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MDUSD responds to more questions about laptop theft

By Theresa Harrington
Friday, December 28th, 2012 at 6:37 pm in Berkeley school district, Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

As more people are finding out about the theft of a laptop computer containing confidential employee information, which belonged to Mt. Diablo school district Chief Financial Officer Bryan Richards, new questions are arising.

I sent an email with the following questions to General Counsel Greg Rolen. His emailed responses are below the questions.

Questions:

1. How much is it costing the district to provide the free identity theft protection to affected employees and retirees for one year?

2. Is the district’s insurance covering all or a portion of the cost?

3. If so, what is the deductible amount?

4. If so, what is the expiration date of the insurance?

5. Please send me a copy of the letter that was sent to Berkeley school district employees or former employees regarding this incident.

ANSWERS:

“1. 2. The District’s initial response to the incident included, but was not limited to address list management through the National Change Of Address and Deceased Suppression databases; printing inserting and mailing the notifications, post breach return mail management services and call center services. We have an estimated cost of $29,640. The credit monitoring and identity theft insurance is based on enrollment. Consequently, we are uncertain as to the final costs. However, we will be bringing these matters to the Board.

2. 3. The District has cyber liability insurance through Lloyds of London. This is part of the CSAC Excess Insurance maintained by the District. The Insurance policy provides for $10 million aggregate limit of liability and a $100,000 Self Insured Retention.

4. The Policy Period is March 31, 2012 to January 1, 2013. The Date of Loss falls within the policy period. Therefore we have full coverage. The District has the option to renew the cyber liability policy yearly.

5. See attached”

Here is what the attached letter said:

“To the Estate of Sample A Sample:

The confidentiality of personal inforation we maintain is crtically important to Mt. Diablo Unified School District (“District”) and we take great efforts to protect it. Regrettably, we are writing to let you know about an incident involving some of that information.

One of our offices was burglarized on Saturday, December 1, 2012, and a password-protected, unencrypted computer was stolen after thieves broke a Window, Law enforcement and District staff were immediately alerted because the was protected by a security camera, motion detector, and an alarm. During the investigation conducted by the District, We discovered that the computer contained a payroll file with information concerning employees of Berkeley Unified School District, including certain employees’ name and Social Security number. We believe a former Berkeley Unified School District employee who then came to Work for the District and has since left inadvertently transferred the file to the District’s computer.

The District is working diligently with law enforcement. We have no reason to believe that the computer was stolen for the information on it or that the information on it has been improperly used in any way.

To prevent something like this from happening in the future, the district has implemented several measures to minimize the use of employee social security numbers in district reports and forms, other than when legally required. We apologize for the concern and inconvenience this situation may cause you. If you have any questions, please call 888-414-8019, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. When prompted, please enter the following 10 digit reference code: 6373121312.

Sincerely,

Steven Lawrence, Ph.D.
Superintendent”

When I noticed that the Berkeley letter does not include information about signing up for a free year of identity theft protection, I emailed Rolen to ask if the district was providing that service to Berkeley employees.

Here is his emailed response:

“Yes, and those individuals have been so informed.”

I asked how they were informed and asked for a copy of that communication, but have received no response.

I also emailed Bryan Richards to ask about a retiree who left the district before 1998, but received a letter (even though the letter stated that affected Mt. Diablo employees worked for the district between 1998 and 2010).

Here is his emailed response:

“Theresa, I am out of the office and cannot look up the specific person you mention. However, if the retirees are still in the district’s medical plan, or if they have come back as substitutes since retiring, they may have been included for those reasons.

If anyone got the letter, it is because we identified their name or ssn as potentially exposed. We do not know with 100% certainty that all or any of them were actually on the machine that was taken, but we are acting in the most conservative manner that any that may have been on the drive based on what we have identified are noticed.

Bryan”

Richards had previously told me the information was was included in reports in archived files that had been “pulled by staff” and was transferred onto his laptop from a computer that belonged to his predecessor.

He said the district is reviewing its protocols to see if some files should be purged to protect against this type of incident happening in the future.

