By Robert Haugh
Disgraced former City Councilman Dominic Caserta believes the Santa Clara Unified School District and the City of Santa Clara ruined his career. And Caserta thinks that it’s worth $38 million.
This is not an April Fool’s joke.
Caserta resigned from the City Council on May 15, 2018. Nine claims of sexual harassment and abuse were filed against him. They were made by his young campaign staffers and his female high school students. Caserta taught at Santa Clara High School.
After the claims became public, Caserta was put on paid administrative leave. He’s still on it while the district investigates the claims. Attorney Patricia Elliot has been hired by SCUSD to investigate.
But Caserta has filed two complaints — one against the school district and one against the City. Legal sources say that’s required before a lawsuit can be filed.
According to reliable sources, Caserta is asking SCUSD for $38 million. He believes that the district destroyed his reputation when someone accidentally released his personnel records. Those records showed past sexual harassment and abuse claims.
Caserta’s claim against the City only specifies that he believes he’s owed more than $10,000. Legal sources say that’s all that’s required of the official claim form and Caserta could ask for a lot more.
Caserta specifically cites Mayor Lisa Gillmor asking him to resign as causing him great stress, ruining his reputation, and causing him to become depressed. She was the first public official to do so.
Mlnarik Representing Caserta
According to Andrew Lucia, SCUSD Assistant Superintendent, “at various times, the District or its legal representative have communicated with attorneys John Mlnarik, Christopher Schumb and Andrew Phillips who were representing Mr. Caserta.”
Mlnarik was recently suspended by the California State Bar Association — a story we broke two days ago. Phillips works for the Mlnarik Law Group. Schumb is an attorney who represents teachers’ unions.
The Mlnarik Law Group was paid $40,000 by Caserta’s campaign for May – June 2018. Back then, it looked like all they did for the campaign was write a one-page press release for Caserta’s resignation.
So in August 2018, we speculated that a lawsuit was coming.
Looks like the speculation might be right. More on this story to come.
Seriously … this is not an April Fool’s joke. It’s still January.