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Shame On You Tim Ritter

Tim Ritter must go. Immediately. Ritter's term as superintendent has been memorable only for multiple public scandals, financial improprieties, public investigation by the state of California, hypocrisy, and open hostility toward those who dare criticize him. He is an enormous liability to the Temecula Valley Unified School District. Six months ago, the school board election was more than a message. It was a demand. Remarkably, board members who were elected two decades earlier were forcibly removed by the people to whom they reported; the people whose taxes paid their wages and benefits. As the school year is coming to an end, the board must take a look at what a 2015-16 school year will look like should Ritter remain in the corner office, and there are simply no good scenarios.

Timothy Ritter and his supporters

Under Superintendent Timothy Ritter, TVUSD's school board meetings have turned into a bizarre mash-up of the Jerry Springer Show and the Mickey Mouse Club.

The current situation is not tenable, and Ritter is sadly reduced to coaxing loyalists from Great Oak High School, where he is the former principal, to act as his cheering section at school board meetings. It's also worth noting that Great Oak High School is the only TVUSD high school that was declared off-limits from the now-discredited sting, Operation Glass House, which Ritter personally authorized. Because of Tim Ritter's inability to face criticism from the public, he has pathetically turned the school board meetings into a bizarre mash-up of the Jerry Springer Show and the Mickey Mouse Club. This bodes very, very badly for a school district that has become a national symbol of shame. Below is a list of Ritter's misdeeds and actions related to these misdeeds. And we must point out that this list only includes items of which are public knowledge at this time. There is much more that will come to light in the coming months, and it is our belief that, as more is revealed, the current school board will not want to be anywhere near Timothy Ritter.

January 2012

According to published reports, Ritter's adult daughter, Lindsey Ritter, "was charged (with) grand theft. On January 17, 2012 Miss Ritter was sentenced without going to trial for … felony reduced to a misdemeanor. Sentencing included the repayment of  $18,676 worth of restitution to the San Diego court system and probation."

July 2012

Ritter authorizes Operation Glass House, which placed undercover police officers on three TVUSD high school campuses. Great Oak High School, where Ritter had served as principal, is the only TVUSD high school protected from Operation Glass House.

November 2012

Voters approve Measure Y, giving permission for TVUSD, under Ritter's direction, to spend up to $165 million for various projects.

December 2012

Police raid three TVUSD campuses, as part of Operation Glass House, arresting 22 students, 9 who are in special education, including our son, Jesse Snodgrass, who has autism. Great Oak High School, where Ritter had served as principal, is the only TVUSD high school given special protection from Operation Glass House.

January 2013

Ritter receives gifts from Stone & Youngberg LLC, an investment banking company who was fined for its involvement in the Bernie Madoff scandal. Ritter doesn't disclose these gifts, even though the law requires him to do so. Stone & Youngberg is then hired by TVUSD to handle the sale of $40 million in Measure Y general obligation bonds. Stone & Youngberg LLC receives a 1.1 percent fee as underwriter...nearly half a million dollars.

January 2013

A criminal judge throws out the criminal charges against Jesse Snodgrass. Despite this, TVUSD decides to move forward with his expulsion. We file for a due process hearing to stop the expulsion.

March 8, 2013

Judge Marian S. Tulley issues a scathing decision against TVUSD, ordering Jesse's immediate return to school.

March 13, 2013

48 hours before Jesse's return to school, Ritter and Assistant Superintendent of Educational Support Services Jodi McClay attend a 7:00 a.m. emergency school board session behind closed doors, during which the decision is made to file an appeal of Judge Tulley's ruling, which ultimately ends up wasting thousands of taxpayer dollars. The remedy sought in the appeal was to expel Jesse. However, the appeal process is such that it would not have even been heard by a judge until well after Jesse's graduation, making the appeal moot.