Board President Cheryl Hansen and Trustee Brian Lawrence have both said they intend to ask staff for a full report regarding the theft and district security protocols to determine what can be done to strengthen them.

What do you think the district should do to ensure that such a security breach does not happen again?

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  • g

    Don’t just write up a security protocol and then toss it into the File & Forget & Everybody-But-Me drawer.

    How hard would it have been for Rolen to say that “the bottom line depends on how many enroll, but average is $XX per person?”

    Rolen cannot provide final costs for Experian, and procrastinators have until March to enroll, so I’m not holding my breath for a $$ figure on that puppy.

    As to Excess coverage on Cyber losses. Excess sounds like excess, meaning just that==they pick up where our in-house coverage stops, but how much is that?

    Cyber loss, as I understand it only covers against law suits filed for actual losses by those affected by identity theft. So Lloyds will not kick in to help pay for Experian costs.

  • Doctor J

    As for the Cyber Insurance, Rolen seems to have told only have the story — he left out its a “claims made against the insured” during the policy period; left out and several of the specifics and limitations. Seems like the district will be paying big bucks for Richards having left his computer out and unsecured. I doubt much will come back to the district in terms of insurance claims. http://www.csac-eia.org/pdfs/CSAC%20Cyber%20Coverage%20Summary%201-1-12%20Voluntary%20final.pdf

  • Doctor J

    As for the Cyber Insurance, Rolen seems to have told only half the story — he left out its a “claims made against the insured” during the policy period; left out and several of the specifics and limitations. Seems like the district will be paying big bucks for Richards having left his computer out and unsecured. I doubt much will come back to the district in terms of insurance claims. http://www.csac-eia.org/pdfs/CSAC%20Cyber%20Coverage%20Summary%201-1-12%20Voluntary%20final.pdf

  • g

    We know the Retention (very similar to a deductible–but doesn’t lower overall coverage) is $100,000.00. So we know we are on the hook for up to at least that amount.

  • Anon

    The district claims they don’t believe the laptop was stolen for the information on it. Really? Was the CFO’s laptop the only computer stolen? The CFO is at the heart of every organization and he would have access to all critical financial information. Therefore, it seems logical that the CFO’s laptop was targeted precisely for the information on it. Seriously, if someone just wanted a laptop, there are a lot easier ways to steal one with less risk of being caught.

    Theresa…do you know if the district backs up data kept on the C/drive (hard drive)? If not, could there be sensitive data on the laptop that the district may not know about?

  • MDUSD Board Watcher

    I think the timing of the theft and the fact that it was only a very specific laptop is very suspicious. I think a question to ask is what could have been on that laptop that the Gang of Five needed to never come to the light of day.

    A new board majority makes some surprising decisions (at least to the Gang of five) regarding the “illegal” contracts and suddenly the Gang of Five is in panic mode. Something exists on that computer that they can’t ever have show up in a court of law.

    Maybe a theft was staged. Maybe that is why the video is “unavailable”.

    Maybe this is the Watergate of the MDUSD.

    Ask yourselves about the timing people. Something stinks in Denmark.

  • Anon

    @6 I agree. The first thought that came to my mind is someone is very concerned about the data on the laptop (data added to the laptop by Richards and that may not be backedup).

    The most likely suspect(s) are someone who works within the administration of MDUSD or someone who knows a fiscal employee who knows the layout of Richard’s office. Does the accounting department let anyone from the public enter the fiscal offices?

    Also, was there a security breach prior to the laptop being stolen? Was there identity theft or anything similar prior to the laptop being stolen? Could it be that someone needed the laptop to be “stolen” to provide an explanation for a security breach that had occurred? OR could it be that the laptop needed to dissapear to hide an “audit trail”?

  • Dave

    I have seen this happen over and over again at organizations. Sensitive data should not be allowed on mobile devices period. There should be a strict policy about having no sensitive data on mobile devices period! The consequences for violating this rules should be extreme.
    Also, hackers read the news as well. It would not surprise me if hackers do not start probing the MDUSD network for vulnerabilities.

