We assume that members of the City College community would want to know when they are being misled by the administration or the Board on matters of importance. As counsel for Phillip Day and Stephen Herman, we can attest that the quotes attributed to Board President John Rizzo in your February 23 article about the Board’s role in the prosecution of Day, Herman and James Blomquist are – at best – misleading.
Mr. Rizzo apparently claimed that the Board “no longer [has] anything to do with [the case].” This is simply not true. In fact, the Board has taken up issues involving the case in at least three closed sessions, on October 28 and November 18, 2010 and most recently on February 24, 2011 — the day after your article appeared. Contrary to its own Policy Manual and the Brown Act, the Board has not reported out any of its actions or recommendations, but has instead attempted to keep them secret from anyone other than the District Attorney’s Office. That office, however, has revealed that the Board inserted itself into the case by taking a position in support of the District Attorney’s demand that Day, Herman and Blomquist be required to pay $95,000 out of their own pockets for “restitution” to CCSF.
It is difficult to characterize Mr. Rizzo’s claim that the Board is in no way affiliated with the case as anything other than disingenuous. Indeed, on February 16, 2011, CCSF’s Acting General Counsel contended, in a letter to Stephen Herman’s counsel, which was copied to Mr. Rizzo, that the Board was taking up the matter because “it involves a pending legal (litigation) matter which involves the District” and claimed that the matter was “agendized” to consider whether the District should initiate litigation. This is hardly consistent with Mr. Rizzo’s characterization of the Board’s involvement.
In fact, the Board’s insertion of itself into the criminal prosecution, and the insistence on monetary restitution, has undermined the possible resolution of that matter, and has instead insured that there will be continuing litigation in which City College and members of its community will necessarily be involved.
Very truly yours,
Attorneys for Phillip Day
Attorney for Stephen J. Herman (1154)