August 2013

Members of the Temecula City Council receive a strongly worded letter from an attorney representing TVUSD. At issue was a regularly scheduled event by a special education parent support group which would give free advice to parents. The organizers, who were independent of the city council, want parents to be able to speak freely without TVUSD administrators listening in to their conversations.
The letter said Superintendent Tim Ritter had asked City Manager Aaron Adams if district officials could participate in the event and was told they could not. Sutherland urged city officials to reverse their decision "€œsuch that further legal action will be unnecessary." The city did not respond to the letter and the May 29 event went on as planned. Adams said that any member of the public, including district officials, were welcome to attend. Julia Rogoff, the director and founder of Lilly'€™s House, said district officials did attend the May workshop, but it was awkward because there was nothing for them to do. Their presence made some of the parents uncomfortable, she said. "€œThey felt like they were being watched,"€ she said.

August 2013

Poster from "Accountability in our Schools: A Public Hearing"

Poster from "Accountability in our Schools: A Public Hearing"

Ritter consistently refuses to publicly answer questions from parents over the undercover operation, dismissing them as "the autism group, and the IEP group." In August of 2013, we organized a public forum, which was demanded in a petition that obtained 7,670 signatures. We sent courteous invitations to Ritter, every member of the school board, plus other TVUSD administrators. We offered them an equal block of time to discuss any topic of their choice. We did not hear any response until the day before the hearing though, in a personal email from Ritter, a portion of which is reprinted below.
Dear Mr. Snodgrass The District is dedicated to the success of all of its students and is interested in participating in forums that promote quality educational programs and services within the District, as well as a mutual understanding between District staff/administration, parents and students about them. The forum you have created and advertised does not appear to be designed for that purpose, or likely to promote better educational programs and mutual understandings between stakeholders. The information provided to the District, including your email below, suggests the forum is designed to criticize the District and chastise administration with inaccurate information, and create further division and disputes. Also, the issues to be addressed are already being addressed in another, more appropriate forum for disputes like this. For all these reasons, the District is declining your invitation to participate in this forum.
Photo from "Accountability in our Schools: A Public Hearing" August 12, 2013

Photo from "Accountability in our Schools: A Public Hearing". The empty seats are for the TVUSD officials, who decided not to attend.

October 2013

According to published reports, Ritter's adult daughter, Lindsey, is hired by TVUSD as a receptionist in the TVUSD administration building, where Timothy Ritter's office is located.

October 2013

We file a lawsuit, on Jesse's behalf, against TVUSD.

January 2014

The California Department of Education (CDE) initiates a formal investigation of the Temecula Valley Unified School District's Special Education department. The investigation is initiated just months after the CDE issues a notice of non-compliance with corrective actions against TVUSD related to the suspension and attempted expulsion of Jesse Snodgrass.

February 2014

Rolling Stone magazine publishes an expose on Operation Glass House titled, "The Entrapment of Jesse Snodgrass".

April 2014

The Los Angeles Times publishes an Op-Ed titled, "Drug enforcement gone wrong", which is critical of Operation Glass House.

June 2014

According to published reports, Ritter's adult daughter, Lindsey, is  promoted to the position of Instructional Services Assessment Secretary, receiving a salary of approx $50K per year, plus benefits.

July 2014

VICE releases a documentary about Operation Glass house titled, "The War on Kids". Weeks later, it is posted on YouTube, receiving 1 million views in less than three weeks.

October 2014

Ritter is fined by the State of California Fair Political Practices Commission as part of a large-scale investigation that finds he did not disclose the gifts he received from Stone & Youngberg LLC, the underwriter of the $40 million Measure Y general obligation bonds.

November 4, 2015

Three of the five member TVUSD board members are up for re-election, including two members who were first elected more than two decades earlier. All three incumbents are replaced with the candidates we publicly endorsed.

November 18, 2015

Just two weeks after election night, the school board holds its final meeting with the three lame duck members. A piece of business they unanimously approve is a (roughly) one million dollar contract extension for Tim Ritter, even though nearly two years remained on his contract, along with contract extensions for his two assistant superintendents, Jodi McClay and Lori Ordway-Peck. The combined compensation packages approved on that night total nearly two and a half million dollars, paid by the same citizens who voted the board members out of office.