  • Rich

    As for hackers probing the district system, it happens all the time. Usually it’s from students trying to test their skills. It started in 1990 when the MDUSD Tech head made the announcement in the Times that the security system was bullet proof. Students broke in within 24 hours. My guess is that the system takes at least 100 hits on any school day and maybe more on the weekends.

    The Techs made a point of going around to all of the staff and student work stations trying to set them up so that they would not record on the hard drive of the individual station. When you closed a file, it automatically went to the file server. There was a problem with this in that the file server would then often lose the file and the user would have to start all over again. So, the Techs started setting up some of the computers so that they would save to the hard drive of the computer.

    I’m beginning to believe that this wasn’t just one mistake. It sounds like a series of mistakes that resulted in this security breach.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Anon: According to Richards, the district was able to determine what was on the laptop by accessing some sort of backup images. He said that’s why it took so long to notify people — because the district was trying to figure out what was on it. I think that’s also why he says the district isn’t 100 percent sure information for all the people notified was on the laptop.

  • g

    June, 2004-June, 2005 must have been a scary bad time at Dent. By my count there were (at least)four Budget and Fiscal Service Directors in those 12 months!

    (Finnell, Pavlina, Zell, Gamblin)

    Board minutes from that year have been deleted, so it’s hard to tell how much the public was aware of issues, such as “allegations of financial mismanagement.”

    Finally, Eberhart figured out ‘something’ was wrong over at Personnel/Payroll and went to Ovick for help. Ovick did his own study, and called FCMAT in April, 2005 to do a “Technology Study” and fix the problems. It took until March of 2006 to finalize the report.

    In the minutes of 3/28/06 they published ‘highlights’ of the FCMAT actions and recommendations… and some sparse board comments.

    All that, and no one considered a need to scan for privacy sensitive files and clean the computer(s)?

  • g

    Coincidentally(?) FCMAT was also doing a “Technology Study” at Berkeley Unified during those same months.

  • Anon

    @12 – There is no such thing as a coincidence. It’s highly suspicious that Berkeley Payroll data was on Richard’s laptop. It’s time for a forensic accountant and forensic IT technician to come in and assess the payroll departments of MDUSD and Berkeley Unified.

  • http://www.k12reboot.com Jim

    @11 — Ah yes, Gloria Gamblin. How could we forget her? Becoming CFO of MDUSD just 3 years after getting her bachelor’s degree in “business”. No CPA–or even accounting degree–needed to run the finances of this $300 million operation. Just 3 years learning the ropes at the infamously run Oakland Unified SD (just before their state takeover). And how much of her “tenure” consisted of unspecified “medical leave”? Can’t recall… But I do suspect she’ll go down as one of the district’s more expensive personnel mistakes.

  • g

    Correcting myself: I mistakenly said it was Eberhart that called in Ovick/FCMAT. It was Gary McHenry. Initial costs associated with that study were reported as of August 2005 (many months before report was even supposedly completed) “$500,000 related to the FCMAT study and the software and hardware needed to implement its recommendations.”

    A month later McHenry reported “the old version of the personnel/payroll software has been replaced. There are fewer problems, though a few kinks still need to be worked out.”

    Interesting. Shouldn’t you have to actually look at what kind of files you’re moving from one system to another?

    Of course, one person who comments here was a very prominent ‘fly on the wall’ at Dent through all that personnel/Budget Director madness — and she could probably make all of this a bit more clear. Shining a light on it now will show that not only were the old warts not removed by an extreme overturn of management, but instead they appear to have multiplied.

  • Theresa Harrington

    It appears that both Richards and Berkeley Unified know who the person is who transferred the files. Richards said it didn’t appear to be Gamblin, based on the “name” of the file. When I asked him the name of the file, he said: “I’m not going to tell you that.”
    When I spoke to the Berkeley PIO, he said the person was a part-time, temporary, short-term employee. He also said he didn’t know the person. He said he thought the files were transferred inadvertently along with other files of a more general nature related to budgeting.

  • Anon

    The more I read on here, the less informed I become. Nothing more than amazing theories and armchair quarterbacking. It is entertaining though.

