Report Card

News and discussion on K-12 schools in the greater Sacramento region

November 1, 2012
New law firm, new lawsuit threat in Twin Rivers Unified

By Melody Gutierrez

Twin Rivers Unified School District trustees reversed their vote on which law firm they'd like to hire following a special board meeting Wednesday night.

Board members voted 4-3 to hire Fagen, Friedman and Fulfrost. The move comes days after Twin Rivers trustees voted 4-3 on Saturday to hire Meyers Nave. However, after the Meyers Nave vote, board member Bob Bastian said he mistakenly voted for the firm when he intended to vote for Fagen, Friedman and Fulfrost.

No contract had been signed with Meyers Nave.

Twin Rivers is ending its contract with its longtime general counsel, Timothy M. Cary and Associates.

Trustees John Dexter, Cortez Quinn, Michael Baker and Bastian voted in favor of Fagan, Friedman and Fulfrost, while Linda Fowler, Walter Garcia Kawamoto and Rebecca Sandoval were in favor of Meyers Nave.

The new legal firm comes on the heels of a new legal threat.

Earlier this week, former Twin Rivers Police Lt. Jason Spano submitted a tort claim, a precursor to a lawsuit, with the school district. Spano alleges Twin Rivers Unified violated his rights by taking his personal property, including the ashes and urn of his dead police dog, Morris, after the district placed the lieutenant on administrative leave.

Spano also alleges that confidential personnel information was given to prospective employers by Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel and officers in the Internal Affairs Department.

Spano also alleges he was constructively terminated "by stigmatizing him with false allegations involving moral turpitude, retaliation against him for exercising his rights and reporting criminal misconduct by the District's general legal counsel, Paul Hamill of Timothy M. Cary & Associates, to the Chief of Police Chris Breck ..."

Spano is seeking damages in excess of $10,000 for damage to his psyche and loss of property.

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About Report Card

Loretta KalbLoretta Kalb started her reporting career at The Sacramento Union, moved to KOVR-13 as a television reporter, editor and producer, headed to The Associated Press in San Francisco and eventually returned to Sacramento and joined The Sacramento Bee. Throughout her career, she has covered the state Legislature, courts, local government and, now, education. She is a Chico native and an Elk Grove resident.

Diana LambertDiana Lambert began her journalism career as a proofreader at the Lodi News-Sentinel. She is now a senior writer at The Sacramento Bee covering K-12 education and California State University, Sacramento. Previously she was The Bee’s Elk Grove bureau chief. Lambert was raised in a military family and lived at bases around the globe. She attended four high schools, graduating from Tokay High in Lodi and then Sacramento State University. She lives in Elk Grove.

(916) 321-1073
Twitter: @LorettaSacBee
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