Appeals court affirms Allyn verdict

Five years after the initial filing of Elaine Allyn vs. Fallbrook Union Elementary School District in May 2012, the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division One, State Of California has denied motions from both sides of the case.

On July 11, the appeals court filed its decision which denied the district’s appeal of the judgment and orders of Superior Court Judge Jacqueline M. Stern, notwithstanding the verdict. The decision also affirmed the order denying the plaintiff’s motion for attorney fees.

Allyn filed the suit against FUESD after being terminated in May of 2012, saying what led to her losing her job was her refusal to delete email archives in an effort by her supervisors (superintendent Candace Singh and associate superintendent, business services Ray Proctor) to cover up a violation of public policy by misusing public funds.

The first trial, which ran seven days in October 2013, ended in a mistrial declared by Stern due to the time consumed versus the established 10-day availability of the jury.

The re-trial started the end of January 2015. On Feb. 26, 2015, a jury found that FUESD had wrongfully terminated Allyn, the district’s former information technology director and retaliated against her. The jury verdict awarded to Allyn $1,046,000 in lost income and $148,000 in general damages.

In response to the Appeals Court ruling, the district’s lawyer, Paul V. Carelli IV of Artiano Shinoff & Holtz, provided this statement:

“The District is clearly disappointed in the appellate court’s decision, and is reviewing its options to challenge it further. Although the jury found in the plaintiff’s favor, the leadership of FUESD steadfastly maintains that Mrs. Allyn was not a whistleblower, and that her own misconduct justified her termination from the district. Since Mrs. Allyn’s termination, the FUESD IT Department has improved dramatically, to the great benefit of students and employees. The board and administration will continue to make the decisions they believe are in the students’ and employees’ best interest.”

Allyn’s lawyer, Michael Curran of Curran & Curran, said he will be making a demand on FUESD amending the judgment to add 8 percent interest to the prejudgment amount, and also send it to the District Attorney’s office.
According to Curran, “currently the District owes Ms. Allyn $1,194,000 plus legal accumulated interest since February 2015 of $230,000+.”

Curran added, “It is unlikely the district will take further action (and appeal to the Supreme Court); at this point, they simply need to take responsibility and pay the judgment.”

Curran also said the ruling is a “total victory and vindication for Elaine and our firm.”

38 Responses to "Appeals court affirms Allyn verdict"

  1. Has anything changed?   July 24, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    And still the same administrators with FUESD responsible for unfairly terminating Ms. Allyn are still employed with the district; and have gotten substantial raises since that time. And at a cost of over a million dollars plus to the taxpayers for Ms. Allyn’s judgement against FUESD?The only exception being former district employee HR lead Dennis Bixler who took a better paying position at a Los Angeles area school district; with FUESD’s encouragement I hear.

    Why does the executive board and better yet, community of Fallbrook tolerate this kind of incompetence, bullying and harassment in the districts leadership? Heads at FUESD should have rolled over this, but sadly none did. Proctor, Singh & the board, shame on you!!!

    Reply
  2. Marvin Rainwater   July 24, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Of Course YOUR TAX DOLLARS Will Pay The Judgement… Idiots

    Reply
  3. NoWay   July 24, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    OK FUESD administration and school board. Your turn to make another feable attempt at proving you did nothing wrong, when IN FACT you did. Another attempt at wasting tax payer money for your enormous egos. Get over it. You lost. Pay the money and move on. When I say MOVE ON, I mean move on to another school district and get out of ours before you mess it up even further. The board too.

    Reply
  4. Samantha Berryessa   July 25, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Great result and reporting of the trial and Appellate win by the employee and the underlying abuse by the school of this whistleblower employee.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  5. Bernice Benice   July 25, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Good. I am glad she won. The district needs to call the insurance agent and submit the claim for payment to her like yesterday. It is simple, quit wasting time and more money, and do the right thing. The settlement doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what she deserved to win…
    And I totally believe that certain people deleted her emails, because that happened to someone I know in a different district. The school administration has access, and is allowed to delete employee emails. Scarey. If they didn’t have anything to hide, then why did they delete thousands of emails? Shady. All around just shady. Now it is time to do the right thing and cut the check. Maybe the school district needs to invest in an anti bullying course more than the students. Just a thought to keep the liability insurance premiums down!!!