January 2015

Ritter receives the results of the California Department of Education’s (CDE) year-long investigation into TVUSD’s special education department. The explosive report finds multiple violations by TVUSD, including financial improprieties, altering documents, and that, after high school life, 92% of TVUSD's special education students did not go on to higher education, some other post-secondary education or training program, or employment at any level. In total, the CDE assesses 226 corrective actions against TVUSD.

March 2015

A very large group of parents begin organized protests against Ritter, school board president Allen Pulsipher, and school board member Kristi Rutz-Robbins over the controversial removal of middle school principal Karen Hayes.

April 2015

Changes are proposed to a TVUSD governing document that had not been revised for 15 years. The changes would amount to something of a gag-order on the board members, while authorizing Ritter and Pulsipher to speak on their behalf. In the document, paragraph #1 currently reads as follows:
The Governing Board recognizes the rights of Board members to freely express their views and encourages open discussion of issues during the Board meeting. The Board believes that all Board members have a responsibility to express themselves, whether in agreement or disagreement with the other Board members, in ways that support the Board’s ability to govern the District.
If the proposed changes are accepted, it would be changed to read as follows:
The Governing Board recognizes the responsibility of Board members in their role as leaders to participate in public discourse on matters of civic or interest, including those involving the district, and their right to freely express their personal views. However, to ensure communication of a consistent, unified message regarding district issues, Board members are expected to respect the authority of the Board to choose its representatives to communicate its positions and to abide by established protocols. All public statements authorized to be made on behalf of the Board shall be made by the Board president or, if appropriate, by the Superintendent or other designated representative.

April 2015

School board president Allen Pulsipher quietly attempts to leave his position by applying for a vacant seat on the Temecula City Council. Temecula's city council members reject Pulsipher against a backdrop of Anti-Pulsipher demonstrators in attendance.

April 2015

Timothy Ritter becomes embroiled in a major scandal known as Rittergate.
According to (Craig) Johns, the district became in breech of its own policies by hiring Lindsey Jean Ritter, daughter of TVUSD Superintendent, during a board meeting held on October 1, 2013. […] Johns went on to say that through the investigation the group discovered Lindsey Ritter has convictions including a “plea of guilty, nolo contendere (no contest) and/or a finding of guilty by a judge or a jury.” “Court records confirm that Lindsey Ritter was charged with penal code 487 1-3,” Johns said. “Pertaining to one of two felonies with which she was charged which is grand theft. On January 17, 2012 Miss Ritter was sentenced without going to trial for … felony reduced to a misdemeanor. Sentencing included the repayment of $18,676 worth of restitution to the San Diego court system and probation. We believe this condition was overlooked because of Mr. Ritter’s influence over this board, and more specifically, Board President Allen Pulsipher.”

Valley News

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RITTERGATE

One word, Rittergate.

According to (Craig) Johns, the district became in breech of its own policies by hiring Lindsey Jean Ritter, daughter of TVUSD Superintendent Timothy Ritter, during a board meeting held on October 1, 2013. [...] Johns went on to say that through the investigation the group discovered Lindsey Ritter has convictions including a “plea of guilty, nolo contendere (no contest) and/or a finding of guilty by a judge or a jury.” “Court records confirm that Lindsey Ritter was charged with penal code 487 1-3,” Johns said. “Pertaining to one of two felonies with which she was charged which is grand theft. On January 17, 2012 Miss Ritter was sentenced without going to trial for … felony reduced to a misdemeanor. Sentencing included the repayment of $18,676 worth of restitution to the San Diego court system and probation. We believe this condition was overlooked because of Mr. Ritter’s influence over this board, and more specifically, Board President Allen Pulsipher.”
One more word, hypocrite.
God Save the Queen

