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?
[…] College where Caserta also taught finished a investigation in just 14 months. They concluded that he violated their sexual harassment […]
[…] They found them to be true. And they documented the allegations and their findings in a report. The Santa Clara Unified School District still hasn’t done that. And they continue to pay […]
[…] Yesterday, we made an error. We reported that Foothill College finished its investigation of disgraced former Councilman Dominic Caserta in 2 months. We misread a date. It took them 14 months. Whoops. […]
Hearing that some school board members want to give Caserta big bucks to go away. One of them has close ties to the Chamber PAC who supported Caserta. He doesn’t care about the money or the women who Caserta abused. He doesn’t want dirt coming out.
If the school board pays Caserta, they will condone his behavior. Amazing that they would do it in the era of #MeToo.
Robert, can you you expose the school board on this?
The creep will just not go away. I can’t believe the school board let’s him get paid for what he did.
I smell coverup!
Read Andrew Lucia’s email. There’s NO reason the investigation should be “subsumed by the litigation” if they really want the truth to come out about Caserta. Hey maybe they don’t want stuff to come out and the school district is trying to bury something.
The superintendent and school board should be held accountable!
Thank you for reporting on this. It’s about time that the truth comes out. Shame on the school district for covering up.