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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

School District Refutes Tattler Story

School District Fights Back:
 Superintendent They Say,
Only Wasted About $79,000

The Emery Unified School District, in a notice sent to Emery school teachers, has expressed their displeasure regarding a February 12th Tattler story that disclosed the Superintendent of the Schools John Rubio, wasted about $100,000 by hiring a disgraced former elementary school principal and they want Emeryville parents and residents to know the amount the District wasted by the ill fated hire was really closer to $79,000.  Put another way, the District saved taxpayers some $21,000 with the disclosure.
The difference is the amount the District had to pay to fight off a possible lawsuit from the former principal Russom Mesfun; the Tattler reported up to $31,000 was spent on that but the actual amount turned out to be about $13,000.  That amount plus the salary and benefits (about $66,000) paid to Mr Mesfun, who never actually worked as a principal for Emery, totaled about $79,000.
Until the Tattler story of February 12th, Emery refused to publicly say how much by way of salary and benefits they paid to Mr Mesfun let alone how much of an allotted $31,000 for District legal bills was earmarked to fight Mr Mesfun.

Board Member
Christian Patz

After an internet search,

voted NO on hiring Mesfun.
He warned his colleagues 
against the hire.
Mr Mesfun was put on paid administrative leave before the first day of school last August reportedly after teachers complained of being harassed by the new principal.  The District hired Mr Mesfun by a vote of the School Board after Superintendent Rubio gave him the thumbs up.  The Tattler reported on the controversial pick by Mr Rubio after a Google search revealed a sordid history of chaos and firings by previous school districts that employed him including one district that was successfully sued by its teachers for harassment by Mr Mesfun.
Superintendent Rubio has told Emeryville residents and property owners, those who have had to pay for the misguided hiring of the former principal, he is ultimately responsible for the hiring of Mr Musfun, however it should be noted every Emery School Board member available to vote except Mr Christian Patz voted YES on Russom Mesfun last summer.
Board member Patz, the lone holdout among his colleagues against Mr Mesfun, told the Tattler, "In late July of last year, some parents came to me with concerns about the new principal selected for Anna Yates [Elementary School].  They told me to do an internet search for him and referred me to the Emeryville Tattler.  What I saw online gave me pause.  In talking with Mr Mesfun directly, I did not feel he was the right person to lead our flagship school.  I could not vote to approve the hiring".  The other Board members all voted to hire Mr Mesfun except Board president John Affeldt who was out of town for the vote.  Mr Affeldt did express his approval of Mr Mesfun at the time sources tell the Tattler.

Board Member
Joy Ashe

Voted YES on hiring Mesfun.

Board President
John Affeldt

Was out of town for the 

Mesfun vote but expressed 
approval for the hire.

Board Member
Melodi Dice

Voted YES on hiring Mesfun,


  1. The headline should have been "Emery School District Saves Taxpayers $21,000".

  2. The headline should have been "Time to Clean Out the School Board."

  3. Wow, they elected a school board member who knows how to use google?!
    Miracles happen!

    Of course it still didn't stop them from hiring the clown, YET AGAIN.

  4. First of all Brian, all news is old news. Can't find any new dirt? Secondly, isn't this the same superintendent who cut a somewhat lackluster CBO and other positions that I heard saved the district hundreds of thousands of dollars? If one were to be fair in keeping score and looking at the balance sheet, which I know isn't your style, it would seem that he's actually winning. We also haven't forgotten he is the first superintended to take action and that he kept his promise regarding what he would do if things didn't work out. Wouldn't the title of your article be better stated as "Brian loves Christian"?

    1. "Brian Loves Christian" Good point! In fact I DO love effective and ethical public servants...those who work in the resident's interests.
      RE: Firing the CBO, saving the District "thousands of dollars"- That's a whole different story, unrelated to the Mesfun story as much as you would like to conflate the two (strangely). Presumably, the District was served by having a CBO. I mean he didn't just sit on his butt...he worked for the District. So value was added there. Mesfun was a no value was added to the District. Superintendent Rubio could fire everyone and save millions using this logic. The new dirt here is the District is on the offensive with regards to the Mesfun affair and residents have an interest in that.