By Barbara Jones, Los Angeles Daily News , from the Daily Breeze | http://bit.ly/1hC2A5h
Richard Vladovic (File photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News)
Posted: 10/09/13, 12:26 AM PDT :: A day after Los Angeles Unified released two claims accusing him of harassment, school board President Richard Vladovic admitted Tuesday that he’d violated the district’s “civility policy” and apologized to employees who’d felt intimidated by him.
Vladovic also said he’d sought “professional help” for anger issues.
“I did get upset at people,” he said. “I did tell them things I shouldn’t have told them. There’s a better way.”
The statement, made from the board’s dais, followed a four-hour closed-door meeting that insiders said included a tense discussion of the formal complaints and other accusations of misconduct leveled against Vladovic.
“I violated the district’s civility policy and it’s the board’s policy,” Vladovic said. “Because I did break it and it was our own policy, I expect to be held accountable.”
The San Pedro native said he’d been undergoing therapy for a hot temper that, according to the complaints, created a fearful and hostile work environment among those who worked for him.
“I have been trying very, very hard not to express anger,” he said. “I want no employee to feel intimidated because of me. … In my passion for the district, I have crossed the line, and I intend to never do so again.”
Vladovic and the rest of the board members left through a secure exit after the meeting. He did not respond to a request for comment. Other board members also declined to comment.
Before the meeting started, however, Vladovic had an entirely different take on the situation, declaring, “I’m innocent” when a TV reporter pressed him for his reaction to the allegations.
Vladovic then received a kiss on the cheek from fellow board member Marguerite LaMotte, an ardent supporter of the board president. In another surprising twist, LaMotte took a turn during the public comment period to speak directly to Vladovic.
She said she admired his patience and leadership and hoped to continue working with him as board president. She then closed her comments with a quote she includes on each of her emails.
“I shall remain humble as long as I am respected but I shall fight to retain my dignity,” she said.
The discussion of Vladovic’s actions came during an executive session that listed two cases of “pending litigation.” Those apparently were the two redacted complaints released Monday to the Daily News and other media outlets under a California Public Records Act request.
One was a six-page statement from a female employee who detailed eight incidents in which she said Vladovic made sexually inappropriate remarks, told suggestive jokes and used a sexual slur to describe a gay co-worker. The alleged incidents occurred from July 2000 to January 2003, when Vladovic was a local superintendent in the South Bay.
The second complaint was filed by a male employee, who said he’d been “continually punished, harassed and retaliated against by board member Vladovic and his staff,” from November 2012 to June 2013.
Board members also received copies of those complaints on Monday, along with the findings of an outside investigation into the allegations. Because that investigation was conducted by a law firm, the report is covered by attorney-client privilege and was not released to the media.
A spokesman for Vladovic has said that investigators determined the allegations were “inactionable,” but he was unable to elaborate.
There had been speculation before the closed-door meeting that the board might try to strip Vladovic of the presidency or issue a public censure reprimanding Vladovic for his actions. There was no vote and Vladovic opted instead for the public statement about the board’s “civility policy.”
He was apparently referring to a provision of the school board’s rules, enacted in 2006, which states, “Members shall govern in a dignified and professional manner, treating everyone with civility and respect, and shall understand the implications of demeanor and behavior.”
Report: LAUSD Releases Complaints Against School Board President
CBS Los Angeles http://cbsloc.al/1fZMQO2
warning: video includes guest appearance + ●●2¢ by smf
October 8, 2013 11:43 AM | LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) :: Two newly released complaints from Los Angeles Unified School District employees have revealed accusations of sexual and verbal harassment and retaliation against the school board’s president.
The allegations against Board of Education Richard Vladovic were revealed in two redacted documents released Monday night, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Both LAUSD officials and Vladovic have denied the accusations.
An outside legal firm was hired in June to look into charges against Vladovic, who has been on the board since 2007.
His name was first mentioned in employee interviews during a molestation investigation of a fourth-grade teacher, according to the Daily News.
Vladovic, who was elected to the board in 2007, had worked as a teacher and principal in the LAUSD since the late 1960s before he was named superintendent of the West Covina Unified School District in 2003.
Vladovic Apologizes, Escapes Further Board Action — For Now
by Hillel Aron, LA School Report http://bit.ly/GOdoRO
Posted on October 8, 2013 :: After a tense, four-hour closed meeting with his LA Unified Board colleagues, President Richard Vladovic opened a brief public session admitting that he had violated the district’s code of conduct and apologizing to employees he may have harmed.
“I did get upset at people,” he said. “I did tell them things I shouldn’t have told them.” He said he has a “passion for the district, and I believe in my passion I crossed the line, and I intend to never do it again.” He also conceded he has sought “professional help.”
Vladovic suggested that some on the board were reluctant to accept his mea culpa: “I’m saying it publicly, so that this issue doesn’t cloud other issues affecting the board. And I know all of my colleagues don’t agree with that. But I must accept responsibility.”
The sudden admission came two weeks after an outside firm concluded an investigation into allegations of verbal and sexual harassment against Vladovic, some of them from years ago. Details were kept out of public view until Monday night, when district officials released documents involving two accusers. One case described events that could be interpreted as sexual harassment; the other, verbal.
In his apology, Vladovic made no specific reference to the charges although his admission of improper behavior seemed directed only at accusations of berating and intimidating employees, rather than any allegations with sexual or homophobic overtones.
Vladovic and his spokesman, Mike Trujillo, had “categorically denied” all of the charges but one – “occasionally using his outdoor voice.”
After the meeting, Trujillo said that Vladovic’s apology was only meant in reference to complaints about his temper.
“The apology is regarding raising his voice, which is like a drill sergeant raising his voice in boot camp,” Trujillo said, adding that Vladovic still maintains his innocence for all other charges. “The apology you heard today was acknowledging something he did in the past. He’s still board president and plans on continuing to serve the children and parents of our districts.”
The board spent considerable time in the closed session debating whether to take any punitive action against Vladovic, who was elected president earlier this year. The board has the power to censure him and even remove him as president. But people who were briefed after the meeting said members were unable to reach consensus on what, if anything, to do. It was their understanding that the question lingers and could arise at the board’s next public meeting, on Oct. 29.
Vladovic promised he’s a changed man from the one described in the complaints.
“You will see, and have seen, a more civil attitude form me, as I’ve reflected over it,” he said, adding, “There’s a better way to do things. I found that way, and we’re going to move forward.”
Before the meeting began, according to the LA Daily News reporter, Barbara Jones, a CBS news crew asked Vladovic about the charges. He said he was “innocent.” [4LAKidsNews: see above] Board member Marguerite LaMotte asked him to repeat that louder, then walked over and gave him a comforting kiss on the cheek. Vladovic looked pale and shaken.
The Board voted unanimously to approve Mayor Eric Garcetti staffer Abigail Marquez to the bond oversight committee. They then listened to public comments, the last of which was given by LaMotte herself, who told Vladovic that she admired him for his patience, and said, “I commend you and ask you to continue this fight.”