LANCASTER — Antelope Valley Union High School District trustee Jill McGrady filed a complaint against $400-an-hour attorney John W. Harris of Harris & Associates with the State Bar of California.
The Board majority of President Robert “Bob” Davis, Vice President Victoria Ruffin and Clerk Angela Parrell approved a contract with Harris and his Los Angeles-based law firm on Jan. 24.
McGrady and trustee John Rush voted no.
McGrady has said Harris’ services are a waste of taxpayer money because the District already has legal counsel. The District contracts with Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost, one of the state’s leading educational law firms. The District also has longtime in-house general counsel Bridget Cook.
McGrady’s complaint cited the lack of an invoice from Harris despite her request at the Board’s Feb. 28 meeting that he provide one. She also cited Harris’ verbally abusive behavior toward her at the same meeting, as well as his apparent one-hour nap during the Board’s Feb. 14 meeting.
McGrady’s complaint also referenced Harris’ refusal to answer questions in regard to who initially contacted him, as well as how many meetings and phone calls he has had with individual Board members.
Davis has also refused to answer McGrady’s questions about how many times he met or talked with Harris.
Harris also has refused to share work product with all five Board members, McGrady wrote in her complaint.
McGrady’s complaint also said Harris’ use was unauthorized because the Board had not yet agendized, discussed, nor voted on which Board member would serve as the designee to confer with Harris.
However, the Board majority voted on April 18 to authorize Davis.
McGrady asked that the authorization be tabled until the investigation into Harris is complete, and that Harris submit an invoice. Her motion, seconded by Rush, failed.
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