LAUSD FSD PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate Release
Contact: Shannon Haber 213.703.6958 (cell) March 15, 2011
(Los Angeles, CA) James D. Sohn, Chief Facilities Executive for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), today announced that he has submitted his letter of resignation to LAUSD Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines. Sohn, who has served the District in numerous leadership positions on and off since 2002, will continue to serve as Chief Facilities Executive until the end of March.
"I'm happy to have had the opportunity to contribute to a truly world-class organization," Sohn said. "The Facilities Services Division has fulfilled Bond Program goals and significantly invested in Maintenance and Operations efforts, while transforming itself into a more efficient Division. We have consolidated and restructured departments, implemented the design-build delivery model and resized the organization to a level that is sustainable for years to come.”
"For nearly two years, James Sohn has successfully headed our Facilities Services Division during a very difficult budgetary crisis,” Cortines said. "When he first came to me with his resignation in fall 2010, I asked him to stay on so that reform efforts and funding for additional projects could be finalized. Our building program has made amazing progress under James’ guidance, and I am grateful for his enthusiasm and commitment to excellence in building, repairing and maintaining our schools. He has positioned the program well for his successor."
“During James’ time, many projects that had languished became a reality such as Central Los Angeles High School #12, Valley Region Middle School #3, and redevelopment projects at Dorsey High School, 9th Street Elementary School, Fremont High School, Harbor Teacher Preparatory Academy and Jordan High School,” LAUSD Board President Mónica García said. “In fact, nearly 10,000 jobs will be generated over the next seven years as a result of James’ strategic and creative vision that brought the Board a plan to fund $531 million of new capital projects in 2011 despite the District’s inability to issue additional local bonds.”
As Chief Facilities Executive for the largest school construction and repair program – $19.5 billion – in the nation's history, Sohn is leading the charge to build 131 new K-12 schools and complete thousands of repair and modernization projects at existing schools. To date, 101 new K-12 schools and more than 20,000 upgrade projects have been completed throughout the District.
Specifically, during Sohn’s tenure, 21 new K-12 schools were opened to reduce overcrowding including the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools campus, team cleaning was implemented, the Capital Improvement Program Reserve was created, and nearly $1 billion was reallocated to enable additional projects to be undertaken throughout the District.
Cortines said he will announce an interim replacement for Sohn in the immediate future.
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|smf: Apparently Sohn has already secured another job, he will be working with an unknown firm in the Bay Area.|
LAUSD facilities director resigns
“March 15, 2011 | 12:36 pm
The head of the $20-billion construction program for the Los Angeles Unified School District announced his resignation Tuesday in the wake of revelations in a Times series about his role in the building program at the local community college district.
James Sohn was the deputy to the head of construction at the Los Angeles Community College District and later moved on to L.A. Unified, where he became the chief facilities executive.
Neither Sohn nor the district explained the reason for his departure, but he has been highly regarded by L.A. Schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines, who is retiring next month.
Among the revelations in The Times series was a description of Sohn's investment venture with a contractor he was supposed to be supervising.
An L.A. Unified news release noted that during Sohn's tenure, 21 new schools opened to reduce overcrowding, including the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools complex.
Sohn has also had to confront questions about his management of L.A. Unified's program, which is the nation's largest school construction project. Among them was his oversight of a group of senior contractors who were later accused of successfully obaining a contract that they had essentially created for themselves while working for the district. Those contractors have denied wrongdoing.
He has also come under fire for allegedly using highly paid contractors instead of district employees.
Cortines especially valued his efforts to streamline the maintenance of schools in the wake of budget cuts.“
LAUSD facilities chief James Sohn resigns; he's praised despite problems
“LAUSD facilities chief James Sohn resigns; he's praised despite problems
Posted: 03/15/2011 12:48:41 PM PDT
Updated: 03/15/2011 12:49:32 PM PDT
James Sohn, the embattled chief executive of Los Angeles Unified's facilities department, has resigned, officials announced Tuesday.
Sohn, who has faced criticism for problems in the department including a shortage of inspectors and contracting irregularities, will remain in his position until the end of March. He has worked for the district in various capacities since 2002 and became the head of facilities in October 2009.
Sohn and district officials did not say why he was resigning.
In a letter to Superintendent Ramon Cortines, Sohn said he was proud of the progress he oversaw in the department.
"I'm happy to have had the opportunity to contribute to a truly world-class organization," Sohn wrote. "The facilities services division has fulfilled bond program goals and significantly invested in maintenance and operation efforts while transforming itself into a more efficient division."
"We have consolidated and restructured departments, implemented the design-build delivery model and resized the organization to a level that is sustainable for years to come."
Cortines also praised Sohn's work.
"Our building program has made amazing progress under James' guidance and I am grateful for his enthusiasm and commitment to excellence in building, repairing and maintaining our schools. He has positioned the program well for his successor."”