SACRAMENTO, CA - Thanks to a public records request, new numbers reveal the major legal fees from Twin Rivers Unified School District.
Documents show that the district agreed to pay a retainer fee of $75,000 a month. Recent numbers indicate the district paid as much as $289,000 last month in legal fees, Twin Rivers Unified Educators Union President John Ennis.
The teachers union put in the public records request, asking to see how much money was spent on legal fees over the past four years.
"Millions of dollars are coming out of the general fund. It's not going into the classrooms," Ennis said. "It's going into legal fees. It's unprecedented."
Ennis said the district spent $8.5 million in legal fees in 46 months.
"Since January 1 this year, Twin Rivers Unified School District spent $1million on Tim Cary and Associates," Ennis said.
According to Ennis, the district spent $2 million a year on legal fees last year.
Sacramento Unified School District is twice as large as Twin Rivers, but doesn't spend anywhere as much in legal fees. Neither does Elk Grove Unified School District.
Twin Rivers Unified School District spent millions on dozens of court cases. Many of those cases were covered in the news. A number of them deal with alleged excessive force by the district police department.
The district spokesperson Trinette Marquis released a statement in response to Ennis's claims. She said that merging four separate school districts into one has been very complicated legally.
"Twin Rivers has been forced to address and clean up a number of poor decisions made prior to unification," Marquis said.
By Suzanne Phan, firstname.lastname@example.org