Sat09202014

Schools

District faces lawsuit from unnamed residents for offering Egan to Bullis

A group of unnamed individuals Friday threatened to sue the Los Altos School District if the district board offered Egan camp school to the Bullis Charter School group at its Monday meeting.

Attorney Alexander T. Henson of Carmel sent a letter to Superintendent Marge Gratiot on behalf of "an unincorporated group of individuals," stating the intent to sue. Henson said that all members of the group are residents of Los Altos or Los Altos Hills.

The attorney would not identify the individuals but said "approximately six people committed to pay" his fees. Henson confirmed that Mark Breier contacted him last week to arrange for the potential litigation.

According to Henson, the first ground for the possible suit is the assertion that the portables at Egan do not meet Proposition 39 requirements for "reasonably equivalent" facilities. The second ground is the claim that the school district did not "prepare an initial study (as required by the California Environmental Quality Act) regarding its decision of where to place the charter school." The attorney's letter stated that the mitigated negative declaration for the Egan site is "inappropriate for use in this instance."

Gratiot said of the allegation, "We believe we're covered." Duane Roberts of the school board agreed.

Henson does not represent the Bullis Charter School board, said Peter Evans, a representative of that board. Evans said he had known that Breier was contacting an attorney but told him the charter school board would not be participating in the suit.

Evans said that the charter school is "hoping to proceed in a collaborative effort with the district."

Some district trustees have confirmed that a long-term goal is to reopen Bullis-Purissima as a regular public school as soon as possible. They said that renovation of the campus may begin in a year or two.

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