A lawsuit alleging breach of contract and negligence related to the bribery scandal that rocked the campus in June has been filed in Superior Court against the Pasadena Area Community College District, the Board of Trustees and numerous other defendants.
Gail Cooper, the schoolâ€™s general counsel, said the District could not respond to questions, but did confirm that it will respond to the lawsuit.
The suit was filed by LED Global, a firm that lost a $5-million contract to install lighting on campus.
The â€˜negligenceâ€™ part of the lawsuit centers around the idea that the Board of Trustees did not properly supervise ex-Vice President of Administrative Services Richard van Pelt, and former Facilities Supervisor Alfred Hutchings who were fired in June after the school found out they were being investigated by the District Attorneyâ€™s office for â€˜conflicts of interestâ€™.
The plaintiff in the lawsuit, LED Global, has also filed a suit against van Pelt and Hutchings, which claims the two men had solicited bribes in exchange for the awarding of contracts.
â€œDefendants had merely become a â€˜rubber stampâ€™ for Hutchings or van Pelt,â€ the lawsuit against the school claims. â€œA contract agreed to by Hutchings and van Pelt was effective upon their agreement, regardless of whether Defendants, or any of them, had officially taken their action as the â€˜rubber stamp.â€™â€
Another development revealed in the lawsuit against the school is that LED Global names itself as the whistleblower that prompted the District Attorneyâ€™s investigation into van Pelt and Hutchings.ÂÂ
In addition to the negligence grievance, the lawsuit also repeats many of the allegations outlined in the initial lawsuit against van Pelt and Hutchings.
These include the reneged contract, or, â€˜purchase orderâ€™ of $5 million, and the condition that van Pelt and Hutchings have an all-expenses-paid Mumbai excursion which they claim was for a factory site visit.
â€œDefendants, by and through van Pelt and Hutchings, then promised that Pasadena City College would enter into a contract with plaintiff LED Global for the provision of LED lighting on campus of Pasadena City College so long as Plaintiff met two conditions,â€ the lawsuit reads. The conditions included the factory site visit, and the inclusion of an attorney who never actually made it to Mumbai.
While LED Global didnâ€™t specifically detail the amount theyâ€™re pursuing in the lawsuit, they are hinting that they are looking for the initial â€˜purchase orderâ€™ amount of $5 million. â€œInjustice can only be avoided in this matter by enforcement of the promises made by PCC and PACCD.â€