  • Wendy Lack

    @G #15:

    Do you know whether the half-million dollar 2005 FCMAT study was made public, so everyone could know the scope of the study? At any time did the District make a statement regarding which study recommendations were acted upon, and which were not?

  • g

    Wendy Lack: The closest I could find to anything resembling a reporting of the FCMAT report are merely highlighted in these minutes:

    http://www.mdusd.org/boe/Documents/minutes/0506/03-28-06.htm

    The actual FCMAT report is now archived. Title:

    Contra Costa COE – Mt. Diablo USD final report 3-14-06 (490) – technology.

    A request for copies of archives must be made by calling (661) 636-4611. I have not requested copies.

    As to what was actually happening in 2005, or what corrections were implemented—who can really tell? Yes they hired a couple more managers, they installed some software, but little is said about whether it was due to FCMAT mandates or…. We do know it was all due to enormous Personnel, Payroll, computer issues.

    Although Agenda links go back to Jan 2004, much info is now lost to us due to deletion of all board minutes prior to Jan 2006.

  • g

    FCMAT archives is not the only place to get a copy. Ovick requested the study, and should still have a copy. Also, under Staff Reports of COE 2005 meetings minutes for both 5/24 and 6/14 speak at length about the issue, and indicate a full copy was given to MDUSD.

    http://www.cccoe.k12.ca.us/supe/board_02.html#2005

  • vindex

    Talking to employees.. The number for the “activation” code for the free identity theft protection doesn’t even work. MDUSD is so sad

  • Theresa Harrington

    I hope the board will agendize a report about this issue instead of allowing the superintendent to present a surprise report about it under “Superintendent’s Report,” with no public notice.
    The board should require the superintendent to list what he intends to talk about in his reports so that members of the public who may be interested in those topics can attend and/or comment.
    Although Rolen has shot down Hansen’s ideas for having community meetings, saying they might violate the Brown Act if the agendas were too vague, he doesn’t seem to see any problem with the superintendent routinely bringing up surprise issues during his reports, with no public notice.

  • Sue Berg

    G, #19: Thanks for providing the link to the minutes when the FCMAT report on the district’s payroll management system was summarized. I remember that study as being quite extensive and comprehensive, with a representative of the FCMAT based in the District Office for the duration of it. Both during and well after the study the Superintendent and staff worked with the FCMAT to identify problems and develop solutions. There was no one Board meeting at which the FCMAT recommendations were presented and approved for immediate implementation. Rather, the Superintendent brought specific recommendations to the Board as needed over time.

    If you are looking for Board meeting minutes before they were routinely posted on line in the mid-2000s, stop by the Superintendent’s Office. Hard copies of the agendas and minutes of all Board meetings in MDUSD history are available there. I encourage anyone else who’s interested to take the time to stop by the office and read through the binders. They contain a wealth of information.

  • g

    Sue Berg: Thank you for taking my hint. Posted Agenda/Minutes calendar for 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 indicate that at one time all of those minutes were posted. One cannot help but just wonder about why they were deleted.

    I had really hoped you would expound on the ridiculous number of Budget Director turnovers during that time, as was gleaned through the eyes and ears of the Superintendents office.

    Steve Pavlina is hard to figure. Could he be the one and the same as the big-talking blogger GURU?

  • Theresa Harrington

    As I was looking back through the agendas and minutes posted on the Electronic School Board site (which only go back to 2009), I noticed this agenda for a community meeting held at the Willow Creek Center on Dec. 14, 2009: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_agendaview.aspx?mtgId=261

    All it says is:

    “1.0 Public Comment
    1.1 The public may address the Board regarding any item within the jurisdiction of the Board of Education of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District that is not on this agenda. These presentation are limited to three minutes each, or a total of thirty minutes for all speakers, or the three minute limit may be shortened. If there are multiple speakers on any one subject, the public comment period may be moved to the end of the meeting. Speakers are not allowed to yield their time. Info

    2.0 Community Meeting
    2.1 Local School Community Meeting Info”

    This is far more vague and open-ended than the community meeting agendas suggested by Hansen, yet Rolen doesn’t seem to have objected that this agenda violated the Brown Act.
    Perhaps the new board should revisit the planned community meetings and use the above agenda language, which has already been used successfully by the previous board with the current general counsel.

