Tim White, left, showed Interim Superintendent Roberta Mayor around the district in July, when she first arrived in Oakland. About three months later, Mayor apparently asked White to resign, before changing her mind. TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO by Alison Yin
Not long ago, Oakland Unified’s assistant superintendent and facilities director Tim White thought he was out of a job.
According to White, an internal investigation into legal, construction-related contracts with the Bryant & Brown law firm initially concluded that he had entered into those agreements without the approval of the board or the state administrator, and he was asked to resign.
But White said that as soon as he showed Interim Superintendent Roberta Mayor the board minutes (which are posted online, for public access) that showed otherwise, the pressure suddenly lifted.
About two weeks ago, White said, he got a letter from the district saying that he failed to catch $20,000 in duplicate billing by the law firm, but that was it.
Now, he said, it’s almost like nothing ever happened. Except that it did.
“I would like for them to at least approach me and say, `Hey, I made a mistake,’” he told me today.
White – a seven-year employee — described the investigation, led by OUSD’s General Counsel Deb Cooksey, as “bizarre” and “a self-inflicted black eye” for the district’s public image. (Bob Gammon wrote about the investigation in detail about a month ago in the East Bay Express.)
I have yet to hear further developments on the aspect of the investigation involving the law firm’s work, though I’ve been asking. The school board had referred the case to the district attorney for an impartial, third-party review, but as of late last month, the DA had yet to accept it.
Cooksey’s job was posted on EDJOIN about three weeks ago, but maybe that’s just a coincidence.