Friday, September 08, 2006

SMC Drops Its Suspension Hearing

Santa Monica College has backed down from its suspension hearing, which it had unilaterally set, despite my written objections, for today and next week. Pursuant to the law and its own policies, SMC had ten days from the date of my suspension appeal to hold an impartial hearing. Despite repeatedly requesting that SMC comply with the law and the minimal due process afforded to me under the United States Constitution, SMC did as it pleased. Now, all geared up to vigorously defend and exonerate myself at my hearing against its rather flimsy charges, SMC has again violated my rights.

To make matters worse, SMC has failed to respond to any of my recent emails or certified letters for the last several months and continue to threaten me with police intervention if I were to step foot on campus to meet with anyone to resolve these issues. SMC has not provided me with inspection of either my disciplinary files or vital public records under the California Public Records Act. In fact, SMC simply ignored my August 1, 2006 request for public records. This is the end of the second week of Fall semester and SMC continues to maintain its wrongful disciplinary hold on my student records.

Conversely, while denying me access to my own records, SMC has violated the provisions of FERPA and allowed SMC student Thomas J. Baker (one of my main accusers) to have access to my confidential student information without my permission or authorization. For months on end, I spoke to those in charge at SMC, as well as writing them, about the necessity of protecting student confidentiality only to be suspended for what SMC described as a willful and blatant misuse of email. Since on or about March 24, 2006, SMCPD wrongfully released my confidential student information to Baker, who admitted in writing he obtained quite simply over the counter by the SMCPD. Or course to add insult to injury, Baker took it upon himself to disclose this information to the public, further damaging me. My email to SMC admissions on or about last week has simply been ignored.

SMC is to blame for its own wrongful and heavy-handed acts that have now resulted in both its current and impending litigation. If SMC continues to violate my rights, it will find itself in federal court in the next week or two. In the meantime, I continue to stand up for all of us.

-- Des Manttari,
Phoenix Genesis

(c) 2006: Phoenix Genesis/MBS LP

-------------------------- THE RECENT EMAIL FROM SMC ----------------------

Dear Des Manttari:

In light of your statement that you do not agree to the September 8 or 15, 2006 dates for your suspension hearing, we have taken those dates off the calendar. You retain the right to appeal your suspension. However, should you wish to proceed with your appeal, it is incumbent on you to work with the District to identify appropriate date(s).

Pending the outcome of any such hearing, you remain on suspended status.


Robert A. Adams, Ed.D.
Vice President, Student Affairs

Cc: Robert L. Sammis, Vice President, Planning and Development

Joshua E. Morrison, Esq.

--------------------------- MY EMAIL RESPONSE TO SMC -----------------------

September 8, 2006


Dear Marilyn,

I received both your email and a letter from Dr. Adams regarding the suspension hearing unilaterally being taken off calendar by Santa Monica College. I do not agree with SMC's contentions that I am to remain suspended as this is a clear violation of my rights. SMC had a mandated time under its own internal policies and the California Education Code to follow through with a hearing and it has both failed and refused to do so.

Additionally, SMC has repeatedly failed to allow me physical inspection of my disciplinary files, access to public records requested that relate to my suspension defense, and has further violated my rights to confidentiality by releasing my confidential student information, without my knowledge or consent, to SMC student Thomas J. Baker.

Despite all this, SMC wrongfully maintains a disciplinary hold on my enrollment and student records, has denied me access to campus, and has refused to return my emails and certified letters, thus denying me any means to resolve these issues. At all relevant times, as SMC admits, I have my full obligations to exhaust administrative remedies.

Accordingly, if the wrongful suspension is not dropped forthwith and the disciplinary hold released, I will be forced to exercise my rights in either state or federal court, or both. By copy of this email, I expect a response from SMC by the close of business on Monday as to whether or not it will remove the enrollment hold, expunge my disciplinary files, and drop its suspension in its entirety. Absent a response, I will proceed to litigate this matter in the courts.

I eagerly await your prompt response.

Very Truly Yours,

Des Manttari /s/

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