Hamilton later testified under oath that her call to  Richard Werlin was made at his invitation to discuss
a planned meeting.
Richard Werlin, with the approval of the cabinet  (including Libia Gil and Lowell Billings), had triggered
an all-out hysteria at my school. Two staff members told me that many teachers were afraid that I was
"going to come to school and shoot everybody.”
The district took no action on its threats, however, until I filed a lawsuit on March 12, 2002. On May 7, 2002
Patrick Judd, Cheryl Cox, Pamela Smith, Bertha Lopez and Larry Cunningham voted to dismiss me, thus
violating California Labor Code section 1102.5 which prohibits retaliation against employees for reporting
wrongdoing. This was also a violation of the constitutional right to petition for redress of grievances.
AN IMPENDING ELECTION CAUSED THE TEACHERS UNION TO ABANDON ITS OBLIGATIONS

I did not know it at the time, but the teachers union, Chula Vista Educators, was working with my
accusers. CVE President Gina Boyd had worked at my school until 1995, and although she did not share
the
motivations of her friends at Castle Park Elementary, she had her own motivations.  She was
running for reelection and felt she needed to keep powerful teachers happy in order to win. This effort was
supported by California Teachers Association Board of Directors member
Jim Groth and executive
director Tim O'Neill.
The court reporter and all the rest of us sat at attention during the ten minutes the panel was in the little
room, but the judge's words were not included in the transcript because the reporter couldn't hear them.

The school district spent many tax dollars, and the
California Teachers Association spent plenty of
teachers' dues, to get my lawsuit thrown out.  
Alteration of documents was required, as well as perjury
by employees and even the Sheriff of Santa Barbara, but the effort seemed to pay off for the district
and CTA when my lawsuit was dismissed in 2005.


DISTRICT LAWYERS BRING THE CASE BACK TO COURT IN 2007

As fate would have it, however, my case is back in court. Ray Artiano, the managing director of CVESD’s
law firm, Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz, decided to bring this case back to San Diego Superior Court in
2007 by filing a defamation suit against me for publishing this website.  So it’s still possible that justice and
sanity will find their way back to Chula Vista Elementary School District.  See
blog updates about this
case.
BIZARRE NEW ALLEGATIONS

A week after I returned, Linda Watson, one of the teachers who had called Richard Werlin on February
10, and a new accuser,
Alan Smith, came forward with bizarre new allegations.
Saturday night
phone calls from
Castle Park
Elementary to
make anonymous
and secret
allegations.

Feb. 10, 2001
Mr. Werlin couldn't
admit a mistake--a
character flaw that
proved very
expensive to CVESD.










April 4, 2001 letter
Teachers hiding
behind the door,
making secret
accusations,
when Larkins came
back to work.  One
teacher testified
that many people
claimed to fear that
Mrs. Larkins would
come and shoot
everyone.  None of
the hysterical
teachers was given
mental health care.
April 20 grievance.

April 16, 2001--
April 21, 2001
Banned from the
district on March
27 after Rick
Werlin took
Larkins to a place
with no witnesses.
Then he asked her
to return 8 days
later after
receiving Maura
Larkins'
April 3,
2001 fax.
Allegations of guns
and violence
at CVESD were
never investigated
by the district or
Mark Bresee.  Mr.
Werlin never put
his March 27 story
on the record until
after Mrs. Larkins
filed suit.

March 24-March
27, 2001
Writ of Mandate
Contents
and Overview
of Events


Feb. 12, 2001--
May 7, 2002
Dishonesty or
incompetence?
Maura Larkins was  
asked back without
investigation after each
allegation;  
Did the district
(1) know the
allegations were
false? or  (2) put
the lives of school
personnel in danger?

CTA's hoax
grievance


May-June 2001
Maura Larkins
was told she
would not be
allowed to teach
in any classroom
the following
year.
 This turned
out to be a trick.



August 13, 2001
Third-grade children
suffered both
emotionally and
academically.

Richard Werlin
used police for
intimidation at
CVESD and
WCCCUSD






April 21, 2001
Werlin began
faxing Maura
Larkins when her
lawyer was out of
town, demanding
that she come in
and meet with him
alone.



