Miramonte's Berndt Got $40,000 From L.A. School Board to Quietly Walk Away Despite Alleged Sex-Abuse Atrocities
A photo of Berndt released by attorneys suing the district.
Corrected after the jump; headline has been changed.
If it weren't for his eventual arrest, we might have never found out about the atrocities alleged to have happened in Mark Berndt's Miramonte Elementary School class.
That's because the L.A. Unified School District's elected board quietly paid Berndt to go away, according to an astonishing report by KPCC's (89.3 FM) Tami Abdollah today.
Taxpayer money was given to Berndt:
He was paid
a $40,000 settlement, given months of back pay worth $24,000, was allowed to retire instead of being fired, and even had his legal fees, in the sum of $16,000, covered.
Can you say outrage?
Winning: Your L.A. school board.
This even though the district alleged back in January of 2011 that Berndt, according to KPCC's echoing of documents it received ...
... caused students to be blindfolded, allowed himself to be blindfolded; caused students to have tape placed over their mouths, allowed himself to have tape placed over his mouth; caused several students to be fed with a spoon containing an "unknown cloudy-colored liquid substance"; caused several students to eat cookies with that same substance on them; touched several students by placing arm around them.
Berndt hired an attorney and fought the charges after his dismissal in January, leading to a June 7 closed-door decision by the board to let him walk away quietly with more than $3,800 a month in pension pay -- which cannot be taken away from him even if he's convicted -- and the other cash listed above, according to KPCC.
Berndt is charged with 23 counts of lewd acts on a child, acts that allegedly included spoon-feeding semen to his students.
When he was arrested last week, the world finally found out about Miramonte.
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.