  • Hell Freezing Over

    One would think if the minutes were posted at one time via a link on a server, instead of deleting these official district documents, these would be available via a backup of files on the district servers (as well as hard copy docs in the supts office to thumb thru).

    We have personnel files and who knows what other information floating around on non-encrypted and non-secured laptops, but we can’t find / have links to archived district board meeting minutes?

  • Theresa Harrington

    HFO: That is an excellent point.

    Also, Pete Pedersen’s very comprehensive lease-leaseback PowerPoint presented Dec. 21 still hasn’t been posted on the district’s website: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_itemview.aspx?ItemId=6135&mtgId=390
    Trustee Linda Mayo made a point on Dec. 10 of saying that the M&O Dept. would have to go to a lot of extra work to prepare that presentation. But, since the district hasn’t posted it, only those who were able to attend the meeting have an inkling of how much work went into it. Those listening to the audio are somewhat left in the dark, since they can’t see it.

  • g

    Theresa @ 25: Perhaps the board should revisit its own mandated Superintendent’s PAC, as well as his arbitrary decision to save himself the trouble of monthly meetings in favor of 3-4 By Invitation (“Oh, but we hope everyone will attend”) Community Meetings.

    Prior to his arrival, there were, for several years, usually 20-22 parents attending Every single PAC meeting representing 30+ schools, and discussing very relevant, timely issues.

    If interest and attendance dropped so much after he came, it is his fault, and he needs to be held accountable.

  • Theresa Harrington

    I have heard from other employees whose credit cards have been used fraudulently as well.

  • Margaret Powell

    We have had two credit cards compromised. Today, I supposedly received an email from Amazon about a denied payment. I called Amazon and they never sent the email. Someone has enrolled me in a email card site and set up a profile that isn’t mine.
    What’s next?

  • Theresa Harrington

    The attorneys to whom I spoke from the FTC recommend that you visit their website and take action to protect against identity theft. You can also file a police report, contact the attorney general and the District Attorney.
    The district could be held liable for losses as the result of identity theft if the FTC or other law enforcement agencies find that it was negligent in the way it secured your confidential information.
    Storing social security numbers on an unencrypted laptop doesn’t meet data protection requirements for federal government agencies. It’s unclear whether data storage protocols exist for school districts. But, since they are also government agencies, it would make sense for them to adopt standards similar to those adopted by federal government agencies.
    Board President Cheryl Hansen and Trustee Brian Lawrence have said they want a full report about what happened and what is being done to protect against a similar incident in the future. You could contact trustees to let them know what has happened to you and voice any suggestions you have for what could be done differently: http://www.mdusd.org/boe/Pages/default.aspx
    You could also publicly address the board about this Jan. 14.

  • Margaret Powell

    Do we have any idea how many people in that group of people from the stolen laptop have had credit card problems?

  • Theresa Harrington

    When you say “we,” I’m not sure who you mean. I don’t know. I’ve heard from a handful. The district may have been notified by employees or other agencies that have received complaints. Hopefully, this information will be included in the full report some trustees are seeking.

  • Rich

    Poof! School starts back up and Poof! No one continues to care about the data breach. MDEA has no posting, there are no new postings on this blog. MDUSD’s Data Breach problem got sucked up by an internet panacea and Poof! The interest is gone! Amazing!

  • Theresa Harrington

    Rich, I don’t think the interest is gone. We will see if there is a report to the board about this on Monday, as Board President Cheryl Hansen and Trustee Brian Lawrence have said they would request.

  • Rich

    What’s strange is that there has been no MDEA response and many teachers that I know didn’t find out about the breach until well into the vacation. The classified union knew and got informaiton out to it’s members before the break. Employees get “Robo-Called” each time there’s a toothache in the Dent Center but this wasn’t important enough. And it’s been four days without comments about the Data Breach on the blog. I thought for sure when employees returned from winter break they’d be pushing to find out what really happened.

