rises dramatically as will the need for legal advice.

Sources tell HMG-CN that move would cost an additional $100,000 per year.

HMG-CN emailed board member Johnson for comment, asking her if she saw a conflict of interest between her board position and the deputy position.

Johnson did not answer, instead forwarding the email to Supervisor Hahn’s office for comment.

In a prepared statement Hahn said, “Lynda Johnson brings years of knowledge and experience to the job as my field representative in the cities of Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood, and Paramount. Additionally, as the daughter of a Filipino veteran, she is keenly aware of the challenges our veterans face and will be advising me on veterans issues. She will also be working closely with our County Department of Parks and Recreation on the many programs and services they offer to the residents of the Fourth District. She is a dedicated, compassionate public servant, and I am confident that our communities will be well served by her.

Hahn’s office indicated that they had researched and found no conflict of interest exist. HMG-CN requested the research documents. Sources tell HMG-CN that ABC’s attorney is reasearching the conflict but there is no decision as of yet.

“It is very interesting,” said one observer, “and does not pass the smell test. Will Johnson present a proclamation as the representative from Hahn’s office tonight to outgoing president Olympia Chen? If Hahn wanted to recognize Johnson for her years of service next year, does Johnson give the proclamation to herself? This appointment is very troubling on the surface, we shall see how it works out.”

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