LANCASTER — Antelope Valley Union High School District Board President Robert “Bob” Davis is apparently conducting his own investigation into the emails and cellphone records of Lancaster School District trustee Duane Winn.
Winn is the husband of Donita Winn, a former AV Union High School District trustee and longtime volunteer for both school districts. AV Union High School District suspended Donita’s status as a volunteer following a closed session vote on Sept. 12 by Davis, Vice President Victoria Ruffin and Clerk Amanda Parrell.
Davis submitted a Public Records Act request dated Oct. 14 to Lancaster School District seeking Duane Winn’s email and cellphone records from Aug. 1 through the present. Davis did not identify himself as a fellow school board member. He did not respond to an email seeking comment by press time.
The Antelope Valley Press received a copy of Davis’ Public Records Act request via its own PRA request.
According to the PRA request, Davis seeks the same type of records that he, Ruffin and Parrell have yet to provide in response to similar PRA requests submitted to AV Union High School District.
Davis’ three-page PRA request seeks any and all cellular communications inclusive of voice, internet search data, social media, and text messaging conducted by Duane Winn using any device whether purchased for personal use or on his behalf by the District.
Davis seeks “every instance in which such communication was or is directly or indirectly related in any manner to the conduct of public business inclusive of invoice records of voice communications, data usage, and text messages, including incoming and outgoing telephone numbers, dates, times and frequency of all voice, data and text communications.”
Davis also seeks Winn’s personal and public emails related to the conduct of public business.
Davis seeks emails that include his name and those of his fellow Board members; the names of AV Union High School District employees, including Superintendent David Vierra and union leaders Dan Shy and Scott Fish; Palmdale School District trustee Nancy Smith, Antelope Valley College trustee Steve Buffalo, Donita Winn and the Winns’ daughter, who works for Lancaster School District. He also seeks emails that include the name and email of Jef Scott from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, the terms “Brown Act Violations,” “retaliation,” “investigate,” “Littlerock High School,” “Violations,” “AVTA” and “CSEA.”
He also seeks emails that include the name of the Valley Press’ education reporter.
AV Union High School District suspended Donita’s status as a volunteer for the District following a Sept. 12 closed session 3-2 vote by Davis, Ruffin and Parrell (with trustees Jill McGrady and John Rush dissenting) to authorize a personnel investigation to be conducted by an independent, outside investigator.
The Board voted 3-2 on Oct. 24 to ratify the contract with Armando Zatarain Investigations, a private investigative firm based in Newport Beach.
The scope of services detailed in Zatarain’s contract include “The improper and unauthorized disclosure and release of confidential and/or exempt information and records under the guise of, or pursuant to a Public Records Request by District employees and/or others acting in concert with them.”
Zatarain’s contract also calls for him to investigate, “a Board Member’s and/or District employee’s and/or school volunteer’s improper or unlawful entry onto District property to engage in certain political activity; i.e. the collection of signatures on the petition to recall Board Members Davis, Ruffin and Parrell.”
Davis, Ruffin, and Parrell hired Zatarain to investigate the circumstances on Sept. 5, when Winn and McGrady stood outside Littlerock High School for a back-to-school night with supporters of the unsuccessful recall effort. The group was collecting signatures when a woman who identified herself as a friend of Ruffin verbally accosted them. The woman also took pictures and video of the group.