Former Walnut Grove Elementary School principal Jon Vranesh has filed a lawsuit against the Pleasanton Unified School District but has not yet specified the amount of monetary damages sought.
Vranesh, who was placed on administrative leave in October 2013 for allegedly creating a "hostile work environment" at the school site, has asked for "economic and non-economic damages according to proof, reinstatement to his position with back pay, and punitive damages against the individual defendants … according to proof," and attorneys' fees.
A 165-page complaint dated Oct. 17 obtained by the Pleasanton Weekly informs the Pleasanton school board, Superintendent Parvin Ahmadi and Deputy Superintendent Luz Cazares of Vranesh's "complaint for money damages and injunctive and declaratory relief."
The lawsuit contains 14 causes of action, many with more than one count.
The first cause of action, Gender/Sexual Discrimination, includes five counts -- three against PUSD and two against PUSD, Ahmadi and Cazares.
One of the counts against PUSD, Ahmadi and Cazares includes harassment because of Vranesh's gender, which caused a "hostile and polluted workplace."
Another count included retaliation from the district by "materially altering the terms and conditions of his employment."
The lawsuit states that Vranesh filed charges October 2013 of sex/gender discrimination, harassment and retaliation with the California Department of Fair Employment and House. Immediately after his claim with the State agency, he was retaliated by PUSD by "having his job, employment contract and professional reputation and character assaulted and threatened."
In addition, it states that Vranesh was "shunned and isolated" -- adding that Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Odie Douglas refused to speak to Vranesh for long periods of times and didn't allow him to attend or participate in meetings, conference and essential trainings with district colleagues.
The lawsuit also said that PUSD failed to prevent harassment/discrimination/retaliation.
The last cause of action listed in the lawsuit is the "waste of public funds" against PUSD, Ahmadi and Cazares. According to the document, Vranesh, a Pleasanton resident, has paid taxes "and other fees and charges in and for the direct benefit of the school district" and "brings this cause of action as a taxpayer."
Vranesh alleges that the district wasted taxpayer funds by reaching a settlement in two claims filed by unidentified district employees alleging sexual harassment and a hostile work environment created by Vranesh. Both employees were awarded $245,000 stemming from the allegations.
In addition, the lawsuit states the district paid approximately $14,429 for investigative services to The Davidsen Group and more than $316,000 to the district's attorney, Kingsley Bogard, as a result of these claims.
The lawsuit also states that the district, Ahmadi and Cazares paid more than $1 million to cover up matters pertaining to their "wrong doing and hostile environment" caused by them at Walnut Grove.
If the "unraveling of mismanagement and dysfunction at the Walnut Grove Elementary site isn't stopped, a further sum in excess of $1 million will be expended on account of it," the document states..
The other causes of action include: Breach of Employment Contract; Negligent Performance of Contractual Obligations, Including Negligent Supervision; Wrongful Termination in Violation of Public Policy; Violation of Labor Code 6300; Declaratory Relief; Defamation; Invasion of Privacy; Violation of Free Speech, Invasion of Privacy, Due Process & Association; Intentional Interference with Contractual Relations and Prospective Economic Relations and Advantage; Conspiracy to Interfere with Prospective Economic Advantage and Contractual Relations; Intentional and Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress; Negligent Supervision; and Violation of Due Process.
"I regret that it has taken a filed claim for the Superintendent and the Board to address the matters I reported approximately two years ago," Vranesh said in a statement to the Pleasanton Weekly. "I hope that my lawsuit will, in the end, have a positive impact on the District as we learn openly what events and actions have transpired in the District to cause this uneasiness and discontent."
He continued, "As a native to Pleasanton, I returned to my community as an educator to give back and make a positive impact on our community's youth, and hope to continue to do so with this filing."
Vranesh recently spoke at the Oct. 14 school board meeting about his alleged charges and the district's lack of honesty and accountability.
Vranesh stated that the district has not shown him any proof that he has done anything wrong or to justify paying an employee $95,000 per year "to sit home and do nothing."
In addition, on April 16, Vranesh filed a claim against the district. The 17-page letter informed the board members and Ahmadi of Vranesh's "claims for money damages and injunctive and other relief against your local public or other entity, for amounts totaling significantly in excess of $10,000... ."
The school district did not provide any comment about the lawsuit.