September 2001
Libia Gil denied
Maura Larkins the
full evidentiary
hearing to which
she was entitled by
the contract when
suspended without
pay.  (See
response to Gil.)   
CTA and CVE
protected guilty
teachers, refusing
to  support Larkins'
stop pay
grievance.  
Attorney Dan
Shinoff took over
the case on Oct. 4,
2001 when Larkins
filed a tort claim.



Sept. 26,
2001-October 5,
2001
Illegal retaliation for
filing grievances:
threatened with
dismissal and health
benefits cut off to
punish Larkins for
filing 3 grievances.  













November 2001
THE COMMISSION DID NOT PROCEED IN THE MANNER REQUIRED BY LAW.

The findings of thePCC commission at the OAH do not merely ignore undisputed evidence,
they boldly state it doesn’t exist.

Jan. 6-Feb. 11, 2003
More illegal
retaliation: The
District, through the
OAH judge, boldly
violated Labor Code
section 1102.5 in
Feb. 2003, openly
stating that Maura
Larkins was being
dismissed fo
r filing
grievances and a
lawsuit.  The real
reason the district
voted to dismiss in
May 2002 was to
cover up
criminal
violations of Labor
Code 432.7.

May 7, 2002-Feb.
11, 2003
Judge Ahler declared that documents accepted into evidence and recorded in his own
handwriting never existed!  The Office of Administrative Hearings Head Judge Ron
Diedrich supports the decision.

Jan. 6-Feb. 11, 2003
"Unwanted acts"
The work environment was too hostile for Mrs. Larkins to dare set foot in the district.  
Werlin had total personal, arbitrary control over Mrs. Larkins, including the ability to make
absolutely any allegation about her and act on it, with
NO OVERSIGHT by THE
Superintendent or protection from the teachers union.

March 27, 2001--May 7, 2002
Judge James Ahler, Vice-principal Terry Olson, and teacher Barbara Abeyta brazenly flew
in the face of fact and reason to claim that the harassment suffered by Maura Larkins did
not prevent her from meeting her teaching responsibilities.  She was repeatedly sent
home, for heaven's sake!  Then she encountered a more and more hostile environment
each time she went back to work.  
Maura Larkins'
grievances
(AGAINST MR.
WERLIN)
were summarily
denied by (guess
who?) Mr. Werlin!








June 2001-January
2002
(INCLUDES
DOCUMENTS)
The commission's legal
conclusions contradict
each other.  The
conclusion that Mrs.
Larkins was
“unforgiving”
implies a
finding that there was
something to forgive,

yet the commission
found that there was no
hostile environment
and no violation of
contract.  Maura
Larkins filed suit in
order to get her job
back, not because she
was "unforgiving."

Jan.-Feb. 2003
Judge Ahler
described the
panel's deliberation
process:
“… You know, who’s
right or wrong and
cunning and lying at
the swimming pool,
I don’t think that’s
going to require
more than a couple
of minutes of
discussion.”
Judge Ahler is not
the problem.  
When he leaves,
those in power will
likely find someone
who is
even more
prone to rubber
stamping any
action, no matter
how illegal, by a
public entity.
District lawyers turned
case law on its head by
comparing Mrs. Larkins
to the profoundly
confused Ms.
Matthews...who decided
“it was too cold and
nasty and foggy up
here” in Richmond, so
she had “gone south to
get warm.”  
Letters from James
Ahler indicate that
two panelists

signed the decision
without discussing
it and without
reading it.
The Judge left
off these very
significant
words:
"Except as
otherwise
provided in this
Agreement OR BY
LAW.”
THE COMMISSION
VIOLATED THE RULES
OF EVIDENCE

(END)
The OAH
violated
Maura
Larkins’ right
to defend
herself.
Did Richard Werlin discuss all decisions with Libby Gil and
Lowell Billings, as he claims, or did he simply do as he
pleased, without any oversight?

*Nikki Perez, who pretended that she didn't know Shelley
Rudd.  She contradicted her sworn testimony when she was
deposed in the related Superior Court case.
Part 2:  Regarding legality of OAH decision
THE LETTER
TO CHERYL
COX
Only one* of the teachers listed at
right (Nikki Perez) appeared at
Larkins' OAH hearing, and Ms. Perez
claimed ignorance.  Why?

Most likely the district didn't want teachers to testify
because those teachers who had been deposed had
contradicted themselves and Richard Werlin.  

But why didn't Maura Larkins' own attorney Elizabeth
Schulman have them testify?  
Shulman refused to point out
to the Professional Competence Commission that the
district's witnesses contradicted themselves and each other.

