By Robert Haugh
On May 10, 2018, administrators at Foothill College became aware of press reports that disgraced former City Councilman Dominic Caserta had allegedly sexually harassed and abused a Foothill College student.
So here’s what they did:
They hired an attorney. The Law Office of Alexander Sperry investigated the allegations.
They created a “Determination Panel.” On it, were two Foothill College deans and a vice-chancellor.
They interviewed the Foothill student, Caserta and witnesses.
They came up with findings and recommendations.
And they did all that by July 22, 2018 — almost two months! Wow.
And they interviewed Caserta! Double wow.
In contrast, the Santa Clara Unified School District still hasn’t finished its investigation. They say they can’t talk to Caserta. And they won’t release any info because of litigation.
And it’s 14 months since Foothill College finished its investigation! Triple wow.
Here’s the latest info that we have from SCUSD. Here’s what Assistant Superintendent Andrew Lucia wrote to us in his July 30, 2019 email.
“There is no public record concerning the status of the investigation since that is covered by the attorney-client privilege. I can tell you that the investigation could not be completed prior to the initiation of Mr. Caserta’s litigation against the District due to Mr. Caserta’s medical leave of absence and other unavailability of his and the District anticipates that the investigation issues now will likely be subsumed by the litigation.
With respect to your request concerning the amount Mr. Caserta has been paid while on leave of absence, that amount is based on statutory and contractual medical leave payments as well as pay for administrative leave. The amount paid to Mr. Caserta since May 8, 2018, is: $128,187.01.”
Lucia would not answer a follow-up email yesterday about the status of the case or how much Caserta has been paid. Instead, SCUSD Public Information Officer Jennifer Derrico wrote us back:
“There is no update since the July 30 response from the district.”
Foothill College’s Investigation
We got a copy of the Caserta investigation from Foothill College. Names and some details have been redacted.
But here’s a summary of the conclusion:
And here’s a summary of the recommendation:
Here are some other interesting things we noticed:
Caserta had the right to file a written response to the Foothill College report and dispute their findings and recommendations. But he didn’t.
SCUSD’s Lucia wrote that they could not interview Caserta because he was on leave. Then, Caserta sued the district. But Foothill College interviewed Caserta within two months of the allegations. Did SCUSD move too slowly?