    Reply
  6. Emily   July 26, 2017 at 9:59 am

    When your SUPERVISORS tell you to DELETE E-MAILS because those e-mails contain information about CRIMINAL ACTIVITY, and those same supervisors FIRE YOU WHEN YOU REFUSE:

    THAT IS THE DEFINITION OF A WHISTLE-BLOWER AND IS PROTECTED UNDER THE LAW.

    I am glad to see that so far the courts have upheld the law in this case. The school district needs to be thoroughly investigated. And this case needs to be settled & paid out.

    Reply
  7. Al Soso   July 26, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Freakn Corrupt Democrats! Trying to swindle tax payers and a whistle blower!

    Reply
  8. Dave   July 26, 2017 at 10:25 am

    How do these corrupt morons at the FUESD still have a job? Mind-boggling.

    Reply
  9. Deb Booth   July 26, 2017 at 10:58 am

    No more tax dollars spent on an issue that’s been (fairly) decided, please. Just pay the woman, learn your lesson, and move along.

    Reply
  10. Peggy   July 26, 2017 at 11:24 am

    This is so wrong that Mrs. Allyn has been put through so much and still the crooks remain in power. The judge has ruled, the school district needs to pay up and then continue its criminal activities it taunts as being so successful now.

    Reply
  11. grunt   July 26, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    If, and it appears true, the administrators cost us $$, they should be held responsible and fired! Too often public employees violate laws/regulations and are not punished; the tax payer pays and the miscreant goes on about his/her business. Lately cops have been fired when the city pays a settlement – now it is time to take it to the rest of the public employees when they violate our trust and bank accounts

    Reply
  12. Shirley   July 26, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    So happy for you Laine!

    Reply
  13. Fallbrook parent   July 26, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    The school district made a terrible mistake, and they need to own up to it. Pay Ms. Allyn immediately! Shame on the FUESD administrators and school board for the physical and emotional havoc they have created, not only for Ms. Allyn, but also for the employees and families, past and present, who have worked for and attended FUESD. It is unacceptable that these people who have leadership responsibilities engage in bullying behavior.
    Another embarrassment was the Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz law firm that continued to encourage a lawsuit that only lined their own pockets. Disgusting behavior.

    Reply
  14. NoWay   July 26, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    There is NoWay the FUESD board is going to take any disciplinary action much less fire these morons. They are like a mutual admiration group. The board should have disciplined them when they lost the case but instead they appealed and lost again. Plus they deliberately caused a mistrial the first time by taking too much time. What did they say they we’re going to do now??? “Reviewing its options to challenge it further”. That equates to more dollars out the window. They owe their lawyers over a million dollars. That is definitely “making decisions in the best interest of the students and employees”. What about us tax payers? Enough is enough.

    Reply
  15. L. Smith   July 26, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    How fortunate that the misconduct Mrs. Allyn shed light on resulted in the FUESD IT Dept. improving to the great benefit of students and employees. THAT is exactly what IT departments can do when administrators finally learn that they cannot get away with coverups and misuse of funds. Now, public pressure is needed to get the crooks OUT of the district and pay Mrs. Allyn what the courts ruled!

    Reply
  16. Lauren Eve Montgomery   July 27, 2017 at 12:26 am

    Not yet, Marvin Rainwater. Before the fair and reasonable judgment is paid, FUESD would like to spend another million (or two or three…or four) of **taxpayer money** to sketchy legal teams that have NO HOPE whatsoever in overturning the ruling made against it. It’s about their bruised egos, baby. FUESD are licking their wounds, while their attorneys stand to profit handsomely from stoking the mistaken belief that there is any hope of reversing the original decision (already unsuccessfully appealed). Sigh…business as usual in the upper echelons of business, government, school boards, etc. (as long as it’s other people’s money, why not??!!). Sorry you have to endure these pitiful legal antics, Elaine Allyn. Some folks refuse any appeal to good sense and reason. Especially while spending money NOT THEIR OWN….(money that could go to support childrens’ programs).

