Complete coverage of the sexual abuse scandal at a South Los Angeles elementary school

LAUSD Assigns New Law Firm to Miramonte Child Abuse Cases

LAUSD had initially hired the Sedgwick Law Firm, with chief attorney Thomas Delaney at the onset of the Miramonte scandal.

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Sean Andrade (left), partner at the law firm of Andrade and Gonzalez.

    In a move that has attorneys for the victims of the Miramonte child abuse case scratching their heads, the Los Angeles Unified School District has added a new set of attorneys to the case, which is set for trial in July.

    LAUSD had initially hired the Sedgwick Law Firm, with chief attorney Thomas Delaney at the onset of the Miramonte scandal. Speaking with only NBC4 in February, LAUSD General Counsel David Holmquist insisted the decision was a strategic one for the district because of Sedgwick's ability to handle high-profile cases. Under Delaney, seven additional attorneys were helping with the case. The addition of the new firm adds at least two more.

    LAUSD General Counsel Exclusive Interview

    [LA] LAUSD General Counsel Exclusive Interview
    We've been trying to get answers for you about allegations against the LA Unified School District that it mismanaged the Miramonte child abuse cases. In an exclusive interview with John Cádiz Klemack, David Holmquist, the General Counsel for the LAUSD, says his office doesn't need the school board's approval to make hiring decisions involving lawyers for the Miramonte sex abuse scandal. (Published Monday, Feb 10, 2014)

    In a filing with the California Superior Court, Sedgwick associated the law firm of Andrade and Gonzalez. Sean Andrade, partner in the firm, had been handling the District's insurance policies with the cases.

    Holmquist Responds to LAUSD Miramonte Case Cronyism Charge

    [LA] Holmquist Responds to LAUSD Miramonte Case Cronyism Charge
    Previous information from an LAUSD whistle blower alleging cronyism in the district leads to more questions of scandal. For the first time, NBC4 gets answers to questions of LAUSD management and their handling of the Miramonte school sex scandal. John Cádiz Klemack reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. (Published Monday, Feb 10, 2014)

    Until April 21st, as NBC4 reported, Andrade had been the lead attorney defending LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy and former Miramonte principals Richard Lopez and Martin Sandoval. During the hearing on April 21, Luis Carrillo, one of eight attorneys representing the dozens of Miramonte victims, objected in open court to Andrade's appearance as the district "double-dipping" taxpayers. Judge John Wiley questioned Andrade about his presence and reconfirmed that Deasy, Lopez and Sandoval had been removed from the list of defendants. Andrade remained for the morning session but did not return in the afternoon.

    NBC4 has made repeated attempts to find out from LAUSD if attorney Andrade was still paid for his time in court that day, even after the judge deemed him solely a "member of the public." To date, the district has not answered that question.

    Carrillo sent a statement to NBC4 regarding this new association with Andrade and repeated his claims of wasted tax payer money.

    "The LAUSD repeatedly tells the community that the LAUSD is working for the best interests of the children in the school district," Carrillo said, "but instead of spending money for books or in the classrooms, the LAUSD is now paying double for two law firms to defend the LAUSD in the Miramonte cases."

    In a previous report, NBC4 obtained the billing charges for the lawfirms representing LAUSD in the Miramonte matter. The hourly rates proved to be double those of attorneys already on the District's defense panel - including attorneys who already had previous winning records with child abuse cases for the District.

    We reached out again for comment from the public relations firm hired solely to handle media inquiries in regards to the Miramonte case, but we have yet to get any official statement

    Follow NBCLA for the latest LA news, events and entertainment: iPhone/iPad App | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | RSS | Text Alerts | Email Alerts