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Friday, January 12, 2018

Former Hayward school board member failed to respond to lawsuit resulting in $660,000 judgment against school district

Then-Hayward school board member John
Taylor ran for the City Council in 2016.
HAYWARD SCHOOL BOARD
During the spring of 2016, then-Hayward school board member John Taylor was entering the stretch run of his ultimately ill-fated campaign for the City Council. But during a period when the Hayward school board was warring with each other over disciplining its embattled superintendent, Taylor, in particular, says he was pre-occupied with issues other than his duties as a school board member.

According to a wrongful termination lawsuit filed against the school district in Alameda County Superior Court by a former employee in March 2016, Taylor, as the Hayward school board's appointed clerk, failed to notify the school district's attorneys about the pending lawsuit, leaving them in the dark over the case. Now, the mistake could prove costly to the struggling school district's bottom line.

On Oct. 30, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Michael Markman issued a default judgment in favor of the former employee totaling $660,994, which includes compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of past and future earnings.

The school district motioned the court last Nov. 16 to have the judgment set aside. However, Judge Markman issued a tentative ruling on Thursday that finds the school district's attorney's failed to file the motion to vacate the default within the six-month deadline that followed the original default issued on Nov. 1, 2016. Thursday's hearing was continued to Tuesday, Jan. 30.

According to Taylor, he was dealing with a number of personal matters that precluded him from checking the post office box registered in his name, including a claim he suffered a stroke in April 2016--roughly a month after the lawsuit was originally filed..

"During this time, I was also going through a divorce," wrote Taylor. "Many of my obligations suffered, and I also missed board meetings during that time. As a result, I was not regularly checking my mailbox a that time."

Taylor, according to the affidavit, states he had never before received a complaint via the post office box.

The plaintiff's attorney Cable Gallagher, in an email, questioned Taylor's story. "Curiously, despite his alleged issues, Mr. Taylor was somehow able to mount a campaign for Hayward City Council in mid-2016."

During the June 2016 Hayward City Council elections, Taylor, in a bid for four at-large seats, finished a distant sixth out of 10 candidates. Taylor's school board seat was up for re-election later in November 2016, but he did not seek re-election.

The wrongful termination lawsuit arrived at a time of disarray at the Hayward Unified School District. The Hayward school board was battling with each other and then-Superintendent Stan "Data" Dobbs over an incident in which Dobbs allegedly attacked two school board members during a closed session meeting in September 2015.

Dobbs was later put on administrative leave through much of the first half of 2016. An investigation by the school board led to a salacious report that portrayed Dobbs as having a volatile temper and allegations by a former school district employee of sexually harassment.

Taylor, though, proved to be a strong supporter of Dobbs throughout. But their relationship also got each other in hot water. An investigation determined that Taylor, with tacit approval from Dobbs, improperly used a school district print shop to create signs and other campaign materials for Taylor's city council run. The matter was forwarded to the Alameda County District Attorney's office, but no charges were filed. In hindsight, the print shop controversy occurred during the same period of time now being contested in the wrongful termination lawsuit.

2 comments:

  1. Corrupt, but a favorite of Hayward City Council. Hayward CLASS goes after Reynoso but Dobbs and Taylor are the crooked ones. Curiosly, I saw Taylor at the Dollar Cleaners around that time frame that he was preoccupied, divorcing and under doctor's care. Priorities!

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  2. Construction of the schools should stop, until this Dobbs mess is finished. More cut backs may need to be made!
    Many Hayward schools don’t have heat or air-conditioning and leaky roofs. How much has the school district paid out for slip and falls from water leaks, in hallways and class rooms? What is the transparency on that?
    If Dobbs is paid off, the man who left the district millions in dept, will they shut off the schools lights off next?
    Lead is leaching from the water faucets and bottled water is not provided for students. The new law states, schools have to provide tampons for female students. There is no money for that either.
    Where can we cut more money from the students education and facilities, to pay off of an ill moral person who attacked his bosses, the trustees? He had an affair on his lunch time. Read the police report and the paper written from the Board’s attorney, why Dobbs was fired. You will have a better picture, why this man was fired.
    Dobbs’ friend from San Diego, (College Bound vendor) who makes $78,630 for 24 hours of work, should be the next to go. What else can the district cut back on? How about the teachers’ union paying the wages for their union leader, out of their own pockets, not from the general fund? Which other employees should be laid off? Pink slips should be considered.
    Dobbs singlehandedly is taking down the indebted school district. The students will suffer.
    Make no mistake; Dobbs' interest is not for the students.
    Any parent supporting this man, what are you willing to give up for your child’s education, to pay off Dobs? What can this underfunded school district, from over spending, sacrifice and take away from the students?
    Dobbs’ degree is not in education. Why was he hired? His college can get him another job in business, or he can be an entrepreneur. He should reinvent himself and stay away from school districts.

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