Jodi McClay

On Friday, in what can only be described as an act of astonishingly bad judgement, TVUSD's Assistant Superintendent of Educational Support Services Jodi McClay attempted to defend Rittergate via an emailed statement to the Press Enterprise newspaper. In McClay's statement, she mentioned that "drug crimes" would preclude a person from employment at TVUSD. This would seem to disqualify the 22 former TVUSD students who were arrested in the now-discredited and ironically named sting, Operation Glass HouseWe take McClay's implication very personally. And very seriously.
  • All 22 children did jail time.
  • Many of the 22 children spent the holidays behind bars.
  • The 21 children who are not our son were expelled.
  • Nearly half of the 22 children were special education students.
  • Due to their TVUSD-enabled criminal records, there are jobs and opportunities that will never be available to them.
  • Timothy Ritter, according to sworn testimony, is the person who authorized Operation Glass House.
As Operation Glass House publicly unraveled, most of the press coverage focused on the entrapment of our son. But our hearts continue to break for all of the children who were cruelly victimized by adults whose fundamental responsibility was to protect these children. Instead, the "grownups in charge" chose to ruin lives, destroy futures, and saddle families with unthinkable devastation. Every taxpayer-funded paycheck these administrators receive is an obscenity. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, especially if they wear orange well. In McClay's world, "drug crimes" appear to be automatic dis-qualifiers for employment at TVUSD, while "grand theft" is no problem if your last name happens to be Ritter. This curious rationale might be explained by the fact that McClay and Special Education Director Kimberly Velez were responsible for TVUSD being recently sledgehammered with 226 corrective actions after the California Department of Education uncovered numerous infractions, including misappropriation of public funds.
Timothy Ritter and the old school board,  the people who approved Rittergate.

Timothy Ritter and the old school board, the people who approved Rittergate.

A year-long investigation by the California Department of Education (CDE) into the Temecula Valley Unified School District’s (TVUSD) special education department found a multitude of violations – click here to read the full CDE report (323 pages) –  including the following examples of improper use of funds designated for TVUSD’s special education students:
  • 40 school district staff members, who were not assigned to teach Special Education students, received a portion of their salaries from special education funds during the 2013-2014 school year.
  • A Temecula charter school to which TVUSD was required to provide Special Education funds received only 54.3% of the funds during the 2013-2014 school year.
[...] The CDE findings raise numerous serious questions regarding the use of taxpayers’ money. For starters, if the special education funds supplanted portions of 40 non-special ed employee salaries, where did the supplanted funds go? And if TVUSD only gave the identified charter school 54% of the required taxpayer funds, what happened to the other 46%? [...] TVUSD’s 2013-2014 SELPA governing document defines responsible parties, and the problems found by the CDE point squarely to failures by Assistant Superintendent of Educational Support Services Jodi McClay, and Director – Special Education (SELPA) Kimberly Velez.

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Are TVUSD's Superintendent and Board President Attempting to Undercut New Board Members?

All Signs Point to Bunker Mentality

This Tuesday, April 21, 2015, at the Temecula Valley Unified School District (TVUSD) Governing Board meeting, multiple documents will be proposed for updates. One document that has caught our attention is N.4. PROPOSED REVISION TO BOARD BYLAW 9010 - PUBLIC STATEMENTS. In this document, paragraph #1 currently reads as follows:
The Governing Board recognizes the rights of Board members to freely express their views and encourages open discussion of issues during the Board meeting. The Board believes that all Board members have a responsibility to express themselves, whether in agreement or disagreement with the other Board members, in ways that support the Board's ability to govern the District.
If the proposed changes are accepted, it would be changed to read as follows:
The Governing Board recognizes the responsibility of Board members in their role as community leaders to participate in public discourse on matters of civic or community interest, including those involving the district, and their right to freely express their personal views. However, to ensure communication of a consistent, unified message regarding district issues, Board members are expected to respect the authority of the Board to choose its representatives to communicate its positions and to abide by established protocols. All public statements authorized to be made on behalf of the Board shall be made by the Board president or, if appropriate, by the Superintendent or other designated representative.
The proposed changes to this document could easily be interpreted as a message to the new board members to "keep your mouths shut and know your place." If this is the case, the irony is that the new board members actually hold the majority. And when new member Kevin Hill was candidate Kevin Hill, one of the things he said that resonated with us was that the Board should not report to the Superintendent, but the Superintendent should report to the Board. On Tuesday, Board members Farnbach, Hill and Hinkson's vote on whether or not to accept this proposed revisions to BP 9010 will carry extraordinary importance.

