As discussed previously on this blog, former Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) employee Scot Graham had brought sexual harassment claims against former superintendent Ramon Cortines. LAUSD held a press conference on May 23 announcing details of a settlement it believed the school district had reached with Graham. LAUSD noted during the press conference that Cortines had admitted to a sexual encounter with Graham but that Cortines believed that it had been consensual.
Graham had only verbally agreed to the settlement at the time; nothing had been signed. After the press conference however, Graham was unwilling to call the matter closed. He claims that he was greatly harmed by the way the LAUSD handled the information related to his settlement and that he had intended to quietly assert his sexual harassment claims.
According to Graham’s attorney, the press release and public relations campaign by LAUSD was, “[A] clear invasion of Mr. Graham’s privacy and placed him in a false light. Mr. Cortines [was afforded] the opportunity to state that an inappropriate sexual advance was consensual when, in fact, it was not.”
LAUSD requested that Graham return to work after he refused the settlement offer. But, Graham asserts that he has been constructively discharged from his position because of the press conference. His attorney claims that he has been humiliated by the LAUSD and that because of the school system’s actions, Graham can neither return to work nor find meaningful employment elsewhere.
The school board met to discuss any additional damages for Graham after the press conference, but declined to offer anything more than the original settlement to end the sexual harassment case.
Source: Los Angeles Daily News, “Sex not consensual, LAUSD leasing manager says of claim by ex-Superintendent Ramon Cortines,” Barbara Jones, June 5, 2012