nbc 7 investigates

Cajon Valley Unified Sues Trustee For Harassment and Discrimination

The district’s lawsuit was filed just weeks after the trustee sued the superintendent for alleged retaliation.

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The Cajon Valley Unified School District is suing one of its trustees for workplace discrimination and for taking district-owned pens and print cartridges for personal use, among other allegations of wrong-doing.

The district’s lawsuit was filed just weeks after the same trustee -- Jill Barto --  sued Cajon Valley’s superintendent, David Miyashiro, and her fellow trustees for retaliation.

On Friday, attorneys for the district filed the legal action against Barto -- a board member since 1995 -- alleging she harassed three district staffers, created a hostile work environment by criticizing fellow board members and district staff, and pocketed district pens and printer ink for personal use.

According to the lawsuit, a district employee lodged a harassment complaint against Barto earlier this year, prompting the district to form a committee and to launch an investigation. During that investigation, the committee allegedly “found evidence that two other District employees and the initial complaining employee had suffered sexual harassment, retaliation, gender discrimination, or bullying…”

In addition to mistreating district staffers, the complaint alleges Barto shared -- and continues to share -- confidential information about the district with outsiders. 

Lastly, the district accuses Barto of taking “boxes of pens, batteries and printer cartridges." 

Taxpayers will now pay the costs related to those two lawsuits involving Barto, district superintendent David Miyashiro, and other board members. 

Late last month, as reported by NBC 7 Investigates, Barto sued Miyashiro and other trustees for allegedly retaliating against her after she accused Miyashiro of misusing district funds on travel and promotional videos.

Regarding those travel costs, NBC 7 Investigates obtained public documents showing staff spent $1.1 million on trips and conferences since March 2017, a considerable amount of money for a school district with 17,468 students.

Miyashiro was often the recipient of those district-paid trips. The superintendent -- one of the highest paid in the county -- took 59 trips from March 27, 2017, through Oct. 23, 2019, at a total cost of  $327,640 in district funds. The trips included conferences and “Ted Talks” in Tallahassee, Vancouver, Chicago, Beijing, O’ahu, and London.

In a statement, Miyashiro said the board had authorized the filing of legal action against Barto before her lawsuit was filed against him and the other board members. 

“Trustee Barto had not [criticized] my travel expenditures,” Miyashiro told NBC 7 Investigates. “She approved and several times motioned support for the work we were doing as a district." 

Miyashiro said the board approved filing the lawsuit before Barto filed her retaliation suit in late November.


Barto declined to comment.

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