Santa Clara Unified Trustee Christopher Stampolis has cost the district $396,884 in legal bills since August 2014, according to information the WEEKLY received from SCUSD in response to a public records request. This is roughly equivalent to the cost of salary and benefits for five full-time teachers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
The district’s costs include legal fees, and investigation and other costs associated with Peterson Middle School principal Susan Harris’ 2014 restraining order against Stampolis following threatening behavior to the school administrator (renewed in 2015); lawsuits and complaints filed by Stampolis against the district and district staff in 2014 and 2015; and Stampolis’ alleged conflict of interest as a result of his employment with a construction trades union organization. Stampolis also receives a $4,800 annual stipend as a trustee.
Last week was the deadline for Stampolis to disclose the nature of his consulting agreement with the Laborers Pacific Southwest Regional Organizing Coalition, an organizing group that’s part of the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA).
Last October, SCUSD filed a lawsuit against Stampolis, alleging he violated state law and the district governing board’s conflict of interest policy by participating in board discussions about signing a PLA with the Santa Clara and San Benito Building Trades Council – an umbrella organization representing 23 construction trades unions, including LIUNA.
From June 2012 through 2014, the Laborers’ Organizing Coalition paid Stampolis’ company, Praxis House, $5,000 a month – $60,000 a year – for “government relations/community relations services,” according to U.S. Dept. of Labor Representation Activities disclosures (www.dol.gov/olms). In Nov. 2012, as a West Valley Mission Community College Trustee, Stampolis voted on a PLA.
Stampolis’ ties to the Laborers union go back at least six years.
In 2009 he represented the Laborers union at a Dublin, Calif. City Council meeting to discuss that city’s labor guidelines, according to the minutes of the Dec. 1, 2009 meeting. “Chris Stampolis, Laborers Union representative, thanked Staff for their assistance. They were very excited about working with citizens of Dublin, in regard to the trades.” In 2010 Stampolis was listed on Zoominfo.com as Political Director and Director, Government Relations for Laborers Local 304 in Hayward, Calif.