By Terry Miller
In the wake of the firing of coach O’Brien at Arcadia High School, twelve alumnus , students and parents have joined forces in an intensive effort to recall AUSD Board members Kasy Kinsler, Cung Nguyen and Lori Phillip.
Heading the group who recently filed a “notice of intention to circulate recall petition” with the city of Arcadia August 6, is headed by Alumni Esmond Wei. Wei told the Arcadia Weekly that he believes the AUSD has been operating as a “closed door” operation for far too long and deems the board doesn’t listen to community members’ desires and is not acting in good faith.
Wei said that he and scores of people in Arcadia feel strongly about the unsubstantiated allegations about Coach O’Brien which date back considerably.
One issue at hand is a list of O’Biren’s alleged CIF violations that Arcadia High School formally sent to CIF officials. However, according to Wei, the principal refused to allow O’Brien to see the letter thereby disallowing him the opportunity for adequate defense against said allegations.
Wei said that the group is growing and starting a fundraising campaign to get to the bottom of the story and hopefully restore Coach O’Brian’s good name.
Regarding the “arrest” of O’Brien in ’07 for allegedly laying hands on a student, Wei said the whole thing was “bogus.” He was not charged and no record appears in the archives of the District Attorney.
Wei also told Arcadia Weekly that he thinks District Superintendent Joel Shawn has not treated O’Brien fairly.
The recall attempt is warranted ” due to a lack of responsiveness to concerns raised by public and staff; a lack of oversight and failure to require accountability from administrators; and a failure to provide leadership to our school.” Adiitionally the complaint states ” Mr. Nguyen’s refusal to communicate with the coach to gather all the facts – as allowed by Govmt. Code 54952.2(b) -we believe that Nguyen to not have acted in good faith in the situation.”
Similar complaints have been filed again Kinsler and Phillipi.
Wei said a website will be up and running in a matter of days to allow people to contribute to the effort to recall the school board members