  • g

    Rich: Brian has posted on his blog, and you can email suggested questions. http://briantlawrence.blogspot.com/

  • Theresa Harrington

    The difference between MDUSD and Berkeley was telling. Berkeley got a letter out to its employees immediately letting them know that the letter from MDUSD was coming so they wouldn’t be surprised. MDUSD, on the other hand, waited to inform employees until it had all the ID theft protection information ready. Hansen told me it was her understanding that union leaders were informed before the letters went out. Brian Lawrence said the district was trying to weigh the need to inform employees against the desire to keep the details quiet so the laptop thieves wouldn’t find out what was on the computer.

  • Theresa Harrington

    g: Thanks for posting the link to Brian Lawrence’s blog post. Here is what he wrote:

    “Jan. 14th Board Meeting
    At the January 14th Board meeting, one of the topics will be to update the public on the break-in at the Dent Center. The only item taken was a password protected laptop that had personal information (SS#, birthdate) for thousands of employees and former employees. I’ll be posing the following questions to the Superintendent and staff:

    1. Please walk us through the time line of the break-in and the notification process
    2. Why did the District use an outside vendor to notify the affected people?
    3. How many people have opted for the credit protection plan?
    4. How does that protection plan differ from free plans offered by the same vendor?
    5. What is the cost to the district per person who enrolls?
    6. What has been the total cost to the district so far?
    7. What additional costs do you anticipate?
    8. Where in the budget is this coming from?
    9. Who is responsible for the security guidelines for the computers?
    10. What are those guidelines?
    11. Do we have any indications that the the thief (or thieves) has cracked the computer and compromised anyone’s identity?
    12. What have we learned and how do we make sure this does not happen again?

    I’m attempting to broadcast the meeting over the web at: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/briantlawrence This will be a work in progress and we’ll also look at some other technologies. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.”

    Clearly, he does not appear to be daunted by Linda Mayo’s admonishment not to post on blogs. And I am personally grateful for his efforts to livestream the meeting. It’s unclear whether there will be an archived version of the video or if it is only available as the meeting happens. Because I’m unclear on this, I’ll probably also videotape key portions of the meeting, such as the laptop discussion and discussion of the cure and correct resolution.

    In looking at Brian Lawrence’s twitter feed, I see this comment posted Dec. 14: “I asked the Superintendent for a copy of the #mdusd emergency plan. I’ll post it on my website after I receive it.”

    Since he still hasn’t posted it, I assume this means he still hasn’t received it. Wonder if this will come up during the superintendent’s evaluation.

  • Doctor J

    What is Linda Mayo’s response to the Calif Board of Education inviting public “email comments” on specific agenda items to be distributed to each Board member in preparation for the meeting ? Wouldn’t that open her eyes if the MDUSD Board did that so Linda would actually know what the public was thinking ? I wonder what the State PTA’s position is on that ? I will bet that lobbyists aren’t happy about the public now having access to Board members. As for the emergency plan not being provided to Brian Lawrence, it reminds me of the children’s song: “Here we sit like birds in the Wilderness, Waiting for . . . Steven Lawrence to provide the emergency plan.”

  • Wendy Lack

    Glad to hear about Brian Lawrence’s ongoing use of today’s customary modes of communication (i.e., social media, blogs, etc.), in defiance of Mayo’s bizarre perspective on the matter. All of the Board members should follow his lead.

    Someone really ought to clue Mayo (and any of her ilk) in to the fact that “government transparency” encompasses handling communication in ways that are efficient, effective and responsive to public needs. It’s about more than doing “the minimum” under the Brown Act. It’s an attitude of openness, responsiveness and personal accountability. It’s doing business in ways that suit your customer best.

    “Transparency” is often used by public officials as mere jargon, a buzzword that sounds good. But when you see it in action, it’s not just a word but palpably a way of doing business, both internally and externally. In that regard, perhaps transparency is best identified in its absence, since when it’s present it’s a non-issue and things just hum along, free from complaints from those who feel they’re treated like mushrooms.