    Reply
  17. Fran Sesti   July 27, 2017 at 5:15 am

    But those people still have their same jobs? Why do we vote for incumbents all the time everywhere? Fallbrook- get rid of them!!!

    Reply
  18. E. Lantry   July 27, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Justice FINALLY served!!! Shame on you FUESD! Do the right thing and pay Mrs. Allyn what you owe. It was wrongful termination. Plain and simple. Enough is enough!!!

    Reply
  19. Lee   July 27, 2017 at 9:19 am

    My dear fellow Fallbrookers, is anybody besides me TICKED OFF at this story?! Anybody?

    A computer tech, you know, one who installs the latest Windows and checks whether or not . . . the principal who could be watching porn on his/her office computer, earned . . . ONE HUNDRED AND THREE THOUSAND AND THREE HUNDRED NINETY-SEVEN DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And now she is to be awarded over ONE MILLION DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!! (Please don’t waste my time breaking down that number that part of it is legal fees and all that crud.)

    My point is that YOU AND I are paying for this [beep], yet our children consistently rank in the middle of the pack on international test scores.

    THIS is what our public education system is all about folks: MONEY! It is NOT about education; it is about MONEY! I have told you that over and over and over again.

    If a computer geek makes over a hundred grand, how much do you think the principal and other board members make?!

    And do YOU AND I, the taxpayers who fund this party, get to vote on these salaries? Of course not.

    We do NOT live in a democracy. We live in socialist fascism.

    http://villagenews.com/local/allyn-vs-fuesd-trial-begins/

    Reply
  20. Susie   July 27, 2017 at 10:22 am

    Governing Board, you are the body responsible for the continued employment of Singh and Proctor. While the monetary judgement will be paid by the taxpayers, the moral and ethical judgment against these 2, as well as the direction to drop any more unwinable, costly appeals, is YOUR responsibility. You were elected to represent the finical and ethical interests of the taxpayers. The court system has determined who was right and who was wrong. That part is over but your job isn’t. Do your job.

    Reply
  21. Mike Platis   July 27, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Hey Fallbrook Unified, you lost, and ultimately got caught cheating the students and community out of funds that should have gone to education. Now do the right thing and pay up. Prove you’re better than this judgement says you are.

    Reply
  22. Fed Up   July 27, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Enough already! Dr. Singh is bankrupting FUESD through her excessive spending. Her costly remodeling of the bathrooms at the District Office, her building of a Board Room (what was wrong with meeting at William H. Frazier), her unreasonably expensive travel expenses and now this. If the district had agreed to the original $600,000 settlement, we wouldn’t be here. Congratulations to Ms. Allyn for her victory. A big thank you to the jury for seeing how corrupt and evil the district powers are and awarding her the judgement. It is time to rid the School Board of the mindless rubber stampers who have their heads so far up Dr. Singh’s behind they can’t see the light. Lee, if you believe Ms. Allyn was over paid, I suggest you take a look at the raises Dr. Singh and her cronies have awarded themselves since she became superintendent. You’ll probably be as nauseated as I.

    Reply
    • Lee   July 28, 2017 at 9:11 am

      @ Fed Up

      I already am.

      Reply
  23. Randall Oto   July 27, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    “…reviewing its options to challenge it further.” WTF. FUESD needs to admit to their unlawful termination of Ms. Allyn, pay what has been decided on by the courts, and stop wasting taxpayer money.

    Reply
  24. grunt   July 27, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Lee- 2015, the Superintendent received $243,248.00 pay and benefits; the gardener got $78,317.00 pay and benefits. (source: http://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/2015/school-districts/san-diego/fallbrook-union-high/?page=3.

