Saturday, July 22, 2006

SMC's Travesty of Decency

Robert Sammis has emailed me back, completely ignoring my requests to either dismiss the wrongful suspension against me or, alternatively, to provide me a suspension appeal hearing date no later than July 31, 2006. Over and over again, Santa Monica College has shown through its administration that it does not consider its students to have any rights whatsoever, despite Constitutional guarantees to such as well as the contractual obligations owing its students by virtue of its many written promises pertaining to "due process," equitable treatment, freedom of association, redress of grievances, and freedom of speech. Absent court intervention, I doubt that SMC will ever comply with the law or its own board policies and administrative regulations.

Robert Sammis' travesty of decency is not just directed against our students, but against our faculty as well. A few years ago, Sammis was found to have acted in bad faith in his settlement negotiations with the faculty over equitable pay and its contractual disputes. For denying us all our rights and contractual promises, the SMC administration has rewarded itself with pay increases to bolster its already overpriced six-figure salary. Add to this the money spent on legal fees to Sammis' former law firm, and there is little else left for the students and faculty. Clearly, we're all getting the short end of the stick.

-- Des Manttari,
Phoenix Genesis

(c) 2006: Phoenix Genesis/MBS LP

----------------------- MY EMAIL TO ROBERT SAMMIS ------------------------


July 22, 2006

Dear Mr. Sammis,

On or about July 22, 2006, you wrote the following to me via email:

"The District has no reason to dismiss your suspension. As I stated in my last two emails, the District is waiting for your attorney to let us know what dates for a hearing work for you. If I do not get any dates from you or your attorney by August 1, 2006, the District will proceed to unilaterally set the date for the hearing."

Obviously, you do not read my emails to you, although you include them in your responses to me. I have made several attempts to provide dates. On or about June 13, 2006, I emailed you with tentative dates. I did not hear back from you, so I sent you an email reminder on June 16, 2006. Again, you allowed the time to elapse for a hearing date and did not email me back until well after a month.

Again, I gave notice to the District via President Chui L. Tsang via email and certified mail regarding a date on or about July 20, 2006. I received no response. I sent him an email reminder on July 21, 2006 and still have not received a response. Thereafter, I emailed you yesterday and included the hyperlink of the Adobe PDF certified letter I sent President Tsang. You of course received this notice as you referenced this document in your recent email to me. To make absolutely sure the District received notice; I have even posted the relevant correspondence on my SAVE SMC blog.

Simply put, the District is unwilling to set a suspension appeal hearing within the mandated time frame, let alone any reasonable time frame, and now wishes to ignore my requests by unilaterally setting any date it wishes, in violation of my rights. You claim that the "District has no reason to dismiss" my suspension, yet the District has been provided ample reasons in writing. To reiterate, SMC did not comply with the law regarding notice, hearing dates, or confirmation of the suspension. Judith Penchansky, acting under her authority as campus disciplinarian, has failed to allow me physical inspection of my disciplinary records. In fact, she is withholding at least one witness statement on my behalf, which we all know she received.

Neither Ms. Penchansky nor you have provided me any answers to my questions, including what specific student conduct codes I violated with each of the overly vague summary allegations you make in the May 23, 2006 suspension email and letter provided to me. You have additionally failed to provide me with the names and titles of the appeal hearing committee. You have failed to provide me with the names of witnesses to be called against me. The District has failed to conduct any investigation into my case or provide me with any finding of facts. The District has failed to show how the Student Conduct Codes it lists in my suspension apply to any alleged misconduct. The District has failed to afford me any hearing or conference prior to suspending me. The District has failed to provide any clear and convincing grounds to justify either an immediate interim suspension or a two-year suspension.

The District did not provide me with timely notification of any allegations against me until well after I filed my timely appeal on June 6, 2006, thereby withholding information that I could have used in responding to my suspension. In fact, on our April 21, 2006 meeting, you provided me with a few flimsy student records and a few SMCPD incident reports. You claimed that there was nothing else in my file. However, after I filed my June 6, 2006, you mailed me a large stack of questionable allegations against me, most of which was email correspondence or otherwise informal in nature (some of which wasn't even signed). By virtue of your admissions on April 21, 2006 and SMC's failure to disclose these records or allow inspection of my records, it is clear that the bulk of this evidence against me was manufactured after the fact.

At to this the fact that Professor Jim Keeshen had admitted to me well over a year ago that Ms. Penchansky was blackmailing him to write false statements against me on fear of job loss and that after I was exonerated in writing by Ms. Penchansky of these same charges, the District caused Professor Keeshen to write this false statement, which again was not timely executed or produced.

Given the overwhelming evidence against the District for its failure to comply with any minimal due process, let alone minimal courtesy, and there is adequate justification for the suspension to be dismissed forthwith. Again, I am waiting for a response from President Tsang regarding this matter.

Very Truly Yours,

Des Manttari /s/

Cc: President Chui L. Tsang
SMC Board of Trustees, Nancy Greenstein and Susan Aminoff

------------------------ ROBERT SAMMIS' EMAIL TO ME --------------------------

From: "Robert S"
To: "Phoenix Genesis"
Subject: Re: Third Request for Dismissal of Wrongful Suspension
Date: Sat, 22 Jul 2006 03:26:02 +0000 GMT


The District has no reason to dismiss your suspension. As I stated in my last two emails, the District is waiting for you or your attorney to let us know what dates for a hearing work for you.

If I do not get any dates from you or your attorney by August 1, 2006, the District will proceed to unilaterally set the date for the hearing.

Robert Sammis

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