A Legacy of Waste

If appearances are correct, Pulsipher and Rutz-Robbins have never hesitated to ignore the will of the people, making head-scratching decisions that wasted millions of tax dollars. Here are just two prime examples of what many consider to be their wasteful decisions.

Example 1

Police raided three TVUSD campuses, as part of Operation Glass House, arresting 22 students, including our son, Jesse, who has autism. Nine of the entrapped students were special education students. They all spent significant time in jail. Soon after, a criminal judge threw out the charges against Jesse, but  incredibly, TVUSD decided to expel him anyway. We filed for a due process hearing to stop the expulsion, which resulted in Judge Marian S. Tulley issuing a scathing decision against TVUSD, ordering Jesse’s immediate return to school. Only 48 hours before Jesse’s return to school, the school board and Timothy Ritter attended a 7:00 a.m. emergency school board session behind closed doors, in which they voted to file an appeal of Judge Tulley’s ruling. This ended up costing the taxpayers enormous fees paid to law firms representing TVUSD, even though the remedy sought in the appeal was to expel Jesse. This appeal ended up being nonsensical, however, because even if the appeal would have been heard by a judge, it wouldn't have happened until well after Jesse had graduated.

Example 2

On November 4, 2014, long time board members Robert Brown, Richard Schafer (who first became board members in 1994 and 1995, respectively) and Vincent O'Neal were dumped by the voting public in what was clearly a "message" election. They were replaced by Julie Farnbach, Kevin Hill and Sandy Hinkson. On November 18, 2014, two weeks after election night, the school board held its final meeting with the three lame duck members. A piece of business they unanimously approved was a (roughly) one million dollar contract extension for Superintendent Timothy Ritter, even though nearly two years remained on the current contract. Also approved were contract extensions for Ritter's two assistant superintendents, Jodi McClay and Lori Ordway-Peck, (who has been accused of misrepresenting budget projections by the Temecula Valley Educators Association). The combined compensation packages that were approved total nearly two and a half million dollars, paid by the same citizens who voted the board members out of office.
This past November, all three incumbent members of the TVUSD school board, who appeared to function as little more than rubber stamps for Superintendent Timothy Ritter, were replaced on election day by the three candidates that we publicly endorsed. And let's be frank; remaining board members Allan Pulsipher - who is currently the board president - and Kristi Rutz-Robbins are lame ducks as the writing is on the wall for 2016, when they are up for reelection. Could it be that the old guard, Ritter, Pulsipher and Rutz-Robbins, who now find themselves in the minority, are adopting a bunker mentality?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Bunker Mentality as follows: Full Definition of BUNKER MENTALITY: a state of mind especially among members of a group that is characterized by chauvinistic defensiveness and self-righteous intolerance of criticism Examples of BUNKER MENTALITY: Faced with the threat of scandal, the company adopted a bunker mentality and refused to talk with reporters.
Reference Documents BP 9010 in it's current state (click here) BP 9010 with proposed redlined changes (click here) BP 9010's text if the proposed redlined changes were accepted  (click here)

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TVUSD Board President Allen Pulsipher Attempting to Jump Sinking Ship

Under a cloud of scandal, current Temecula Valley Unified School District (TVUSD) school board president Allen Pulsipher has decided he wants out, ASAP.

Two dozen hopefuls have applied to fill the seat on the Temecula City Council vacated by former Councilman Chuck Washington... Washington was appointed last month to serve on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. The council decided to appoint someone to serve out the remainder of his term, which expires in 2016, rather than call for an election. [...] (The candidates will) all get a chance to introduce themselves Monday when the council conducts public interviews. The meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. A decision is expected to be made at the April 28 meeting.
Among those who have applied for the vacant City Council seat is Pulsipher. If he gets in, he will join former TVUSD Board Member and current Council Member Maryann Edwards, who is on a first name basis with TVUSD Superintendent Timothy Ritter. However, the taxpayers of Temecula are welcome to make their thoughts known to the city council, this Monday, April 20, at 5:00 p.m. at city hall. For a partial list of the scandals that have occurred under Pulsipher, see this link.    

