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District Sues Trustee in Conflict of Interest Dispute

District Sues Trustee in Conflict of Interest Dispute

Earlier this month, Santa Clara Unified School District filed a lawsuit against Trustee Christopher Stampolis in Santa Clara Superior Court, alleging that he violated state law and SCUSD governing board conflict of interest policy.

The district is asking the Court to compel Stampolis publicly disclose the terms of his consulting work for the Laborers Pacific Southwest Regional Organizing Coalition, an organizing group that’s part of the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA).

The court is also being asked to force Stampolis to recuse himself from any discussions about a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with the Santa Clara and San Benito Building Trades Council (BTC), an umbrella organization representing 23 construction trades unions, including LIUNA. In addition, the district is asking for reimbursement of legal fees and court costs, and “further relief as the Court deems just and proper.”

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The BTC has been lobbying the SCUSD board to sign a PLA for construction projects covered by 2014’s Measure H bonds – $419 million worth of construction including two new Northside schools. The BTC has drafted a PLA for the district, according to the complaint.

From June 2012 through 2014, the 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).

The case number is 1-15-CV-286790. County Superior Court information is available online at www.sccaseinfo.org.

This isn’t Stampolis’ only active court engagement. Peterson Principal Susan Harris is asking for a five-year renewal of the restraining against Stampolis she received in 2014. Harris alleges that Stampolis has continued to harass her, including filing a groundless complaint challenging her teaching credential.

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