More to come, but in a lengthy ruling, the 3rd District Court of Appeals in Santa Ana has cleared former Capistrano Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Susan McGill of perjury, bringing to an end legal proceedings related to the so-called enemies list of recall supporters.
The 70-page opinion says the District Attorney should have put former district spokesman David Smollar on the stand during grand jury proceedings, because his testimony would have shown McGill didn't lie to the body when she said she didn't create the list of those who gathered signatures during an attempt to recall all seven trustees in 2005.
McGill and Smollar journeyed to Santa Ana to review the petitions. That led the DA to accuse Fleming of "misappropriation of public funds" and other charges and McGill with perjury and other charges. All charges against Fleming were dropped earlier this month.
The charges were the basis of the "CUSD Reform" committee's move into the district, as Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman Tony Beall reportedly called the district and its leaders "corrupt."
Ultimately, two trustees were recalled by the "Reform Group," which ultimately gained all seven seats. In the last election, two reformers were recalled, and another did not seek re-election.
While the "reform" group still holds a 4-3 majority on the board, Trustees Jack Brick and Anna Bryson seem to be working well with the new trustees, while Ellen Addonizio and Sue Palazzo often seem at odds with their colleagues.
Tuesday's appellate court ruling also clears prosecutors of any deliberate misdeeds. Justices earlier questioned whether prosecutors made it clear that Smollar's testimony showed who created the lists.
See the entire ruling here.