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State Finds District that Entrapped Our Son Misappropriated Special Needs Kids' Money

TVUSD punished again for financial improprieties

A year-long investigation by the California Department of Education (CDE) into the Temecula Valley Unified School District's (TVUSD) special education department found a multitude of violations - click here to read the full CDE report (323 pages) -  including the following examples of improper use of funds designated for TVUSD's special education students:
  • 40 school district staff members, who were not assigned to teach Special Education students, received a portion of their salaries from special education funds during the 2013-2014 school year.
  • A Temecula charter school to which TVUSD was required to provide Special Education funds received only 54.3% of the funds during the 2013-2014 school year.
In total, the CDE issued 226 corrective actions and has given TVUSD a deadline of April 15, 2015 to provide evidence that all corrective actions have been completed, including repayment of the misappropriated funds.

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State Investigation Reveals 92% of Temecula's Special Education Students Have No Future

Meltdown in Temecula as State Investigation Finds Massive Non-Compliance in TVUSD Special Education

Temecula, CA is home to the most famous special education department in the United States. However, it's a distinction that Temecula Valley Unified School District (TVUSD) brass would likely not want, because it was earned after TVUSD allowed undercover cops onto their campuses, resulting in the entrapment of nine special education students, who were handcuffed in front of their classmates and hauled off to jail. And now, TVUSD's reputation is about to get even worse. We are the first to report that last week, TVUSD superintendent Timothy Ritter received the results of the California Department of Education's (CDE) year-long investigation into TVUSD's special education department. The State's investigation of TVUSD is something we had previously reported.

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Snodgrass Public Statement on the End of School Drugs Stings in Riverside County

The Riverside Press Enterprise recently asked us to comment for an article they were preparing, and is out now, Schools get reprieve from undercover drug busts. We provided the following written statement:

It is fantastic news that there have been no schools in the Southern California region that participated in undercover school drug stings. We find these practices to be extremely abusive and pointless as they ultimately destroy the lives of so many students, do not make them any safer, and violate their civil rights. Hopefully, these shameful acts will be banned in every school district. We expect our schools to protect our children and not teach them how to buy drugs.


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Superintendent Ritter Tries to Shut Us Up and Disgraced Ex-Board Members Flip Off Parents On Way Out

As we recently reported, the voters of Temecula replaced all three incumbent school board members with the candidates we endorsed.

(Pictured left to right)  Bob Brown, Vince O'Neal, Kristi Rutz-Robbins, Allen Pulsipher, Richard Shafer, (center) Tim Ritter (yup, crown was photoshopped)

(Pictured left to right) Bob Brown,
Vince O'Neal, Kristi Rutz-Robbins,
Allen Pulsipher, Richard Shafer, (center) Tim Ritter (yup, crown was Photoshopped)

On November 18, two weeks after election night, the school board held its final meeting with the three lame duck members. A piece of business they unanimously approved was a (roughly) one million dollar contract extension for Superintendent Timothy Ritter, even though nearly two years remained on the current contract, along with contract extensions for his two assistant superintendents, Jodi McClay and Lori Ordway-Peck, (who has been accused of misrepresenting budget projections by the Temecula Valley Educators Association). The combined compensation packages that were approved total nearly two and a half million dollars, paid by the same citizens who voted the board members out of office. This appears to be a curious overreach. The voting public demanded that each board member whose terms were expiring stop working with the children in Temecula's public schools, including two board members who first came to their positions two decades ago. Yet they, along with board members Kristi Rutz-Robbins and Allen Pulsipher (who will have their chance to hear from the voters in 2016) ignored the clear message that the voters expected major change, starting at the top. Instead, they decided to spend millions of our tax dollars to reward poor performance and bad behavior, flipping off the voters.

