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Board Member Lynda Johnson Attacks Board Colleagues, Superintendent, and ABCFT Union During Board Meeting

ABCUSD Board Member Lynda Johnson

ABCUSD Board Member Lynda Johnson.

Staff Report

At last weeks ABCUSD board meeting, Board member Lynda Johnson, in a statement that challenged the 1st Amendment and freedom of the press, called for an inquiry of her own board colleagues, Superintendent Dr. Mary Sieu, two assistants that work for the superintendent, and the ABCFT union to investigate a letter that was obtained by Hews Media Group-Community News.

The letter was a strongly worded opinion by the ABC law firm of Atkinson, Andelsen, Loya, Ruud, and Romo (AALRR) that stated Johnson is in a conflict of interest position as an ABC Board member while simultaneously serving as L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn’s Deputy Field Representative.

“We will certainly not reveal our sources, that letter went through a lot of people before it got to ABC staff, the Board and Superintendent Dr. Sieu,” said HMG-CN Publisher Brian Hews, “obtaining documents such as this by the press happens all the time. For Johnson to allege it could have come from the Board or Dr. Sieu is absurd, to call for a private investigation is downright scary.”

Johnson’s statement sent shockwaves through the room as the embattled Board member, in what some called a fascist maneuver, called for everyone in the investigation to be ushered into rooms like common criminals and “interviewed” by private investigators.

“Johnson’s own actions in accepting the field deputy position caused this letter to be written, an opinion letter that cost the ABC well over $10,000,” said a high-level ABC official who did not want to be identified, “for her to then make a statement during the Board meeting that nobody trusts the Board because the letter was published is absolutely ludicrous, it was a leaked letter about her questionable actions, no one else.”

Johnson hurled her accusations during the “Board Report” segment of the meeting, a “feel good” time usually reserved for Board members who talk about public events they attended as ambassadors of the ABCUSD.

Johnson started by falsely stating from the dais that the letter from AALRR indicated no conflict of interest existed.

“Let me start by quelling any anxiety that my fellow colleagues and maybe members of this community have in regards to my employment with supervisor Hahn. As per our legal counsel (AALRR) there is no conflict of interest with my role as a board member and my role as a Field Deputy. I know many have expressed concerns and regardless of what is being written or said in the community, there are no ethical issues that prevent me from holding both positions.”

That statement conflicted with the AALRR letter.

That letter, obtained exclusively by HMG-CN, stated, “Accordingly, as per Gov’t Code 1126, it is our opinion that in order to prevent the possibility of incompatible activities Miss Johnson will need to refrain from having any interaction whatsoever with the ABCUSD, or matters directly affecting the ABCUSD, as she executes the job functions as a Deputy Field Representative…it is our opinion that the employment (with Hahn) would be prohibited.”

Johnson went on to talk about the letter and subsequent article in HMG-CN, implicating the Board, Superintendent Sieu, and the ABCFT union as complicit in the leak.

 

4th District Supervisor Hahn’s Hiring of ABC Board Member Lynda Johnson Questioned by Law Firm

 

 

Johnson even went so far as to implicate two assistants of Dr. Sieu, Laura Lowe and Danielle Weseman.

Johnson said, “On December 22 the Board, the Superintendent, and Laura Lowe received their Thursday notes which were electronically sent by Danielle Weseman. Included was the (AALRR) opinion letter addressed to Dr. Sieu and President Apodaca. On December 28 an article appeared in our local media outlining the letter and posting it on their website.”

She called on Dr. Sieu to begin a formal investigation, she also said that Board members private emails should be accessible during the investigation.

In a chilling statement Johnson then said, “If they (the emails) are not available, then the ABC should conduct private interviews to determine who leaked the document.”

Johnson then took the unusual step of making a public records request during a Board Report.

She asked for any emails between the Superintendent and union leaders, between the Superintendent and HMG-CN, and any new emails between any district employee and HMG-CN.

Currently, HMG-CN has a public records request asking for emails between Johnson and district employees that was submitted in October 2016. HMG-CN has been told there are “thousands of emails” from Johnson to the Board and Superintendent, and that the request will not be entirely finished until Jan 31.

Sources have told HMG-CN that Johnson has tried to fight the release of the emails.

HMG-CN was able to look at some of the 2013-’14 Johnson emails that were made available in Dec. 2016 and found well over one hundred messages sent by Johnson were during the regular business hours of 9-5.

