James Fleming

  • Blogs

    October 20, 2011

    Ex-Superintendent James Fleming Sues Capistrano Unified School District For Damages

    Fleming​Nearly a year after a state appeals court dropped charges against him, James Fleming is suing Capistrano Unified School District for in attorney fees and lost wages--which one of Fleming's attorneys once estimated at more than $1.6 million.The former superintendent filed a complaint in Ora ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 1, 2011

    Did Appeals Court Read Own Ruling Clearing OCDA and Capistrano Unified Schools' Susan McGill?

    ​In their California 4th Appellate District, Division 3, ruling in McGill v. Superior Court of Orange County, the justices exonerate both Susan McGill and the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA), which brought charges against the Capistrano Unified School District's former assistant su ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 22, 2010

    James Fleming, Ex-Capistrano Unified Superintendent, Wins Appeal in "Enemies List" Case

    ​Three years after James Fleming, the former superintendent of Capistrano Unified School District, was indicted for allegedly creating an "enemies" list of parents and students and then lying about it, a state appeals court has let him off the hook.All of the ex-administrator's actions were legal ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 11, 2010

    Our Shortlist of Superintendents for Capistrano Unified

    Illustration by Evan YarboroughFormer CUSD Supt. Woodrow Carter, presumably resting in retirement.​The beleaguered Capistrano Unified School District has been through about, oh, 732 different superintendents in the past, say, four years. Following the firing of facial-loving supe Woodrow Carter la ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 23, 2010

    Why Can't Capistrano Unified Find Happiness?

    Our CUSD cover story from 2007.​The teachers' strike at Capistrano Unified School District is grabbing a lot of news coverage, from KCAL to KPPC. Anyone who doesn't live in South County and/or who hasn't been paying attention to CUSD before this, though, doesn't appreciate the fact that the turmoi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 30, 2009

    Capo Unified's Fleming Delays His Day in Court, Again

    Anna, James, Maya: All reminders of a simpler time.​Remember 2007? M.I.A. released a really good album, the surge in Iraq was all the talk, Anna Nicole Smith laid to rest her gentle head and everyone assumed Hillary Clinton was going to be the next President.It was also the year in which James Fle ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 21, 2009

    Capistrano Unified Recall Leader Weighs In On Film, Is Mum About Excluded Journalist

    City of Rancho Santa MargaritaTony BeallAs if to demonstrate why anyone would be interested in a movie about school districts, Capistrano Unified delivered some of its trademark drama at last night's premier of Not As Good As You Think (which we previewed here). Capistrano Dispatch editor Jonathan V ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 19, 2009

    Capistrano Unified Is Cinematic Posterchild For Dysfunctional Schools [Updated]

    Hey, look! The fresh faces you normally see at the average Capistrano Unified School District board meeting have been picked up and plopped into a professional-looking documentary trailer: NOT AS GOOD AS YOU THINK - Official Trailer from Lucas Abel on Vimeo.The movie, sponsored by the pro-"school c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 7, 2009

    Indicted Ex-Superintendent Flies Back to Never Neverland

    Almost two years after making headlines for being the highest public official to ever be indicted in Orange County (this was pre-Carona), ex-superintendent James Fleming, and indicted ex-assistant superintendent Susan McGill, walked out of the Orange County Courthouse today unfazed by the court tria ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 3, 2009

    Woodrow Carter, In Your Facial

    The Temecula Creek Inn--with its views of miles of verdant, vine-covered hills, a golf course, sumptuous spa treatments and nearby wine tastings--is a splendid spot for a decadent weekend getaway. In late 2007, about a month after beginning his post as Capistrano Unified School District's newest sup ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 10, 2009

    James Fleming Gets An Extension on His Homework

    Two-and-a-half years since resigning as superintendent of the Capistrano Unified School District, 21 months since being first arraigned, and more than three hours after showing up for trial on the second floor of the Santa Ana courthouse this morning, James Fleming -- along with ex-assistant-superin ... More >>

  • News

    January 22, 2009
  • Blogs

    January 7, 2009

    Is The New Capistrano Unified Board As Creepy As The Old One?

    Even with June's final ousting of the remaining trustees who served under Nixon-wannabe superintendent James Fleming, the South-County shitshow that is Capistrano Unified School District hasn't been showing any less shit lately. In fact, the newly monolithic slate of "reform" trustees (the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 20, 2008

    School Board Awarded...For Violating the Law!

