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LAUSD Former Employee Files Lawsuit Against Cortines PDF Print E-mail
Written by San Fernando Valley Sun   
Thursday, 26 July 2012 02:18

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A 12-year employee of the Los Angeles Unified School District filed a lawsuit today against former Superintendent Ramon Cortines, accusing him of making repeated unwanted sexual advances, including shortly after the worker was hired in 2000 and again two years ago at Cortines' ranch in Kern County.

The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit was filed two months after the district announced that the Board of Education had agreed to pay Scot Graham $200,000 and provide him with lifetime health benefits to settle his sexual harassment claims.

That settlement apparently began to unravel shortly after the announcement, with Graham's attorneys saying he had never agreed to be publicly identified, which the district did in a news release.

Cortines could not be reached for comment, but told reporters in May that his interactions with Graham were all consensual. The lawsuit does not name the LAUSD.

According to the lawsuit, Cortines propositioned Graham shortly after he was hired in March 2000. The lawsuit contends that Cortines "violated a myriad of LAUSD policies to hire'' Graham, noting that he was not required to submit to any of the "prerequisites of securing employment at the LAUSD.''

Graham rebuffed Cortines' advances, and Cortines left the district in June 2000, according to the lawsuit. Cortines returned to the district in 2009, and the next year, Cortines invited Graham to his ranch in Kern County, the lawsuit states.

Since Cortines had just announced employee furloughs and other budget cuts, Graham feared that his job could be in jeopardy, so he accepted Cortines' invitation even though Graham's husband was unable to attend, according to the suit. Graham contends in the lawsuit that Cortines made repeated advances toward him during the trip, all of which were rebuffed.

According to the lawsuit, Graham reported Cortines' actions to his supervisor and later to the district's general counsel, but no action was taken and the worker was advised to just "forget about the incident with Cortines.''

The lawsuit seeks unspecified general and punitive damages.

Cortines retired from the district in April 2011.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 July 2012 02:34

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