FBI Looking Into School Sex Abuse Allegations at Miramonte? Nope
One of the lawyers representing parents who are suing the L.A. public school district over the Miramonte Elementary School sex abuse scandal says the FBI should look into the situation.
After all, moms and dads were kept in the dark regarding longtime allegations that teacher Mark Berndt was a molester of the worst kind.
But today the FBI dashed lawyer Brian Claypool's hopes:
FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller issued a statement via the L.A. County Sheriff's Department saying Miramonte is a matter for local law enforcement. She says after looking into it, the FBI decided to keep it local for now:
At this time, prosecution is being pursued solely by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office and the investigative agency is the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Claypool, who is representing 11 children and their families in civil suits against the L.A. Unified School District, sent a letter to President Obama asking for federal intervention.
Subsequently, he says, the FBI's Crimes Against Children Unit expressed interest in launching an investigation.
Claypool's main qualm, according to KNX 1070 News, was that parents were not notified of the nearly year-old allegations against Berndt until the case exploded early this year.
After Miramonte hit the front page, the entire staff was transferred away from the school.
[Added at 1:46 p.m.]:
Wow. This must be big news, because Los Angeles School Police Department Chief Steven Zipperman, a guy we did not know previously existed, was compelled to issue a statement as well:
The health and welfare of the entire Los Angeles Unified School District family is our foremost motivation. The District has willingly and actively participated in all investigations. Although we are unaware of any federal investigation at this time, we are committed to cooperating and working with any investigative body that can help the District in its ongoing efforts to ensure we provide the safest learning and working environment for our community.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.
- The Porter Ranch Gas Leak Has Been Stopped
- Rain Could Douse This February Heat Wave. Maybe.
- City Cracks Down on Happy Ending Massage Parlors