View Full Version : SD Unified District Trustee wanted district to pay for her son's college

02-09-2016, 05:34 PM
Very crooked, but not in jail....yet?



Newly released court documents allege former San Diego Unified School Board Trustee Marne Foster wanted the district to pay for her son’s college education and tried to pressure the district’s superintendent to make that happen.

A 231-page search warrant released Thursday gives insight into the San Diego County District Attorney’s office investigation into Foster, who resigned from her position Tuesday after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor count of accepting gifts in excess of the legal limit.

One of the issues taken up by the DA’s office was Foster’s problem with administrators at her son’s school, the School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA). Foster became angry when she obtained a copy of her son’s college evaluation, prepared by counselor Kim Abagat, and discovered the review was negative.

Foster called SDUSD Superintendent Cindy Marten to complain about the evaluation. In an interview with a DA investigator, Marten recounted a telephone conversation she had with Foster.

Foster, who at the time was the president of the SDUSD board, said the “inaccurate” evaluation had prevented her son from being accepted into a number of colleges. When Marten asked Foster how she knew what the evaluation contained, as reviews are typically confidential, Foster declined to tell her how she obtained it, the warrant states.

“Marten surmised that someone had leaked the information,” the court document says. “Foster was ranting that Abagat should not have completed the form as he was not [her son’s] counselor.”

Marten said she interrupted Foster, asking if she was calling as a parent or a board trustee. When Foster said she was calling as a parent, Marten told her she needed to talk to the district’s chief student services officer.

During a later phone conversation between the two women, Foster told Marten that she believed her son had suffered damages and that the school district was liable, the warrant says. According to Marten, Foster threatened to file a claim against the school district because her son deserved compensation. Marten said she felt Foster was trying to convince her to approve the claim.

“Foster told Marten ‘to do the right thing, you can make this happen,’” the court document states. “Marten said the way Foster spoke she thought Marten had the authority or was involved in the decision making regarding the approval or denial of the claim. Foster wanted the school district to pay for her son’s college education.”

Marten said she did not give the trustee any advice on how to file a claim.

Later in the year, a $250,000 claim was filed against the SDUSD on behalf of Foster’s son, but it was not signed by his mother. Instead, the claim bore the name of John Marsh, the teen’s father who had been living with Foster and her children.

However, Marsh told the DA investigator that he did not write up the claim. According to the warrant, he remembered Foster coming up to him and demanding that he sign a blank complaint form.

He said he did not know what he was signing, but recalled Foster mentioning something about wanting to sue the school district.

“Marsh said at the time he needed a place to stay and Marne Foster was very forceful. She made it clear by the way she said it that if he didn’t sign it she would put him out on the street,” the warrant states. “He was at her mercy and he didn’t want to be kicked out or arrested.”

The $250,000 complaint was later denied by the school district. Foster has told other media outlets that she had nothing to do with the claim.....