Sex Suit Against Former LAUSD Supt. Cortines Dismissed

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LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has dismissed a sexual harassment lawsuit against former L.A. schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines, according to a spokesman for the school district.

The judge ruled that real estate manager Scot Graham failed to file the case within the time limit allowed for sexual harassment litigation, said Sean Rossall. The judge did not rule on the merits of the allegations, Rossall said Saturday.

Before the lawsuit was filed, a claim against the district had been tentatively settled last May. But that agreement unraveled after L.A. Unified announced the deal before Graham had signed the papers. Graham’s attorneys alleged that the resulting publicity led to more harm and sought additional compensation.

Graham, 56, could not be immediately reached, but he had been sharply critical of the school system in a late January email.

“The facts alone without ever hearing my side of the story should be sickening to the community,” Graham wrote. “Superintendent Cortines admitted that he took a married employee to his vacation home and had inappropriate sexual relations. It is a fact that I reported my extreme trauma to my superiors three times within a month.”

He added that he had been “fearful for my marriage and job,” and that “there was no investigation and I was counseled to seek therapy.”

“Last year, when I did come forward after coming clear to my spouse, I have been, outed, my job has been diminished, I have been made the villain against the ‘kindly retiring Cortines’ and EVERY effort has been made to fire me,” Graham wrote.

District officials have denied any wrongdoing in their handling of Graham’s allegations.

Cortines has said that he and Graham had a consensual sexual encounter at Cortines’ Kern County ranch in July 2010. He acknowledged bad judgment but denied harassing Graham. Cortines, 80, retired in April, 2011.

The tentative settlement had included a $200,000 payment, lifetime health benefits and Graham’s resignation. After it unraveled, Graham returned to work at his $150,000-a-year position.

Los Angeles Times

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  • kathryn1233

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  • Dismissed

    The School Board never consulted the PTA or the public in the naming of L.A. High School #9. Ramon C. Cortines himself was reluctant to accept the honor. Now that the School Board is spending $200,000+ to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit claim against the former LAUSD Superintendent, the school should not be expected to continue venerating the wasteful legacy of man who "used poor judgement in having a sexual relationship with a subordinate" while laying off thousands of school employees.

  • Student

    Last year we were supposed to have a say in what the school should be named. As art students who care how we are viewed in the community are the ones who are going to suffer more. Do you think colleges are going approve students who come from a school whose namesake comes from a man who sexually harassed a subordinate? I believe they won't think twice to over look us, no matter how prestigious we get. I want to be proud and be able to say yes that's where I went to high school.

  • Art Teacher

    More Arts Teachers were fired under Mr. Cortines reign than any in the history of public education. He also pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees from vendor & publisher Scholastic, while the LAUSD bought millions of dollars of books from Scholastic. VAPA stakeholders have the right to weigh-in on the naming of the school.

  • Informed

    This latest Ramon Cortines adventure is just the tip of the iceberg. The guy he had the affair with dealt with LAUSD real estate, which ought to be audited for the corrupt practices that I pointed out to Cortines, when he was superintendent, but where never investigate by any agency.

  • Artist

    There are many great L.A. artists, artists in general or patrons of the arts that this school could be named for. Ramone Cortines presided over the LAUSD during a time of huge budget cuts and decimation of many programs for the arts. Although the budget problems of California in general and L.A. in particular are beyond his control, but he was ineffective in staunching the bleeding to education or providing meaningful leadership.


    Recent settlement with Cortines for sexual harassment is inappropriate for our students. It was named with complete disregard for the school's stakeholders & community.

  • Embarrassed Student

    Students at VAPA NEVER want to called theirs beautiful school of Arts Ramon Cortines. Please, his name has to be INMEDIATELY remove from the school fron door. It is very embarrasing.

    • fkkk

      How could You ever make it to high school, with the writing skills of a fourth grade student?
      Your team name could be the Peter Puffers…

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