    You seem to be more upset that she is getting a settlement than at the people who abused her rights – she was wrongfully fired; I am sorry it comes out of our pocket books also BUT the administrators who did this act are the ones you should be pissed at

    Reply
    • Lee   July 28, 2017 at 9:12 am

      @ Grunt

      I’m ticked at the whole system.

      Reply
  25. Lynell Samuel   July 27, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    FUESD Stop the madness of trying to cover up your tracks of your wrong doing! Stop wasting the taxpayers money! The only ones who look foolish are you because u will continuously loose in this case which has been prominently in favor of Allen. So suck it up butter cup and just end this!

    Reply
  26. David Macek   July 27, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Dr. Singh BUSD is looking for a new Superintendent just saying maybe you could help out with the new high school on Gird. Ha Ha.

    Reply
  27. NoWay   July 27, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Isn’t it curious that NOT ONE SINGLE person has defended the administration or the board in this case. Where are all the hordes of taxpayers on your side where are all the people that believe you did the right thing by firing Mrs Allyn. NONE. There aren’t any. Because nobody believes, except you and your enormous egos think you did nothing wrong. My vote in the next election is to get rid of every board member. I’ll be running to make sure you don’t get in again. You are incompetent morons.

    Reply
    • FB Res   July 28, 2017 at 10:52 am

      You have MY support and, I am sure, the majority of the Fallbrook voters’ support.

      Reply
    • The beat goes on ...   July 28, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      You are of course, right! 30+ plus posts now and not one defense or support of the ad-minis-traitors at FUESD who in the eyes of the legal system wrongfully terminated Ms. Allyn.

      Must be nice to work for the ‘good ole boy’s’ society @ FUESD as an administrator and not have to face disciplinary consequences for harassment/bullying. Also, costing the district and the taxpayers well over a million dollars. Chump change to them I guess!

      Reply
    • De Luz Neighbor   July 29, 2017 at 10:20 am

      If you’re elected we’ll expect you to not let-up until you’ve replaced this pathetic staff with worthy and proven leaders.

      Reply
  28. Alex Kaseberg   July 28, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    Victory for Elaine and the Allyns. Good.

    Reply
    • Lee   July 31, 2017 at 12:57 pm

      @ Alex

      Alex, pull your head out of your rear end, will you?

      No, not good. You and I pay for this ENTIRE mess: the salaries, the settlement, everything. Elaine Allyn LOVES the fact that ignorant folks like you are on her side . . . cuz she is gettin’ her MONEY. Instead, you should be ticked off how much money she is getting and the salaries of ALL public education employees . . . that you and I are funding! THAT’S the real issue here! Why do you think she is suing the district . . . to restore her name and honor? You truly believe that?

      MONEY!

      Elaine Allyn loves somebody like you: one who thinks he is cheering on an apparent right, but doesn’t see the wrong committed.

      Reply
      • FB Res   August 3, 2017 at 9:56 am

        Lee – you have ZERO idea what Elaine thinks or what she went through. She was never after the money, she was after JUSTICE for being wrongfully terminated. And yes, to restore her name and reputation. Period.

        I know Elaine very well, and it is clear you have an agenda and do not. You simply do not have a clue on this and want it to be about money. You are wrong as the day is long.

        You are the only one with their head up the backside.

        Reply
  29. Preston   July 28, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    David Macek,
    I do not believe there are enough build-able acres on the Gird Road site to support a full service High School which I believe Bonsall will eventually want. Hopefully the new superintendent will have the common sense to find a suitable location

    Reply
  30. Concerned Fallbrookian   July 29, 2017 at 9:47 am

    The school board renewed 4 year contracts for Singh, Proctor, and Billingsley. Are you kidding me?

    Reply
  31. CantBelieveIt   August 2, 2017 at 10:41 am

    They are continuing this same stuff with many of their employees that they have terminated since 2013.

    I’m sure more will be shed to light soon.

    Reply

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