Friday, April 14, 2006

My Email to Joshua Morrison re: SMC Litigation Proposal

Here is the email I sent Santa Monica College attorney Joshua Morrison on April 12, 2006. We had a brief discussion on the phone on or about March 30, 2006 in which I addressed these issues. He asked me for a litigation proposal. The email I sent him was my response. To date, I have not heard back from him or Judith Penchansky. What else is new at SMC? It seems that the dialogue streams flow one way: against the students.

-- Des Manttari,
Editor-in-Chief,
Phoenix Genesis

(c) 2006: Phoenix Genesis/MBS LP


--------------------------MY EMAIL TO JOSHUA MORRISON-----------------

Dear Mr. Morrison,

Finally, I have a brief break from my busy schedule to respond to you.

We spoke on the phone about the various issues outstanding on or about March 30, 2006. At this time, I mentioned that one of my main points of contention was the wrongful disciplinary hold placed on my student enrollment and records by Defendant Judith Penchansky, acting in her capacity as Dean of Judicial Affairs.

We are now in April 12, 2006 and I just logged onto my SMC student account and noticed that this wrongful disciplinary hold remains intact despite my objections and requests that it be removed. Additionally, on or about March 28, 2006, Ms. Penchansky sent me a letter threatening suspension from Santa Monica College based on the wrongful allegations by SMC Professor Jim Keeshen and his cohorts acting erroneously on behalf of the SMC Gaming Club.

In this letter, Ms. Penchansky is insisting that I meet with her. I emailed her last week and stated that based on my past experiences with her, that I wish to only communicate with her via writing. To date, I have not heard back from her yet the hold remains. Despite many requests for my student records, I have yet to receive them.

As I indicated in my last email to you, I spoke briefly with Robert Sammis during the break at the recent SMC Board of Trustees meeting. He indicated that I should call him Monday so that I can pick up my student records from him. I will follow through next Monday. If in fact I receive my records, that is tremendous progress in this case.

However, if we wish to effectively reach a mutual resolution, I will not be conducive to reaching such under the threat of Ms. Penchansky's blackmail and extortionist terms of suspension. Clearly, each and every allegation she is making that I "disrupted the learning environment" is based either on my legitimate pursuit of public records or under the false pretenses and retaliation of Jim Keeshen. As we both know, I have every right to seek public records and have done so in a professional manner. I have thoroughly documented my numerous good faith attempts to obtain these records and it is I who have been subjected to police abuse and harassment as a result.

Despite the numerous emails to various concerned individuals at SMC, including Mr. Sammis and the SMC Board of Trustees, no one has bothered to address the very serious concerns of Jim Keeshen's hate speech and threats to his students. In fact, it is now Penchansky who is attempting to retaliate against my grievances by sanctioning the unofficial and undocumented false allegations made by Jim Keeshen against me. She knows, or should know, that these allegations are false. Given the fact that her last letter was copied to AET Dean Katharine Muller, it is apparent that Dean Muller is acting with Penchansky to justify Jim Keeshen's hate speech and threats to his students.

To add insult to injury, Ms. Penchansky is now considering it an act warranting suspension to contact Prof. Keeshen via email to cease and desist his harassment of me and other students. This email was made public and done in good faith to stop his harassment as it has escalated in the recent months. Regardless, the email did nothing to stop the harassment received by Mr. Keeshen. After my March 15, 2006 email, Mr. Keeshen has continued to harass me and other students at SMC. For example, he infiltrated another professor's course and threatened two of my long-standing friends, one of which claimed that Prof. Keeshen has been making his life difficult and that Mr. Keeshen is not officially teaching this course. Why is Professor Keeshen being allowed by SMC to do these kinds of things? Is this not disruptive to the learning environment?

I have been informed by both a staff member and a student at AET that Professor Keeshen continues to spread his false and malicious rumors that I had a gun and threatened to kill two staff members at AET. Not only did Mr. Keeshen indicate on more than one occasion that he was blackmailed originally to make this statement on fear of job loss, but that Ms. Penchansky had already indicated back in June 2005 that this was a closed issue and nothing would appear in my student records. Now, despite her written agreement, she is again attempting to give life to these old lies through her recent threats of suspension.

To add further insult to injury, these lies against my good character were loudly announced on or about March 24, 2006 to my friends at school by and through SMC student Thomas J. Baker. Despite the fact that he had no authority to act on behalf of the SMC Gaming Club, he took it upon himself to lock me outside of the club meeting room with him, harass and threaten me, and attempt to have me arrested by campus police. When we were inside the room, he refused to call the meeting to order, despite repeated requests, used profanity against me, and stated that there were all kinds of police reports and witnesses to my alleged death threats. He did not state a single fact or witness to support these false contentions. In front of my long-standing friends, he stated that I was a danger to "everyone's lives" or words to that effect and force. At the time he made this statement, he and everyone else present who heard this knew it to be false.

He then further took it upon himself to summon campus police and, as a result, I was wrongfully detained alone with two different officers in a room and interrogated. Mr. Baker additionally lied to campus police, stating that I was not authorized to be on campus and this was heard by a handful of students. Despite the fact that Mr. Baker has condoned and participated in written terrorist threats against the SMC Associated Students, under the statements of advocating a "military coup" and my statements to the campus police as such, nothing was done to investigate this matter or to sanction Mr. Baker for his wrongful acts against me and other disabled students at SMC. Who is feeding these lies about me to Mr. Baker? How is it that he has allegedly seen all kinds of documentation against me, including his allegations that there are "witnesses" to me threatening people's lives in the library and that he's allegedly read all these police reports against me and I have not been given any such information?

