Total Recall

A timeline

March:Kevin Murphy circulates recall clipboard at district board meeting.

March:First meetings and formation of "CUSD Recall Committee."

March:Mission Viejo parents create Modernization Committee at Newhart Middle School, take pictures of poor facilities and put them online.

Late March:District office receives copy of recall e-mail; Superintendent James Fleming and personal secretary Kate McIntyre allegedly create first list of recall proponents.

April 25:Recall Committee serves intention-to-recall notices at board meeting to all seven trustees.

May-October:Recall movement gathers 25,000 signatures per trustee.

Early October:Petitions turned in to registrar's office.

November:The Orange County Register details how the district administration building was funded.

Dec. 22:Registrar announces that thousands of signatures are invalid, leaving too few for recall election.

Late December:Kevin Murphy leaves recall group.

Early January:Recall group goes to registrar's office to review rejected signatures.

Early January:Assistant Superintendent Susan McGill and Director of Communications David Smollar go to registrar's office, review petitions and allegedly compile the names of signature gatherers. List is typed up, including names and schools of petition gatherers' children, and given to Fleming (recall list No. 2).

February:County district attorney's office launches investigation of the district.

February-March:Recall Committee prepares report detailing registrar errors—several thousand signatures found by group to be wrongly rejected by registrar.

April:New recall group (minus Kevin Murphy) decides to focus on electing three new trustees during November elections.

May:Smollar resigns.

July 10:Story breaks in the Register regarding recall list No. 2. Fleming denies knowing anything about the list.

July 11:Register story details how Registrar Neal Kelly illegally permitted district administrators to view recall petitions.

Mid-July:Members of four South County city councils call for Fleming resignation/termination. Fleming again denies knowing about the lists.

Mid-July:Fleming sends e-mail to district PTA and administrators detailing his recovered memory over the lists. They were created, he says, to see if anyone had hacked into the district's school databases.

July 19:Fleming announces resignation.

July 29:Closed- and open-session Saturday meeting. Closed session: Fleming's retirement package is approved. Also, board votes on hiring retired judge Stuart Waldrip to conduct investigation into the lists.

July 31:Ron Lackey files lawsuit alleging Brown Act violations during closed-session meetings.

Aug. 14:DA's office raids Fleming's and other district offices; confiscates computers and files. Fleming gives farewell speech at district board meeting.

Aug. 16:Yearlong grand jury testimony begins, featuring 14 district administrators and employees.

November:"ABC Reform" slate succeeds at the ballot box; three incumbents defeated and three new trustees elected to the board.

November:Register story: Facilities director David Doomey admits publicly at district board meeting that Mello-Roos taxes were used for administration building.

December:Waldrip completes report.

May:Fleming and McGill indicted on charges of misappropriating district funds and perjury (McGill).

July:Petition to conduct a recall of trustees Sheila Benecke and Marlene Draper presented at board meeting.

September:New interim superintendent Woodrow Carter presides over first board meeting; recall committee begins new signature-gathering drive.

Oct. 5:Pretrial hearing scheduled for Fleming and McGill.

 
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