Roundtable: Schools & Police Board Are In Trouble, Michael Crowe Is Not
Friday, May 25, 2012
Aired 5/25/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.
Guests: Will Carless, Investigative Reporter, VoiceofSanDiego
JW August, Managing Editor, 10News
Mark Sauer, Senior Editor, KPBS News
Losing Teachers: Unlike previous years, the projected layoffs in the San Diego Unified School District look like becoming actual layoffs.
One of every five classroom teachers in the district as well as 100 or so counselors, nurses and librarians will be laid off, absent salary concessions from the teachers union. The district said that a few hundred of those layoffs may be rescinded due to retirements or leaves. But the district also said that it hasn’t issued a single layoff notice that wasn’t necessary.
Even the teachers union, the San Diego Education Association, acknowledged that layoffs are inevitable, but demanded to know “what the actual numbers are” before discussing concessions. The San Diego Labor Council called for negoations between the teachers' union and the district to avoid as many layoffs as possible.
At this week’s meeting, the district also voted for a resolution saying the district wouldn’t become insolvent.
Police Review Board Criticized: The San Diego County Grand Jury issued a scathing report on the Citizens Review Board on Police Practices this week saying that it operates in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation which prevents the board from operating independently.
The grand jury report particularly noted that members of the SDPD Internal Affairs unit have attended closed-door meetings for several years and have let it be known that they prefer unanimity. They don’t want to pass on dissenting votes to the mayor or police chief. The report also cites discord and disarray among the board members.
Michael Crowe Is Officially Innocent: This week San Diego Superior Court Judge Kenneth So declared Michael Crowe to be “factually innocent” in the murder of his sister Stephanie in Escondido 14 years ago. The case against Crowe had been thrown out when DNA evidence pointed to a transient as the muderer.
The rare finding of factual innocence means all records and evidence used against Crowe will be expunged.
Also this week, two universities announced a new National Registry of Exonerations of those wrongly convicted of serious crimes. Northwestern and the University of Michigan Law School said they hope this database of some 2,000 names will reveal why the criminal justice system misfires, allowing prosecution and conviction of the innocent.