Instead, she and Mark Bresee agreed to have letters
written by these teachers accepted into evidence as if the
writers had been sworn in.

Legal Question #1:
Are these teachers therefore guilty of perjury?

Legal Question #2:
Did the lawyers violate the law?
Page 25                   Page 26                    Page 27                   Page 28
CVESD Attorneys
Mark Bresee
Dan Shinoff
Serious problems in school culture were causing children to
fail at Castle Park Elementary
Destructive politics in schools is one of the
contributing factors to the failure of schools.  
My case was the result of an odd confluence
of circumstances, and at the same time it was  
a typical event in the system that prevails at
many schools across the United States.  
This system values politics and personal loyalty
among adults over the duty to educate and protect children.

Teacher culture is surprisingly similar to high school girl culture.   Adults in the
school hierarchy value each other above taxpayers and students.  Administrators,
of course, are usually former teachers, and masters of school politics.
The following sounds like a script for a cable comedy series, but this bizarre story
is the result of typical school district behavior intersecting with some unusual
circumstances.
Maura Larkins' Petition for Writ
regarding OAH hearing
January 6-10, 2003
Maura Larkins OAH hearing and case summary
Larkins' Attorney
Elizabeth
Schulman
I had been at Chula Vista Elementary School District FOR 27 YEARS WHEN THE HYSTERIA BEGAN

It started with a family problem: I was co-administrator of my father's estate, and one of my brothers was
secretly unhappy about it. Also, his ex-wife wanted to be manager of my father's apartments.  The two of
them decided to use the police to remove me from my position.
CASE SUMMARY
What Happened at Castle Park Elementary
by Maura Larkins
MY TROUBLED EX-SISTER-IN-LAW WAS TAKEN SERIOUSLY BY THE DISTRICT
I was removed from my classroom on February 12, 2001 due to a false police report (see "A False
Police Report" on
this page) made by my mentally-ill and substance-abusing ex-sister-in-law. However,
the district didn't want to admit this, since using the illegally-obtained police report (no charges were filed
against me) was a misdemeanor.
THE DISTRICT DECIDED TO COVER-UP ITS MISTAKE

There is no chance that the district would have been charged with a crime for its silly little misdemeanor
(Labor Code section 432.7), but the
district decided it would rather spend $100,000s
of tax dollars to pay its
lawyers to cover up the mistake than to simply admit it made a mistake.

THE DISTRICT CAME UP WITH A STORY

The reason given by the district for my removal was that two teachers had called assistant superintendent
Richard Werlin at home on a Saturday evening and said they believed
I might kill them. Oddly, the district created NO DOCUMENT at this time to explain the reason I was
removed from my classroom, nor did it investigate the alarming report.
I WENT BACK TO WORK

I went back to teach in April 2001 because it seemed clear that my accusers had
been deemed unreliable (either crazy or dishonest or some combination of the two), and I assumed that
the fabricated excuse in Richard Werlin's document , was merely an effort by an embarrassed human
resources director to cover up his mistake.

But I was wrong. It was more than a cover-up; it was, in fact, a set-up.
CVESD DID NOT BOTHER TO INVESTIGATE THE MASS MURDER RUMOR THAT CAUSES HYSTERIA
AMONG TEACHERS

Without making any effort to establish that a Columbine-type event was not in the offing, the district
demanded that I come back to work in September of 2001. This time I refused.

My lawyer demanded an investigation to clear my name and cool down the crucible that Castle Park
Elementary had become, but the district refused. It was clear that anyone could make any accusation
against me, and it would be believed and acted on: I was not safe at work.


SCHOOL ATTORNEY MARK BRESEE GETS HELP FROM DANIEL SHINOFF

Attorney Mark Bresee, who was then working with Parham & Rajcic and was recently chosen as chief
counsel for Terry Grier at SDUSD, had been giving legal advice to CVESD up to this point.

