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Parsons: Fleming’s foes are just getting started

May 25, 2007
From Dana Parsons today in the LA TImes…

Opponents of the indicted former Capistrano Unified superintendent are now going after remaining trustees who supported him.

Former Supt. Jame Fleming
You bet they feel vindicated. What they aren’t feeling is charitable. You could say, in fact, they’re just getting warmed up.

The foes of former Capistrano Unified School District Supt. James Fleming — yes, the man had enemies — had reason to celebrate Thursday, if that’s the right word. They had been loudly proclaiming in recent years that Fleming was running a corrupt administration, and now they’ve got county grand jury indictments against Fleming and his assistant superintendent to back them up.

The three-count indictment, the first ever against an Orange County school district superintendent, charges Fleming with compiling an “enemies list” of people who in 2005 wanted to recall his supporters on the Board of Trustees. The indictment also charges Assistant Supt. Susan McGill for her involvement in that and with perjuring herself before the grand jury.

A happy day for the phalanx of people who had lined up against Fleming — including an unprecedented array of City Hall officials from municipalities within the school district’s boundaries — but they aren’t done yet.

“What we’re talking about here is Fleming, and that is only the tip of the iceberg,” says Tony Beall, the mayor of Rancho Santa Margarita and a recall leader. “All these issues that are now being brought to light are things we brought directly and personally to the trustees. Those trustees turned a blind eye, put their heads in the sand. And all of this happened on their watch.”

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