San Diego

Former SDUSD Investigator Testifies About Alleged District Cover-Up

Investigator tells jury he was fired for refusing to "white-wash" reports of sexual assault

A superior court jury heard details Monday about the alleged cover-up of sexual assault and the lack of an appropriate response by the principal at Green Elementary School in San Carlos.

Michael Gurrieri, a former investigator for the San Diego Unified School District, is suing the district for wrongful termination.

In his second day on the witness stand, Gurrieri said that in 2014, he found evidence of more than one student-on-student sexual assault at the school, but was told by his supervisor to omit that information from his report.

Gurrieri said his investigation also revealed that the school's principal had not responded forcefully enough to those alleged assaults, and had created "an unsafe environment" at the school.

Gurrieri told the jury that he refused to participate in the district's attempt to downplay those problems. He said his supervisor offered to help him find another job, and when he refused, asked him to resign. Gurrieri said he also refused that request and told his supervisor she would have to fire him because he felt a duty to "protect the children."

District Superintendent Cindy Marten is scheduled to testify Wednesday.

The school district denies Gurrieri's allegations. The district's attorney told the jury that district administrators were completely "transparent" with their investigation, made no effort to hide any negative information about the school or its principal, and fired Gurrieri's job only because of his poor performance.

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