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A Major Civil Rights Victory Just Occurred in Temecula

The Riverside County Registrar of Voters has certified the ballots for the 2014 Temecula School Board election, and the results are now official. Huge congratulations are in order for our newest board members, Julie Farnbach, Kevin S. Hill and Sandy Hinkson. These are the three candidates we publicly endorsed and they come to the five member board as an immediate majority. History will show that this election was an important moment in a burgeoning civil rights movement. Children are often the forgotten victims of civil rights violations, and we maintain that every undercover drug sting in schools is a violation of children's civil rights. The outcome of this election is a direct result of Operation Glass House, the abusive debacle in which undercover officers from the Riverside County Sheriffs Department entrapped twenty two of Temecula's children in a fabricated drug sting, nine who were Special Education students, including our autistic son, Jesse Snodgrass. This is precisely the result we worked for, on behalf of Jesse, and all other children who we believe were abused under the watch of TVUSD administrators.

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Meet the People Behind the Scandal

ritterTimothy Ritter, TVUSD Superintendent 2013 Compensation, $233,161 Email: tritter@tvusd.k12.ca.us Telephone: (951) 506-7904 Tim Ritter is one of three people within the TVUSD who were aware of the undercover police operation that occurred for several months on Temecula school campuses. According to sworn testimony by TVUSD Director of Child Welfare and Attendance Michael Hubbard, Mr. Ritter is the person who authorized this operation. In October, 2014, Ritter was fined by the State of California Fair Political Practices Commission because he did not disclose gifts he received from Stone & Youngberg LLC, an investment banking company who was fined for its involvement in the Bernie Madoff scandal.     brownRobert Brown, TVUSD School Board member Email: bbrown@tvusd.k12.ca.us Robert Brown is one of three people within the TVUSD who were aware of the undercover police operation that occurred for several months on Temecula school campuses. At the time the operation was authorized, Mr. Brown was the TVUSD School Board President, and it has been reported to us by district officials that Mr. Brown did not notify any of the other TVUSD board members. On November 4, 2014, the voters of Temecula took matters into their own hands, and voted Brown out of office. Brown had been first elected to the TVUSD School Board in 1995, but in 2014 was on the wrong side of a landslide.     Hubbard Michael Hubbard, TVUSD Director of Child Welfare and Attendance 2013 Compensation, $142,501 Email: mhubbard@tvusd.k12.ca.us Telephone: (951) 506-7983 Michael Hubbard is one of three people within the TVUSD who were aware of Operation Glass House, the undercover police operation that occurred for several months on Temecula school campuses. Mr. Hubbard was in frequent communication with the law enforcement officials responsible for this operation, and provided personal information about our son to the law enforcement officials several weeks before our son Jesse Snodgrass’s  arrest. On October 30, 2013, Michael Hubbard was named as a defendant as part a a civil lawsuit filed against TVUSD in the Jesse Snodgrass case.     Kimberly  Velez, TVUSD Director of Special Education 2013 Compensation, $143,538 Email: kvelez@tvusd.k12.ca.us Telephone:(951) 506-7981 On October 30, 2013, Ms. Velez was named as a defendant as part a a civil lawsuit filed against TVUSD in the Jesse Snodgrass case.     Jonathan Greenberg, Perris Union High School District SuperintendentGreenberg Email: jonathan.greenberg@puhsd.org Telephone:(951) 943-6369 x80102 or x80103 Mr. Greenberg authorized the 2013 undercover operation in Perris and Menifee, approximately 20 miles from Temecula. The operation was nearly identical to the 2012 Temecula operation. Included in the arrest was a 15-year-old special education student, who read at third grade level. The boy spent the Christmas holidays behind bars and was charged with a felony after selling a single Vicodin pain pill for $3, which had been prescribed to him, to a Riverside County sheriff’s deputy who posed as a student all semester. Greenberg's message to the arrested students was that he hoped it was "the worst day of their lives."

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TVUSD School Board Election on Tuesday

We urge you to vote in Tuesday's election, because we have an amazing opportunity to replace 3 out of the 5 members of the TVUSD school board, and if we can replace those members with good candidates, we will have a majority who may actually listen to the people whose lives their decisions impact. And our family is living proof that the actions of a school board can have enormous impact on your life.