As I stated to you and to everyone on March 24, 2006, if I were a legitimate threat to the school, I would have been removed long ago. I see this as pure malice based on the exercise of my various civil rights and a serious result of the school administration's failure to take immediate action against Mr. Keeshen.

As you know, Mr. Keeshen simply has no credibility. He has stated to his students that "lying is better than not lying" or words to that effect. He has stated to me on or about August 2005 that he's using the school to finish his "Day of the Dead" animated film, he has used me and many other students as cheap slave labor to work on his various commercial projects by and through the school's facilities and equipment. He has failed to file his mandated sabbatical report and has falsified documentation to the U.S. Department of Education via his bogus consultant contracts to wrongfully procure tens of thousands of dollars of federal grant money. He has made threats to his students, defamed the disabled with his March 1, 2006 hate speech, and has misused campus police and has written false allegations against me on numerous occasions. From what I heard, he may well have been the one behind Thomas J. Baker's recent hate crimes against us.

Additionally, Mr. Keeshen has willfully and maliciously infringed on my copyrighted work on more than one occasion and has further abused the eCollege eCompanion system by publishing derogatory comments and false claims as per credits to Seth MacFarlane's "Family Guy" pilot. Mr. Keeshen has also tampered with quizzes and grades and padded enrollment in his AET courses. Despite his elevated salary, obtained under the guise of vocational experience he does not really have, he has used me to do most of his work in his courses when I was his teaching assistant. In fact, he provided me with the key to his AET office, his logins, his computer and anything else I needed to do his job for him. During Fall 2004, he even left for approximately 10 days to go to Korea to work on his "Day of the Dead" film in the middle of the semester!

While his father was dying of cancer last spring semester, I took on the added responsibility of doing most of his work. I not only programmed the eCollege material for him, but also wrote the assignments and did all the grading and wrote the quizzes. I did this while working around the clock on my Holocaust educational game for my ET 42 class. I did this without being paid by him as he claimed he had no money. Despite all this monumental effort to help him and the school, I was falsely detained by campus police for using the computer lab and I was dragged into a meeting with Penchansky and Muller and Keeshen and the blackmail threats were made against me. Mr. Keeshen indicated that if I did not drop out of school, that SMC would make his life miserable. Since his father had less than a month to live, I complied with his requests.

I have been at SMC for over three years now. Until I asked Professor Keeshen to pay me on or about April 2005, I never had any problems. The night prior to the first false arrest attempt, I indicated to Mr. Keeshen that I would no longer work for him if he did not pay me. Although Mr. Keeshen has stated on several occasions that he is merely the "sacrificial lamb" in this scenario, it is becoming increasingly apparent that he is the cause of all this current litigation and strife among the SMC administration, the students, and myself.

Whether Mr. Keeshen is being instructed to act to drum up these allegations against me by Dean Muller and Dean Penchansky, or whether it is he who is fueling their administrative fire against me, I am the one who is suffering as a result. When a single student must suffer needlessly against this kind of harassment, abuse of the administrative process, and police abuse, the entire SMC community of alleged goodwill, respect, tolerance to diversity and equal educational access suffers.

First and foremost, in order to effectively come to a resolution on this instant litigation under the California Public Records Act, we must resolve these issues of the ongoing abuses against the students and myself by Mr. Keeshen. I expect not to be further harassed at school by him, any students or staff acting on his behalf, or by campus police. Secondly, I insist that the wrongful hold placed on my student records be removed forthwith and that Ms. Penchansky does not continue with her extortionist threats of suspension. Third, I expect that Mr. Sammis keep his word to provide me with my student records as promised. Fourth, I would like to know what, if any, reprimand will be taken against Thomas J. Baker for his hate crimes against us on March 24, 2006 and his abuse of the SMC campus police force.

If we can reach an amicable resolution on these matters, I will be willing to dismiss my public records case without prejudice. Again, I wish to return to my previous good status at SMC. However, I cannot do so if I must constantly be fearful for my safety and the safety of those who associate with me in good faith. As we all know, and as I have stated to you previously, Mr. Keeshen is a liability to the school. How the school wishes to deal with this liability is the school's responsibility, not mine. However, in the interim, as long as both Mr. Keeshen and I are at SMC, I expect the minimum courtesy of not being further harassed or threatened or to have more false allegations by him written against me. Back in August of last year, Ms. Penchansky informed both Mr. Lee and myself that Mr. Keeshen refused to attend the meeting that Penchansky had set up. Obviously, he is not interested in supporting these false allegations. If he is not interested, then the school should not be acting on his behalf to do so. If the school allows Mr. Keeshen to continue in his recent rampage of terror and violence, then I easily foresee future liability and potential litigation against the school.

Please be advised that I am willing to fight tooth and claw inside the legal arena if Ms. Penchansky attempts to suspend me from SMC based on the false allegations of both Mr. Keeshen and Mr. Baker. I have reported these abuses to various interested law enforcement agencies. If these abuses continue or if this disciplinary hold is not removed forthwith, I will also take action to contact any and all interested media outlets to expose this abuse of the educational environment. I, and the other innocent students at SMC, have simply had enough! This has gone on for a year now and we have done everything in our power to prove our innocence. As you are well aware, it is unethical to use these kinds of retaliatory and criminal tactics against a person to settle a civil matter. Despite all this, I am willing to move forward as you suggested in amicably resolving the public records case and I look forward to your prompt response.

Very Truly Yours,
Des Manttari



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