Ethically Challenged v. The Public Trust

A city attorney has the power to help take away a person’s freedom and, therefore, holds a lot of power. For this reason, a person holding this position must prove through their daily actions that they are deserving of the trust that society places in them. While I have never seen Tamar Galatzan in action as a city attorney, I have personally witnessed her actions as a School Board member and as a candidate. These actions do not show the character of someone who should be entrusted with service in our justice system.

A person’s actions can betray their real character. Despite her incumbancy and the large amounts of money she is likely to raise from outside interests, Ms. Galatzan apparently feels threatened by my candidacy to replace her on the Board. Unfortunately, instead of a campaign based on issues and her record, she is apparently going to rely on  lies. For example, she knows that I did not start a fake Twitter page in her name, but said in an endorsement interview that I did. I am left to wonder if she uses the same techniques when prosecuting people in court.

Sometimes these actions can also destroy lives. As part of the LAUSD Board, Ms. Galatzan participates in a system that regularly removes teachers from the classroom based on secret charges. Coincidentally, some of these teachers are whistleblowers who have exposed wrongdoing in the system. A high proportion are older teachers who are close to reaching retirement age. The official line is that they are being removed from the classroom to protect children, but in reality this does not always seem to be the case. One was removed from the classroom because the district felt that a science fair project could have been used as a weapon. Another was removed for allegedly not having the proper permission for a field trip. At most these teachers should have been banned from after school assignments while an investigation was conducted. I am left to wonder if she uses the same bullying tactics in her prosecutions.

Strangely, when it comes to her friends, she has a different sense of  justice. At the time of Superintendent John Deasy’s departure from the district, an investigation was under way to determine if there were any improprieties in the bidding for the $1.3 billion contract to purchase iPads for every student, teacher and administrator. Despite the fact that this investigation was not completed, Ms. Galatzan signed off on a document that stated that the Board did not believe that the Superintendent engaged in any ethical violations or unlawful acts” in implementing the purchase. Since this time, the FBI has seized documents relating to the purchase indicating that this absolution of guilt was premature. I am left to wonder if Ms. Galatzan uses the same poor judgement when deciding which cases she chooses to prosecute.

Ms. Galatzan campaigns for her School Board seat using her title with the City Attorney. When she engages in the behavior described above, I think that she diminishes both offices and the public trust.