D.A. Studies Allegations of Board ‘Bribe’
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said it is reviewing allegations by state Assemblyman Curtis R. Tucker that Inglewood school board members tried to “bribe” former Supt. Rex Fortune by offering to rehire him if he helped a board member defeat a felony charge.
Steve Sowder, head deputy district attorney for special investigations, said the agency will decide within two weeks whether to launch a full investigation.
Tucker, in a statement to the news media this week, claimed that board majority members attempted to bribe Fortune by including, as a condition of his reinstatement, that he aid board member Caroline Coleman in her defense.
To Stand Trial
Coleman last week was ordered to stand trial on a felony charge that she embezzled more than $1,200 in district funds.
Last week, board members voted unanimously to begin negotiations to rehire Fortune. No conditions were voted on. School board President William Dorn, however, presented a list of conditions he said Fortune would have to meet before he would vote to rehire him.
No condition regarding Coleman was on that list, but Dorn said another board member proposed it during a private board session and an attorney for the board included it on a list of possible conditions. Board members, he said, could not agree on the list and did not vote on it. Dorn would not say who proposed the condition. Coleman could not be reached for comment.
In his statement, the Inglewood Democrat also demanded the resignations of Coleman and Dorn. He said he also will ask the Judicial Performance Commission to investigate Judge Roosevelt Dorn, a longtime Inglewood political figure who is William Dorn’s uncle. Tucker accused him of “meddling” in school affairs, which the judge has denied.
Dorn has denied any wrongdoing and said he will not resign.