At the time Johnson was employed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, working from their Compton office.

This indicates that Johnson sent emails from the D.A’s office to ABCUSD staff while at work for the D.A.

An angry ABCFT Union President Ray Gaer spoke after the board report saying, “I find it very interesting that Miss Johnson thinks that the union leaders leaked the letter. We are the union we do good things. I will tell you what I did during part of the meeting, I emailed a teacher about AB 375 which allows brand new dads to have 12 weeks of bonding time with their kids and they can use their sick days and get paid in that time so they can be with their kids, so I was doing a worthwhile thing.

Looking directly at Johnson Gaer said, “there’s something about living a clean life so you don’t have to worry about people trying to dig up dirt on you.”

Gaer finished, “and if we’re going to throw stones then let’s throw stones about texting during board meetings. Maybe somebody should look at Miss Johnson’s texting during board meetings and look at what she’s doing on her cell phone since it’s part of ABC. Since it’s part of ABC she’s part of the board meeting… let’s get dirty.”

He once again looked directly at Johnson and said, “This is a low point in our relations.”

 


Johnson’s Track Record: Another in a Series of Attacks 

This is not unusual behavior for Johnson, since 2013 she has battled the Board, the Union, and showed disdain for students, teachers, and staff of ABCUSD.

Many people told HMG-CN that the District Attorney investigation in August of 2016, an investigation that was dropped two weeks later, was filed by Johnson herself in retribution of her snub as President.

 

Los Angeles County District Attorney Investigating ABCUSD Board

 

Johnson, who ran and won as a Democrat, scurried into Cerritos Republican Carol Chen’s arms during the nasty battle to pass ABCUSD Bond Measure AA a couple years ago. The measure lost, thanks in a large part to Johnson’s efforts.

The measure cost the ABCUSD millions after the latest state proposition 55 passed in Nov. 2016.

After the loss, Johnson was snubbed and not appointed President of the Board.

 

 

 

ABCUSD Board Elects Officers, Vice President Lynda Johnson Snubbed

 

 


 

That snub has turned Johnson into an angry and petulant board member ready to lash out at anyone who does not support her.

 


 

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

 

ABCUSD Board Member Lynda Johnson Confronts Fellow Board Member in Parking Lot After Meeting

 

 

And Johnson’s plan includes the support of  Editor Jerry Bernstein, and Melinda Kimsey, using Kimsey’s politcally one-sided  newspaper.

Sources have told HMG-CN that Kimsey and Bernstein allow Johnson to write her own stories defending her actions, and then Bernstein or Kimsey puts their byline on the story.

And it is a testament to Johnson’s judgement and choice of allies.

Kimsey, who started her paper three years ago and has since cut circulation by 80%, falsely accused a 4th grade teacher of pedophilia and sexual harassment, dragged him through court for two years, finally recanting her allegations days before the trial, paying over $20,000 in fines.

 

 

Cerritos Resident Melinda Kimsey Fined $20,000 for Falsely Accusing Teacher of Pedophilia

 

And Johnson has called herself a fiscal conservative on the Board,  but an exclusive story by HMG-CN found Johnson taking $7,500 in cash for health benefits, instead of giving it back to the district. Once she was exposed, Johnson declared at a Board meeting, “I will be giving the money back to the district in the future.”

 

BOARD MEMBER LYNDA JOHNSON TOOK $7,500 ‘CASH IN LIEU’ INSTEAD OF GIVING MONEY BACK TO ABC

 

The latest action had many in the ABCUSD baffled as Johnson “abstained” from a Board resolution supporting Prop 55, which passed in Nov. 2016.

 

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

 

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Board Member Maynard Law

An indignant (board member) Maynard Law was quoted as saying, “I disagree with Johnson. We as a board have talked about this ballot measure, it is nothing new, it did not spring up today. All of us have looked at and studied this. We should do everything we can to get this passed.”

Board member Tse chastised Johnson, “you vote either yes or no, either you are for the kids or you’re not.”

Many people and organizations  supported Prop 55. A visit to their website showed hundreds of school districts, associations, and politicians supporting the measure including California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, two retired State Superintendents, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, and several other local area officials.

The Editors of the Sacramento Bee, the Fresno Bee and many others  endorsed Prop 55 too.

 

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