INGLEWOOD – There is growing concern that a pending school closure in Morningside Park was engineered by district insiders seeking to maintain lucrative contracts at the taxpayers expense and benefit from a $10 million windfall for dong so. Documents released by Inglewood Unified School District through public records requests appear to corroborate those claims.
The charade began with the most recent school bond voters passed in November 2020 to once again “fix the schools”. But the folks behind the campaign to convince voters to say yes to add additional taxes to the annual property tax statement, are the same folks who engineered the closure of Warren Lane Elementary formerly known as Daniel Freeman Elementary, the city of Inglewood’s founder.
The campaign committee was opened by a member of the Parent PTA, who used the home address of Inglewood Councilman Alex Padilla’s Parks and Recreation commissioners home on the forms filed with the County.
The committee raked in close to $100,000 in days. Heavy investors include law firms, architects, and DLR Group who is currently rebuilding Compton High School courtesy of a $300 million school bond.
The campaign forms show the district’s attorney’s, Orbach Huff Suarez & Henderson LLP (OHSH) contributed $5,000 to the Inglewood Residents for Yes on Measure I, where the only contribution from an Inglewood resident was former board member D’artagnan Scorza, who was refunded his $500 before the committee closed.
The district provided response that OHSH hired Total Solutions who was tasked with running school closure consolidation meetings in accordance with AB 1840.
AB 1840 provides the district with $10 million to shut down schools.
During a rally to save the school from closing, Assembly candidate Tina McKinnor addressed the crowd May 8 stating the district didn’t follow the rules on having the required number of people on the committee as required.
“I want them to follow the process,” said McKinnor, who was the leading vote getter in the April primary.
The school closure issue presented an opportunity for Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts to step in and try to save the day. For years he constantly tells the residents that the council doesn’t run the district, but behind the scenes some of the council members have attached themselves to passing school bonds by proxy?
Now Mayor Butts wants to co-author letters with the district to ask Gavin Newsom to “forgive the debt” so the district can become solvent? What’s in it for him?
The school closure then becomes the battle cry of the community right at election time? The mayor’s Assembly candidate Robert Pullen-Miles then starts writing letters asking for the district’s loan to be forgiven, just as we discovered an independent expenditure campaign on his behalf is being run on the 7th floor of One Manchester Blvd (Inglewood City Hall).
County Administrator Dr. Erika Torres has always held steadfast that the school closure decision came at the behest of the school consolidation committee. Well the charade is up.
The Chair of the committee, Wesley Newman, called in to the May 25, 2022, school board meeting and dropped a bombshell on viewers. The committee didn’t recommend closing Warren Lane, the firm hired by the district’s lawyers did. Total Solutions. This could appear to be at the district’s and city hall’s request since they financed the bond.
You know kinda like quid pro quo? We’ll give you this contract but be sure to overrule the residents, don’t follow the Brown Act, and make the recommendation to close the school that is predominantly Black.
Too bad we couldn’t see Torres’ face.
This sounds like a criminal conspiracy to defraud taxpayers. Are y’all tired yet?