We believe that even without the authorization by some TVUSD administrators of a 21-Jump Street type operation that resulted in the entrapment and arrests of 22 children (9 who were special education), there are numerous reasons to replace the current school board members. This includes what many believe to be the waste of millions of our tax dollars, questionable accounting, mistreatment of special education students and their families, and much more. In fact, two weeks ago, TVUSD Superintendent Timothy Ritter was fined by the State of California Fair Political Practices Commission because he did not disclose gifts he received from Stone & Youngberg LLC, an investment banking company who was fined for its involvement in the Bernie Madoff scandal.

The three current school board members whose seats are up for grabs on Tuesday are Robert Brown, Vincent O'Neal, and Richard Shafer. O'Neal has already decided not to run for re-election, so that's one seat that will be changed. While we believe that any of the challengers would be an improvement over the incumbents, here are the three candidates that we believe could be the game changers that we need.
If you haven't already voted by mail, please get out and vote on Tuesday. We believe that the futures of our children are at stake.

Respectfully,

Catherine and Doug Snodgrass


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The Story

At 8:30 a.m. on December 11th, 2012, armed police officers rushed into Jesse Snodgrass's classroom at Chaparral High School in Temecula, CA. He was handcuffed in front of his classmates, taken away, medically probed, interrogated without a lawyer, booked, and then locked up.

Jesse is our son, and he has autism. We knew nothing about this until we called the school that afternoon at 3:45, after Jesse had not returned home. We were not allowed to see him until two days later, in court, and the look in his eyes will forever haunt us.

In August 2012, he transferred to a new school after we moved. We were amazed that he immediately made a new friend named Daniel who was in his art class. To the other students, Daniel became known as Deputy Dan, because, to them, he was clearly an undercover cop.

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School District Sues Police, Claims Our Son Was Victim of Unconstitutional Entrapment

This story has taken another strange and unexpected twist. Our son, Jesse, filed a lawsuit against Temecula Valley Unified School District (TVUSD) about six months ago. Now, TVUSD has filed a cross complaint against the Riverside Sheriff's Department and Riverside County. The rationale is striking and is best summed up in paragraph 7 of the Cross Complaint (which can be viewed below). So TVUSD is claiming that if they are found liable, the county and the police should be responsible for paying all of the damages, (as well as TVUSD's attorney fees), because of the sheriff's department's "negligent, unlawful and tortious conduct" and their "unconstitutional entrapment, search, and seizure" of Jesse. At the same time, their response to Jesse's lawsuit continues to be that he is a drug dealer.

If it should be found that cross-complainants are liable under the allegations contained in the complaint (which allegations cross-complainants have denied and continue to deny), then cross-complainants are informed and believe, and upon such information and belief allege that the negligent, unlawful and tortious conduct of cross-defendants, and each of them, including any alleged unconstitutional entrapment, search, and seizure, was active, primary and affirmative, and that the conduct of cross-complainants, if any, was passive, secondary and derivative only. (Emphasis added)

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Riverside Sheriff's Dept arrests another disabled child in school, this time for a $3 Vicodin pill

Last month, one year and one day after several armed police officers rushed into our autistic son’s classroom at Chaparral High School in Temecula, CA, handcuffed him in front of his classmates, took him away, medically probed him, interrogated him without a lawyer, booked him, and then locked him up, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department did it again, this time, about 20 miles down the road. It was in a different school, but the details and results were strikingly similar. The Press Enterprise has now been confirmed that the similarities are even more sickening than we first knew.

A 15-year-old Menifee special-education student, one of 25 teens arrested in an undercover school drug bust, is spending Christmas in juvenile hall. The Paloma Valley High School freshman is charged with a felony after selling a single Vicodin pain pill for $3 to a Riverside County sheriff’s deputy who posed as a student all semester, the boy’s mother said. Monique Gallo said her son suffers from learning disabilities and reads at a third-grade level. He used the $3 to buy snacks at school, she said. [...] But because her son was on probation, the judge ordered him to stay in juvenile hall through the holidays, Gallo said. She said he got in trouble for fighting at his middle school last year. Gallo said she and her ex-husband can’t afford a private attorney for their son.


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