Narbonne football coach Manuel Douglas files lawsuit against LAUSD

Narbonne coach Manuel Douglas and player Tray Boone
Narbonne coach Manuel Douglas, left, congratulates player Tray Boone during the 2011 City Section championship game.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Narbonne football coach Manuel Douglas, reassigned from coaching and teaching since May, when the Los Angeles Unified School District launched an investigation into an allegation of academic misconduct at the school, has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court.

According to the complaint filed Monday against the LAUSD and three LAUSD individuals, Douglas is alleging the district has brought “false and unsubstantial” proceedings against him, destroying his reputation and causing him “severe emotional distress.”

He’s seeking $1 million in general damages and $1 million in compensatory damages along with attorney fees.

The filing adds the first on-the-record insight into what has become a five-month investigation by the LAUSD’s inspector general’s office.

The lawsuit alleges Douglas was removed May 30 for an allegation of “misconduct involving interference with an on-going District investigation.” On Aug. 19, he was given a second notice for reassignment regarding an investigation that the complaint says took place two years earlier. On Sept. 3, he was given a third notice of reassignment for an “allegation of misconduct that involves possible misuse of funds.” Douglas has used his own money for extra equipment, according to the lawsuit.


LAUSD Supt. Austin Buetner and Sal Randazzo and Donald McMillen of the inspector general’s office are named in the lawsuit.

The LAUSD said in a statement: “While we cannot comment on pending litigation, the Los Angeles Unified School District remains committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all students. We also have a duty to ensure serious allegations are investigated.”

Douglas guided Narbonne to five consecutive City Section upper division championships. He was a special education teacher until he was sent home at the end of May and has been spending days at home while being paid by the district during the investigation. The principal, athletic director and assistant principal in charge of athletics have all been replaced for the new school year.

Narbonne named Joe Aguirre the interim football coach.