When I filed a tort claim on October 4, 2001, attorney Diane Crosier and claims adjuster Rodger Hartnett
of San Diego County Office of Education Joint Powers Authority, along with their favorite attorney,
Daniel
Shinoff of Stutz, Artiano Shinoff & Holtz, became involved.
THE DISTRICT ILLEGALLY RETALIATED WHEN I FILE GRIEVANCES

I filed 3 grievances In early November 2001. The day after receiving them, the district threatened me
with dismissal. This was a violation of the Elementary Education Relations Act (EERA) and other laws.
THE FAX THAT CAUSED CVESD TO DO AN ABRUPT ABOUT-FACE

On April 3, 2001 I sent a fax to the district. The next day I was abruptly asked to return to work, and
at the same time the district
belatedly prepared a document to explain why I had been removed from
my classroom in the first place. The document contained a new, completely false accusation by Richard
Werlin and never mentioned the teacher reports.
THE DISTRICT CHANGED ITS STORY

Within a month, the district changed its story, saying that only one teacher, Jo Ellen Hamilton, had called
Richard Werlin about me.
by Maura Larkins
Page 6
Page 11                          Page 12
Page 17    
Page 24
Page 19                          Page 20                          Page 21                         Page 22                         Page 23  
Larkins finally refused to go back until allegations against her were investigated and
retracted.  No investigation was ever done by the district.  The district and teachers union
tried to intimidate their victim into staying home and staying silent.

Feb. 12, 2001-Sept. 2001
Chula Vista
Elementary School
District
WANTED Maura
Larkins to stay
away from the
district during the
2001-2002 school
year.  Maura Larkins
was not "persistent in
the face of
opposition."






Sept. 01-May 02
CVESD administrator Richard Werlin, with the help of attorneys Mark Bresee and
Daniel Shinoff, brought about big changes at Castle Park Elementary School.
Depositions

Robin Donlan

Peg Myers

Gina Boyd

[See also Maura
Larkins'
deposition]
Page 5       
Page 7                        Page 8  
Page 3                           Page 4
Page 9                         Page 10   
Page 13                         Page 14
THE OAH SEEMS TO HAVE A GIFT FOR COMEDY

My dismissal was upheld by the Office of Administrative Hearings.
Judge H. James Ahler conducted a hearing that was almost as comical as it was illegal. At one point
Judge Ahler jumped up and ordered the panelists to join him in a side room, where he told them to
disregard my testimony. I heard what he said because I was sitting on the witness stand a few feet from
him.  The court reporter sat motionless while the panel was out of the courtroom.
Page 15
Page 18
Page 16
See part 2 below
San Diego Education
Report Blog
SITE MAP
Why This Website

Stutz Artiano Shinoff &
Holtz v. Maura Larkins
defamation

SDCOE

CVESD

Castle Park Elementary

Law Enforcement

CTA

CVE

Stutz Artiano Shinoff &
Holtz

Silence is Golden

Schools and Violence

Office Admin Hearings

Larkins OAH Hearing
HOME
Page 1                         Page 2
UPDATE
August 5, 2011
Maura Larkins won in the California Court of Appeal, which overturned a
Superior Court injunction permanently forbidding her from mentioning
Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz law firm.
"People mistake the calm, serene person for
one who is weak or confused, while the one
who blusters about looks like he's in charge
but may be fatally deluded.  When people
are projecting, they have a strong wish not to
admit it."
--Cary Tennis
Salon.com
Sept. 19, 2011
Jim Groth's actions
in this case have
been supported by
CTA, including past
president of Chula
Vista Educators
Frank Luzzaro.  

In 2012 Frank and his
wife
Susan Luzzaro
are both working for
the San Diego
Reader, which has
assiduously avoided
discussing this case,
even when
Maura
Larkins won a free
speech decision in
the California Court of
Appeal in August 2011.

It's unlikely that
Frank or Susan or
any Reader
reporter will show
up at the
Stutz v.
Larkins defamation
trial on September
7, 2012 in San Diego
Superior Court.
San Diego Education Report
SDER
San Diego
Education Report
SDER
SDER
SDER
When teachers refuse to testify

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the
things that matter."
--Martin Luther King
Prosecutors have a tough time with the code of silence among
witnesses in areas with gangs.  

We have the same problem with teachers who are witnesses.
Hamilton report

Smith report

Linda Watson report

M. Scharmach

Nikki Perez
Only one teacher--Maura Larkins-- actually wanted to
be deposed, but the district failed to depose her.  

CVESD didn't want to know the full story.  

Why not?  The full story included the fact that several teachers and administrators
were guilty of criminal conduct.
[Note: Tim O'Neill
and Gina Boyd
violated CVE
by-laws to forbid
ethics complaint]
News, information and ideas about our
education system
by Maura Larkins