    I continue to be encouraged by what we’re seeing from this new Board.

  • Doctor J

    Looking for the “like” button on Wendy’s post #41.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Wendy: I am also encouraged. Hansen, Brian Lawrence and Barbara Oaks are all responsive when I ask them questions.

    Unfortunately, Dennler and Mayo rarely respond to questions from the press. Yet, accountability also includes accessibility. Hansen, Brian Lawrence and Barbara Oaks have all given me their cell phone numbers, so I can reach them if a pressing issue breaks. Mayo and Dennler don’t have cell phones, or if they do, they have chosen not to give me their numbers. Although many people criticized Sherry Whitmarsh, I must say that she was responsive to my questions, gave me her cell phone number and answered the phone when I called. Gary Eberhart was hot and cold. He answered the phone when he wanted to and ignored the press when he didn’t want to talk.

    I was also encouraged by the interaction I witnessed between Hansen and Dennler at the CAC meeting. During the break, they were discussing committee assignments and I did not sense any friction between them. They were smiling and speaking in a friendly and respectful manner to each other. Mayo left shortly after Hansen arrived and I didn’t see them greet each other (although it’s possible they did and I missed it). If the board holds a retreat, the dynamics between the trustees will become more apparent.

  • Doctor J

    @TH#43 Do Linda Mayo and Lynne Dennler ignore your emails ? They both list email addresses on the district website. I actually believe that the presentation by FFF on the Brown Act allegations has opened Lynne’s eyes, and she is starting to see how Linda has led her down a path of blind obedience — and over the cliff. I am told that Lynne has asked to attend some of the staff meetings on disproportionality and is being given the cold shoulder by Steven Lawrence and Rose Lock. Its good to see improving communication between Cheryl and Lynne. Its always difficult when 3 Board members show up at a meeting — Brown Act issues if they want to chat. I fully expect that when committee assignments are made and approved, Linda and Lynne’s assisgnments will not align.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Yes, Mayo and Dennler have ignored my emails and phone messages on their home answering machines. There have been times when Mayo has responded by phone, but it is usually past my deadline. Even Whitmarsh and Eberhart gave me the courtesy of a response when I asked them about the Brown Act violation allegations. But I heard nothing from Dennler or Mayo, not even a “no comment.”

    Dennler should be given access to the disproportionality meetings. I assume there is a board liaison on the Equity Advisory Team. As I have previously stated, that group’s meeting agendas and minutes should be posted online. It turns out they have received numerous detailed reports, which I’m sure the public would like to see.

  • Doctor J

    I was told that Linda Mayo and Sherry Whitmarsh were on the Equity Advisory Team last year. I don’t know what the current status is.

  • Doctor J

    Berkeley USD hires consultants to evaluate school access by potential armed intruders. What is MDUSD doing ? http://www.insidebayarea.com/oaklandtribune/localnews/ci_22340147/berkeley-review-gunman-campus-training-wake-newtown-conn?source=rss

  • Theresa Harrington

    In the interest of transparency, it would be wonderful if the liaisons to the various committees would report on these meetings to the rest of the board.

    On another topic, TV news is reporting a bus accident on Hwy. 4 westbound near Port Chicago Hwy with one student on board. Not sure if it’s an MDUSD bus.

  • Doctor J

    The first step in transparency is to have the Board’s appointments to committees made public — Sherry Whitmarsh refused to follow Board policy in that regard.

  • Theresa Harrington

    I’m sure Hansen will make the committee liaisons public, since she was the one pushing for that last time.

    I wonder if there are board liaisons on the Graduation Requirements Committee and Bay Point Master Plan committee. I think Eberhart was on the technology committee. These liaisons could report to the rest of the board in the same way the CAC members and Pleasant Hill Education Commission members who sit on various committees report back to each other. Then, the public would no longer be left in the dark.

    Imagine if Paul Strange and Gary Eberhart had reported to the rest of the board about their solar plans on the facilities subcommittee. Then, the public would have been clued in to what was going on.