Saturday, January 19, 2013

Three developments in COAST/CPS litigation regarding abuse of public resources for campaign purposes

This entry is an update on the 2012 COAST/CPS litigation relating to the latest in a series of actions by CPS abusing tax dollars for campaign purposes.

As reported here and here, COAST and its Chairman Tom Brinkman, Jr. in October of 2012 initiated its third in a series of lawsuits to eradicate the use of tax dollars by Cincinnati Public Schools for campaign purposes.  

In response, the Cincinnati of Teachers moved to intervene in the case, link here,  to assert a constitutional right to abuse tax dollars for campaign purposes.

We also addressed here, how the pro-levy campaign committee, Cincinnatians Active to Support Education, and its operatives were hiding e-mails that would show the extent of the abuse of tax dollars for campaigning.  These involve many categories of documents, but primary among them are e-mails with teachers -- many sent on public time -- to and from their personal e-mail accounts.  CASE maintains those are not relevant to the litigation, COAST contends they are core to the issues in this case as CPS, CASE and CFT engaged in a broad conspiracy to evade detection of their violations of the 2002 COAST Agreement on their behavior by the simple ruse of engaging in the conduct without using the official CPS e-mail system.    

Today we provide a few updates on that litigation.
  • First, Judge Martin has ruled on CFT's Motion to intervene and has denied the same.  Read his letter ruling here.  This is a dispute between COAST and CPS based upon a 2002 contract between the two of them. 
  • Second, a major clash in the litigation comes on Monday, February 4, when Judge Martin hears oral arguments on the question of what documents CFT and CASE must produce.
  • Third, in response to COAST's motion to compel discovery, here,  CASE campaign manager Jens Sutmoller has tendered his defense, and again contends a constitutional right of teachers to abuse tax dollars at school.  Further, he admits in his Affidavit attached to that motion:
    Plaintiffs have referenced emails in which I suggested to CPS employees that they correspond with me about the levy campaign on personal e-mail accounts.  I did that simply because I had been advised that CPS policy was to avoid the use of CPS email accounts for purposes related to the levy campaign, presumably because of the COAST Agreement.
Now, Sutmoller does not tell us who so instructed him in this regard -- and we anxiously await his deposition to learn who instructed him to carefully evade detection for violating the COAST Agreement -- but this quote admits not just the covert plan of conduct the campaign, but the broad, conspiratorial nature of the approach of CFT, CASE and CPS in the 2012 effort.

We will keep you updated blow-by-blow as this important litigation progresses.

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