As I reported in today’s Trib, the Oakland school district filed a federal lawuit against the small Oakland law firm (pictured here), alleging racketeering, fraud, theft of public funds — you name it.
What I didn’t realize until recently was that Deb Cooksey — who led the Bryant & Brown investigation for OUSD until she resigned (her last day was Friday) – was once a close friend of Meredith Brown and Guy Bryant.
Bryant and Brown, who are suing the district and Cooksey for defamation, say Cooksey went after them from Day 1 because of a personal vendetta. They say the billing errors were an honest mistake, that the district is wasting its precious funds on a legal case that could have been resolved out of court.
So is Cooksey an axe-grinder or a whistleblower, or something in between? I don’t know. Maybe the United States District Court can figure that one out.
Top photo by Laura Oda/Oakland Tribune. Bottom (undated) photo, of Deb Cooksey (left) and Meredith Brown (center) in Spain, courtesy of Brown.