John Cádiz Klemack
Earlier this year, LAUSD tried to keep former risk manager Greg Breed quiet over his knowledge of the Miramonte sex scandal. On Wednesday, Breed spoke out to NBC4 for the first time about his lawsuit against the school district. John Cádiz Klemack reports from downtown LA for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
A risk manager who worked on the Miramonte Elementary School sex scandal alleges that the LAUSD wasted taxpayer money by paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to people who were not victims of abuse allegedly by a former teacher.
As the former LAUSD chief risk manager, Gregg Breed said he was in charge of a plan to settle 63 cases with Miramonte victims.
Timeline: Miramonte Sex Abuse Case
Document: Breed v. LAUSD
“Their initial plan was to take all of these cases on Miramonte to trial and I suggested no," he said in exclusive interview with NBC4.
The district filed a restraining order against Breed in June to try to keep him quiet, afraid he'd reveal confidential information about Miramonte victims.
But a new complaint filed in court last week alleges the Los Angeles Unified School District wasted taxpayer money, saying some students weren’t victims.
Three of those alleged victims were paid $470,000 a piece, Breed said.
District officials deny the claims, chalking it up to a disgruntled employee.
“He was ill equipped for the job,” said Sean Rossall, a district spokesman.
But Breed, who boasts 30 years of risk management, says it was his outspoken worry about the attorneys assigned to the cases that ultimately got him ousted.
"It was cronyism," he said.
Breed said the district's general counsel's office hired lawyers who were not qualified to handle such cases.
But Rossall said the attorneys representing the school district in this case have such expertise.
Attorney Luis Carrillo, who represents some of the Miramonte victims, said the district was "farming out the business to their friends and cronies.
"Who's paying for it? The taxpayers," Carrillo said.
Attorney Brian Claypool, who also represents families of victims that have not settled with the district, said the allegations could be damning.
"If the allegations in this new lawsuit are true, it validates the fact that the LAUSD was just trying to throw a rug over all these cases,” he said. “They wanted it to go away and just write a check to these kids."
The accusations stem from the investigation involving former Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt, charged with 23 counts of lewd acts on 23 children age 7 to 10. He pleaded no-contest to the charges in November 2013.
Miramonte teacher Martin Springer also was charged with lewd acts on a child. He is awaiting trial.