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Cerritos College President Linda Lacy Lashes Out at Critics in Email to Trustees, Employees and Students

Cerritos College President Linda Lacy earns nearly $300,000 as President of the College.

Cerritos College President Linda Lacy.

 

By Brian Hews and Brian Hews

Lame duck Cerritos College President Linda Lacy lashed out at critics and  Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper  this week in a hotly worded email that was obtained exclusively by HMG-CN on Tuesday.

See email, click here.

Lacy has been a lightning rod ever since she arrived at the Norwalk-based campus  five years ago, and this week her harshly worded email has her critics demanding she leave her post immediately.

Lacy announced several months ago that she would be leaving Cerritos College at the end of the 2014-15 school year.

HMG-CN has published several key investigative articles documenting a series of questionable moves she has made during her tenure at the popular community college.

Lacy is now a focal point of at least two online petitions to have her removed from her job immediately instead of having her remain until June 2015.

Lacy wrote in her email “it is not my usual practice to entertain or respond to personal negative attacks. However, I am compelled to respond to a malicious email that was recently sent to some members of the college community.”

Lacy then took a direct swipe at HMG-CN for its critical reporting on Professor Robert “Bob” Chester who oversaw the Faculty Senate for several years in a series of articles dating back to 2012.

Chester was a controversial figure at Cerritos College as the following articles written by HMG-CN show.

 

Faculty Senate President Calls Cerritos College a ‘Homophobic Institution’

Cerritos College Faculty Senate President is ‘Done Being Quiet’

EXCLUSIVE: Cerritos College Faculty Senate President Bob Chester’s Rant ‘Mocked’ Vietnamese Women

 

HMG-CN also reported that Chester was the highest paid instructor at the campus earning $183,000 in salary and incentives in 2013.

Referring back to the petitions in the email Lacy said, “The email asserts false allegations against myself and faculty member, Mr. Bob Chester. Mr. Chester is the victim of repeated instances of slander and defamation that have appeared in numerous media articles, resulting in the degradation of his good reputation and integrity.”

HMG-CN reported that Chester had participated in an illicit sexual affair with at least one fellow female student last year.

 

EXCLUSIVE: Cerritos College Administrator Engaged in Sexually Explicit, Threatening Text Messages Student/Employee Claims

 

Lacy called for an “investigation” about the details contained in the article, which resulted in a report from the college’s general legal counsel Alvarado-Smith. According to sources, the cost to taxpayers for the five-month investigation is believed to be between $25,000 to $45,000.

“As a point of record, the District’s general legal counsel Alvarado Smith conducted a thorough, independent investigation regarding the salacious claims of misconduct by Mr. Chester. The investigation, conducted over five months, was exhaustive. Investigators determined that there was absolutely no evidence that could identify or support the allegations or confirm any of the repulsive claims published by the media. According to the investigator’s report, “the investigation established that it is more likely than not that the texts and emails referenced in the Hews Media article were sham, fake, untruthful, inauthentic and dishonest,” Lacy wrote.

“Mr. Chester has been completely exonerated,” Lacy continued.

After the initial text message article on Chester, HMG-CN submitted a public records request asking for all emails between Chester and any Cerritos College employee. The requests were at first delayed, after which the college demanded an unheard of $273,000 to retrieve the records.

 

Attorneys for Cerritos College Delay HMG-CN Public Records Request Related to Bob Chester

Cerritos College Demands $273,000 to Retrieve Public Records Related to Bob Chester

 

A few weeks later, HMG-CN was the first to report that Chester resigned.

 

Cerritos College Administrator Bob Chester Abruptly Resigns

 

Lacy went on to say, “The email also falsely claims that I received a ‘vote of no confidence’ by the faculty union at my former institution, Riverside Community College District. I have never received a vote of no confidence in all my years as an educational administrator. I have proudly served as your president for five productive years. I have worked side by side with you through good and bad times to help improve student success promote campus diversity and facilitate learning. Regardless of these personal attacks against me, and in turn, this great college, I will continue to serve as your president until the end of my term. My commitment to the students, staff and community has not changed,” Lacy wrote.

Lacy concluded her memo by stating the following, “Please do not let these malicious allegations distract you from our work, which is helping our students to achieve their dreams.”

Part of the ire displayed in the Lacy email also stemmed from an HMG-CN  exclusive article reporting that taxpayers in the Cerritos Community College District were paying  Lacy almost $300,000 annually in salary, benefits, and car expense, including a $39,900 annual pension contribution.

CERRITOS COLLEGE PRESIDENT LACY EARNS NEARLY $300,000 IN SALARY

After the article, public records requests show that Lacy and other high ranking officials, including some Trustees, went on a campaign to discredit and stop advertising dollars to HMG-CN, going so far as to hire Maya Walker as the Public Affairs Director for the college to “take on and discredit” HMG-CN.

OP/ED: Cerritos College Hides the Truth by Clamping Down on the Press

OP/ED: Cerritos College Caught Once Again Blackballing HMG-CN;  College Public Affairs Director Miya Walker Should Resign

HMG-CN is currently gathering information on Ms. Walker through public records requests, some of which have been illegally denied by the college.

HMG-CN asked for the names of those who were on the “Selection Committee” that chose Walker and the college has denied the request based on the “deliberative process.”

The theory behind the deliberative process is that by guaranteeing confidentiality of the selection committee, the college will receive better or more candid advice resulting in a better selection.

HMG-CN is arguing that since Ms. Walker has been hired, there is no need to withhold the names of the committee.

The college disagrees.

HMG-CN has sought legal representation to obtain the withheld records.

 

 

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