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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.


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.



  • Tim Kelemen says:

    Dear HMG,

    We’d been dealing with these antics
    in Artesia city mgmt. for over 20 yrs!

    Now we have a current and past
    Mayor, both of whom have many
    real estate holdings, running around
    town, passing around half truths
    ( sometimes not even half ), when
    they both put Artesia in hoc for nearly
    $20 million in bonds, hiding behind
    the name Redevelopementl Agency!
    …and our residents are unaware,
    as they are about narrowing
    Pioneer Blvd to one lane each way!

    Too bad we can’t get that one in the
    paper… That’s politics for you!

    Please keep the truth flowing, it
    scares the heck out of those types.

    Tim Kelemen

  • Tim Kelemen says:

    PS- don’t believe their crap,
    Vote Yes on Measure AA,
    it’s for our students!

  • J.A. VAN DE MORTEL says:

    As Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) observed:

    “In our institutions we learn all the insignificant trash that has obtained the name of education.” And, “Although money buys everything else, it cannot buy morals and good citizens.”

    J.A. VAN DE MORTEL / Philosophy Department

  • J.A. VAN DE MORTEL says:

    To get the point of Rousseau’s criticism:

    Many of the problems of higher education have less to do with personalities than the quick fix programs, policies, and technology which are supposed to end low academic achievement. Administrators seem only to be gate keepers of political policies that originate in Sacramento, and they seem to have little power to alter state mandated changes. But, they are the logical targets of criticism when academic problems continue. They should show a little more moral courage in fighting for the best educational standards. Administrators often do fail to back up faculty when students complain about unreasonable expectations, and students know this. But, I once had a logic student complain, “The book is so hard. How can you make us read this?” I smiled and said, “You are right, we should only use easy books in college.” She was a little more enlightened when the whole class laughed at her.

    In some ways, the pressure to show academic improvement causes lower achievement. Instructors are under more and more pressure to comply with things like SLO’s (student learning outcomes) and student evaluations. Younger faculty and adjunct faculty then often cave in to the pressure to be popular by complying with the rating game. Student evaluations play a role in getting rehired, and students are given a disproportionate power to complain in a way that administrators are very worried about. Since students will usually vote for easier coursework, this translates into grade inflation and a further erosion of academic ability, as more courses acquire a remedial content. In department meetings, I have questioned some of the statistics on ‘improvement’ and asked for documentation, but the numbers often seem fabricated and hard verifiable data is not presented. What is see in my day to day work as a teacher of Socratic thinking is different.

    There are students on the President’s List who ask, “What is a footnote?” And, scholarships have gone to students who could not form a coherent paragraph. We are not supposed to talk about these things publicly, but they need be discussed at higher political levels, and I believe the problems can never be resolved without a wider public involvement and rational discourse (doubtful in a society less and less engaged with reason itself). It would also be nice for people to admit that an entire generation is being destroyed by some sick social values. . . . . For instance, as a society, we are much more interested in mindless entertainment than the acquisition of knowledge. This has become so normative that many students are literally unable to separate themselves from their entertainment devices in the classroom.

    We should really think about the impact of technology on the critical thinking skills of students. Read (google) “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” by Nicholas Carr. Read “Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality” by the Elias Aboujaoude (Director of the Impulse Control Disorders Clinic, Stanford University School of Medicine). The technology movement is not going to go away, but unless we can install some legal and ethical limits on its use, we will be destroyed in the post-human apocalypse that researchers like Ray Kurzweil (perhaps a techno-fascist) are predicting.

    Students are waiting for and wanting a good education, and we can deliver that. But, it takes the right approach to get into their heads with a better set of standards. And, we cannot be everything to everyone. One administrator made the astonishing remark to a colleague and I that 60% of our students have learning disabilities. I could not find the words to counter-argue such an astonishing falsehood. We need to stop treating our students as if they are disabled. I would rather argue: if they are disabled, it is the result of damaging social and educational propaganda. Human beings are very resilient and adaptable, and they recover well from life’s traumas when given the right resources, encouragement, and philosophical training.

    J.A. VAN DE MORTEL / Philosophy Department