On Friday, Jan. 3 at a case management conference, Vista Superior Court Judge Jacqueline M. Stern set a new trial date of April 18 for the Elaine Allyn vs. Fallbrook Union Elementary School District (FUESD) case. 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.
Allyn, who is represented by Michael Curran of Curran & Curran Law, has claimed she was wrongfully terminated by FUESD administrators in 2012, after 18 years of employment, in an act of retaliation and that the district violated public policy by misusing public funds. When the mistrial was declared, Curran placed the blame on FUESD’s defense counsel for “wasting everyone’s time and resources due to intentionally prolonged examination of their defendants.”
Conversely, FUESD attorney Gil Abed of Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz, APC, said, “We are very disappointed that we were not able to complete this trial and show the jury the abundance of evidence justifying the dismissal of a management employee in the district.”
In the retrial, Curran said, “The evidence in the second trial will be just what the first trial included – a breach of power and a cover up by the two most powerful administrators in the district – Candace Singh and
“This case is very troubling as it has administrators who commit questionable acts with no accountability, who are willing to spend any amount of public funds necessary in an attempt to cover up,” said Curran. “They spent $42,000 on an investigation designed to place blame on Ms. Allyn. That’s reprehensible.”
Curran also filed an amended claim (requesting over $1.5 in lost past and future wages, benefits, punitive damages, and attorneys fees, compared to the original amount of $972,000.), which the district has denied, he said. “Because the court date is coming up so soon, Ms. Allyn is not amending her Superior Court complaint however, she is confident that all the allegations in the amended tort complaint will be brought forth at the second trial. [FUESD board members] will now be on Ms. Allyn’s witness list.”
Transcripts from testimony heard in the first trial are likely to be introduced at the retrial, Curran said. “Impeachments made by witnesses are locked in. These will be read to the new jury in the retrial. They will hear the same thing the first jury did.”
Curran said his client is ready for the next stage of proceedings.
“We are very much looking forward to the second trial, completing the trial, and getting our jury verdict,” said Curran. “Ms. Allyn is also contemplating a separate lawsuit against Ms. Singh individually, Mr. Bixler individually, and the [FUESD] board members named in the tort claim individually for defamation per se, falsely and with no evidence whatsoever, accusing Ms. Allyn of being immoral and dishonest in her employment/profession at FUESD.” Some of these allegations appear to be as a result of a letter to the editor submitted by FUESD board members and published in the Nov. 14, 2013 issue of the Fallbrook/Bonsall Village News.
Although contacted, FUESD legal counsel chose not to provide any updated information for this story.