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PUSD legal fees - $1,065,468 YTD

Original post made by curious, Del Prado, on Jun 7, 2015

I was wondering if the Pleasanton Weekly could find out why on earth PUSD has spend over $ 1 million on lawyers since the school year began through invoices received March 2015. It could even be more.

Why are there monthly legal settlement expenditures to lawyers that so far have added up to $295,296 this year as well as legal counsel expenditures totaling $770,172 so far?

When did the Board approve all of these legal contracts?

Also, what are all these settlement legal fees? For example there was a Legal Settlement of $40,000 on 9-Sep-14 for someone with a name of Lauren Andrade listed in the warrants. What do all of these ongoing legal settlement fees pertain to? Each month, PUSD is spending anywhere from $9000 to $54274 on legal settlement fees. Last month it was $48356.

I wish the Pleasanton Weekly could put together an article or if anyone has insight to this, what is going on?

Comments (19)

Posted by Bob
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 7, 2015 at 5:31 pm


Most of those are settlements in lieu of litigation. Meaning somebody did something so instead of going to court or firing someone we pay off the victim. All of these settlements are subject to legal discovery and disclosure unless they involve a minor. PW should know this and can get the documents if they so desire.

Posted by ???
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2015 at 8:24 pm

I'd be interested to know what pusd has spent to date on legal with regard to the Vranesh situation. As irritating as it is, I get that sometimes it makes sense to make a cash settlement rather then litigate.

Posted by check under the rug
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 7, 2015 at 9:16 pm

One source you should look at is the special education office. The current director was put in her position because the Superintendent likes her. Why, no one is sure. She is not skilled enough to resolve special education complaints so she pays them off with big cash offers with the blessing of Ahmadi who is also not skilled enough to know how to resolve complaints. Look at the Vranesh case.

Posted by Noone
a resident of Castlewood
on Jun 8, 2015 at 12:52 pm

Wow at least a million bucks spent on legal fees so far this school year mean while the district through various means keeps asking parents for cash? PPIE and PTAs work hard to raise funds for much needed services for our kids, I guess that wouldn't be so necessary if the district wasn't wasting dollars on legal fees.

I am against firing the math coach, someone needs to teach elementary teachers how to teach math. It's appealing the lack of math skills among the elementary school teachers in this district. All of the math tutoring companies love it though.

Weekly if you are able to do a story on how much our district has spent on legal fees the last couple of years could compare it to what neighboring districts are spending?

I have looked through the "warrants" the PUSD publishes on the net and they are a mess. It's almost impossible to read, you can't even search it. It seems to me that it's just posted to say "look we are transparent" but they know there is no way the average person could spend the time required to decipher it all.

Posted by KARA
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jun 8, 2015 at 4:05 pm

Special education seems like a good educated guess. The current Special Ed Director may have inherited big issues from the Interim Director. By last summer there was no one left in special education admin. It will take time to right that ship and it looks like possibly some settlements which takes away from all the kids. There will also need to be support from a new Superintendent to get back on track. We are lucky as a district to have excellent teachers to support and educate our kids.

Posted by Mel
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 8, 2015 at 6:37 pm

Mr. Vranesh specialized in special education before becoming principal and I've read he wants to be reinstated as a special education teacher. Why not give him the whole department? These kids deserve the best and someone willing to be their champion. Mr. Vranesh would be amazing for them.

Posted by Marie
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 8, 2015 at 7:31 pm

Lauren Andrade was a teacher at foothill who's leaving was questionable ? Why did she get 40 thousand????

Posted by Agree With Kara
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jun 8, 2015 at 9:04 pm

Special Education is costly for any district. Putting full blame of legal fees that the district has incurred on the shoulders of the new director makes no sense. The top administrators are the folks making all the decisions to continuously write attorneys checks. It would be interesting to know if the districts legal costs have risen over the superintendents tenure. My guess is they have and the Vranesh case hasn't even started. They are well into the millions on that alone.

Posted by Pleasanton Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2015 at 5:43 am

The current director is a good and descent person. The district has tied the special education departments hands and does not give them the financial support to give the sufficient resources. This causes parents to take legal action. These parents only want an education for their children.

Posted by Disgusted
a resident of Avila
on Jun 9, 2015 at 11:01 am

This money should be going to our kids- not a bunch of "adults."

Posted by Lou
a resident of Castlewood
on Jun 9, 2015 at 1:45 pm

News reports out of Lodi Unified indicate that their legal spending tops unforeseen obscene levels during the Odie Douglas era. If there are secret deals in PUSD concerning a female teacher receiving a hush money settlement (that appears on the warrants in September '14) to go on her merry way when children were harmed, all administrators at the D.O. need to go.

The inept idiots need to be removed, regardless of whether they are 'nice' or not.

Every week brings fresh tales of whack-job educrats in the D.O. who have more access to attorneys than to common sense.

Will look forward one day to a board meeting without the existing cabinet's and superintendent signature brand of snarling rhetoric, paranoia and fuzzy math. And before the legal bills top $5 million a year.

Posted by No Money
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jun 9, 2015 at 2:57 pm

[Removed until or if it is verified]

Posted by Just wow
a resident of Foothill High School
on Jun 9, 2015 at 3:28 pm


Posted by FactsOnly
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 9, 2015 at 10:10 pm

FactsOnly is a registered user.

I might have just posted this on the wrong article. Feel free to delete as needed.

Note to Gina...

I am not the original person who posted the information but I just looked at the Sept 9/ 2014 Warrants and see the 40,000 to Andrade, Lauren It says page 39 of 83 at the bottom

Web Link

Posted by Commentor
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Jun 11, 2015 at 9:50 am

Commentor is a registered user.

Special education is a mess because while all public schools are federally mandated to provide a Free and Appropriate Education to EVERY child since 1973, the feds don't provide the funding and therefore states and districts must find the money from SOMEWHERE to fund special ed (since 1973). It's not our school's, or district's fault that they have to deal with this, but they do have to wrestle with how to meet these students needs. When it comes to special ed, the problem lies neither with politics and what the public is willing to acknowledge as a problem and put their money where there mouth is.

Pleasanton people - please fact check what you read on these boards! I realize our ed system is complex but a red flag is when you see a commentor attack a PERSON vs a real ISSUE. Don't be swayed by political or racial propaganda

Posted by Commentor
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Jun 11, 2015 at 9:58 am

Commentor is a registered user.

I meant "the problem neither lies with our Supt or Special Education Director who have demonstrated time and again that they work on behalf of ALL kids" how people can so viciously find fault with that is pure evil. So when you see people attacking other people, even if they they have a semblance of an issue, think twice before jumping on their band wagon, and be as critical with the critics, as they are with others.

"“People who judge others tell more about Who They Are, than Who They Judge.

Posted by Wilson
a resident of Rosewood
on Sep 1, 2017 at 11:56 am

Wilson is a registered user.

Hey everyone,

this is reviving a dead thread a bit, but does anyone actually have these invoices and is willing to share them? I wanted to see these invoices myself but couldn't find any online records.

Thank you in advance :)

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 1, 2017 at 1:13 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

You can submit a Public Records Act request. They will be redacted for case information, but the dates and amounts should be produced. There also should be warrant lists that could give you that information.

Posted by Jtjh
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 1, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Jtjh is a registered user.

Whatever one's opinion on the Vranesh issue, Kingsley Bogard unquestionably mishandled the investigation. If the District is continuing to use its services, instead of switching to another law firm, I think questions need to be asked as to why.

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