    The Capistrano Unified School Board was honored with a coveted "Darkness Award" by the California First Amendment Coalition this past weekend. Winners who earn the award usually, among other things, lie, thwart freedom of speech and subvert the public's right to know. The old Capo board (which pred ... More >>

  • Columns

    May 29, 2008
  • Blogs

    January 22, 2008

    How to Avoid a Total Recall

    So, this has nothing to do with Heath Ledger's overdose, but it's news that broke today and we've been with this story for a while now, so what the hell. Last September we spent some time with the CUSD Recall Committee, a feisty, frustrated group of parents and South County residents who pledged t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 9, 2008

    Please Quit Now, Pretty Please!

    Guys, either you go or you're going to cost everyone a lot of money -- that's roughly the sentiment delivered to longstanding Capistrano Unified School District trustees Marlene Draper and Sheila Benecke Tuesday by three of the seven members on the tense and divided board. The three newest trustee ... More >>

  • Features

    December 27, 2007

    The Real Portables of South County

    2007: A year to remember

  • Blogs

    December 21, 2007

    Holy Christmas! Embattled CUSD Trustees and Ex-Sup Join Santa!

    We couldn't believe it ourselves, but proof arrived in our offices today and it appears that embattled Capistrano Unified School District trustees Sheila Benecke and Marlene Draper have joined indicted ex-superintendent James Fleming in the North Pole! Although the two trustees -- who are the subj ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 7, 2007

    No Pretrial (Yet) for Indicted Ex-School Superintendent

    Indicted Capistrano Unified School District ex-superintendent James Fleming, and his old cohort, former assistant superintendent Susan McGill had the chance to breathe sighs of relief this morning. Lawyers for the two were granted a motion to reschedule a pretrial hearing which was scheduled for thi ... More >>

  • Columns

    November 1, 2007


    "There is a huge difference between the FBI and the media."

  • Features

    October 25, 2007

    OC's Scariest People

    Our Congressional delegation tops this year’s list of 33 villains (31 for October, plus two more to get to the Dia de los Muertos, ese)

  • Blogs

    October 19, 2007

    Showdown in South County School District

    News of a damning District Attorney report that found four current and three former trustees who served on the board of the 51,000-student Capistrano Unified School District repeatedly violated open meeting laws by holding illegal closed meetings (See, "Brown Act Blues," Oct. 18), culminated today w ... More >>

  • News

    October 18, 2007

    Brown Act Blues

    The DA doesn’t file criminal charges against CAPO Unified School trustees, but their violations of the state open-meeting law will go on their permanent records

  • News

    October 11, 2007

    Caught in Violation of the Act

    WEB EXCLUSIVE! DAs report finds Capistrano Unified held illegal closed meetings

  • Blogs

    October 5, 2007

    Day In Court for Indicted Ex-Sup Delayed

    An Orange County judge granted a new pretrial hearing date for ex-superintendent of Capistrano Unified School District, James Fleming and ex-assistant superintendent, Susan McGill. The pretrial hearing was scheduled for this morning, with a jury trial set to begin Oct. 29, but lawyers for both McGil ... More >>

  • Features

    October 4, 2007

    Total Recall

    A timeline

  • Features

    October 4, 2007

    Hard Knocks

    Three years in the life of the Capistrano Unified School District

  • News

    August 23, 2007

    Recall Madness!

    The nuts and bolts (with extra nuts) of direct democracy gone wild

  • Blogs

    June 15, 2007

    Friday's Headlines

    More meat on our story, please? There are dirty details to be had in the ongoing Great Park tale. But instead, the Register gives us stuff like this. And this. Tolls to rise: Starting July 2, they'll be taking a little more of your money at selected onramps on the Foothill/Eastern and San Joaquin t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 25, 2007

    The worst kind of Supe

    What kind of guy can go from being state superintendent of the year to an indicted fellow who may be facing four years in the slammer? Try former Capistrano Unified Superintendent James Fleming. Last August, Fleming (once the highest-paid education chief in all the Orange land), retired amid acc ... More >>

  • Columns

    July 27, 2006

    Diary of a Mad County

    July 19 - July 25

  • Columns

    July 13, 2006

    Diary of a Mad County

    July 5 - July 11