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In the 6 days San Diego Unified School District Supt.Cindy Marten and Attorney Andra Donovan with the multi-million dollar SDUSD Legal Department had to desperately slap together an alibi defense for the HUGE volume of evidence pointing to her Board Bylaw violating direct support of Trustee Foster’s illegal and improper Counselor interventions at SCPA and the multiple improper removals of highly credentialed, highly skilled, highly ethical Principals that vastly exceeded the credentials of Elementary Principal Marten.

Improper and illegal actions by Marten and Foster are clearly evident:

In the Principal Lizarraga removal

In the Kim Abagat suspension

In the Principal Omogbehin removal

ALL evidence clearly showing the guilt of Foster and Marten that has been countered by alibis created by the SDUSD Stakeholder financed Legal Firm of Andra Donovan.

SDUSD Stakeholder and Taxpayer money has been used to defend abuses by Marten and Foster against those same SDUSD Stakeholders and Taxpayers.

District Deeds believes that for the SDUSD Legal Department to spend ONE minute or ONE dime trying to come up with alibis for improper actions by Marten and Foster is a distortion of their purpose to exist and should be investigated by the San Diego District Attorney for doing so,  

You will find the evidence here in “Part 3 – The UN-Common App”.

After conferring with Donovan and her team for legal wording that would try distance her from her violations, Marten made the only decision she could to prevent facing immediate termination, the destruction of her career and the and loss of her $300,000 job.

Marten “Plead the 5th” to avoid self incrimination!

If you recall, this is not the first time Marten has tried this tactic.

On June 1st this year, right after the release of the San Diego Unified School District Trustee’s Overreach Abuse of Power Report by the San Diego County Grand Jury and the ensuing Editorial by the San Diego Union Tribune, District Deeds posted “San Diego Unified Trustee Marne Foster and Superintendent Cindy Marten – Taking The 5th?

We described Foster’s reaction as follows:

The last time District Deeds saw Trustee Marne Foster at approximately 2:20 p.m. on May 21, 2015…the day of the San Diego Grand Jury report, she was rushing toward her car in the SCPA parking lot to avoid having to make a statement to a local San Diego Television Station on the District Deeds cell phone!”

“District Deeds, June 1, 2015

Marten was not close behind…she REFUSED to make any comments to the press and then submitted a disrespectful and ridiculous response to the San Diego Grand Jury that District Deeds exposed as rubbish here and here.

Despite the massive negative exposure in the press and the public outcry for an investigation of Foster and herself for the removal of Principal Lizarraga at SCPA, in the Marten Grand Jury Response she REFUSED to acknowledge that she even knew the SCHOOL SITE the Grand Jury was referring to.

Here is how she put it:

To the extent the District is being asked to agree or disagree whether unidentified staff members at an unidentified school had certain perceptions regarding personnel changes, the District is unable to do so.  This would require speculation on the District’s part as to the identity of the trustee, the subject school, the identity of the referenced staff members and their internal mental processes.” 

“Marten Grand Jury Response

Like we said…Marten claimed she didn’t even know WHAT SCHOOL the Grand Jury was referring to…she got 5th Amendment amnesia.

You will see that since it worked so well, Marten tried it again in her SCPA Response for Foster’s and her improper and illegal actions with Counselor Abagat…and District Deeds is here to again expose her clumsy attempts to avoid prosecution.

The main strategy of Marten and the Law Firm of Foster & Donovan is AVOIDANCE OF THE PRIMARY EVIDENCE.

In Parts 2A and 2B it is AVOIDANCE OF MENTIONING MARNE FOSTER and her campaign of vengeance against Principal Liarraga

In Part 3 it is AVOIDANCE OF THE GRAND JURY REPORT that has clearly indicted Marten, Foster and the Board for not just ignoring their abuses, but not even implementing the independent oversight Grand Jury recommendations to avoid these abuses in the future.

Marten’s avoidance response to the Grand jury and the same avoidance in her SCPA Statement cement the proof of her and Foster’s complete and total guilt.

Please note:

  • The District Deeds Response to Marten is in RED.
  • This is a long post and there are SIX analysis segments.  For your convenience we have separated each section with a XXXXXX and the NUMBER of the segment in RED which will allow you to read it in portions.

Here we go!

Statement from Superintendent Cindy Marten






Public concerns have been expressed regarding the matter of two counselors being disciplined for actions regarding Trustee Foster’s son.

FINALLY!!  Marten FINALLY mentioned Marne Foster…but don’t get too excited, Marten will soon be running away from Foster as fast as Foster was running from the reporter last May.

And of course Marten HAD to kick this section off with a lie.

Virtually NO ONE is concerned about Megan Blum being disciplined…if you consider receiving a letter, with no other penalty, a form of discipline.  They are concerned that she has NOT been terminated for breeching common app confidentiality and acting as Foster’s mouthpiece to threaten and intimidate Teachers and staff at SCPA.  But remember, Marten CLAIMS she HAD NO IDEA that this even happened at SCPA according to her lies in her Grand Jury Report Response.

Get ready for more.


As I’ve said, typically we do not comment about confidential personnel matters. Unfortunately, one of the counselors, Kim Abagat, has chosen to share details publicly. I would like to provide further details about what transpired and demonstrate that our decisions regarding the counselors were made as a result of an independent investigation.


Marten is right…”typically’ she does not comment.  “Typically” she just takes her orders for staff termination and discipline directly from Foster individually, most likely the same way she does with each of the other Trustees (Barerra, Beiser, Evans, McQuary), and then betrays the trust and the rights of those dedicated employees and stabs them in the back by improperly arranging operationally to make it happen…and covers it all up.

FORTUNATELY Counselor Kim Abagat BRAVELY “shared details” of the improper Foster intervention, intimidation of SCPA employees and the manipulation of Supt. Marten herself to EXPOSE their wrongdoing.

And the last words are still handing in the air…”independent investigation”…the Marten”I KNOW NOTHING” 5th amendment alibi is formally introduced!  WATCH how she tries to use it later in her statement to RUN from Foster.  


In December 2013 I received a phone call from Trustee Foster who was very angry and upset about something that had just occurred at SCPA where her son was a senior.  As I listened to her anger about something a counselor had done that would cause great harm to her son’s  future, I immediately interrupted the conversation and asked Ms. Foster, “Are you calling me as a parent, or as a Trustee?” She emphatically told me that she was calling as a parent at which point I said, “Then, this phone call needs to end and I need to refer you to the school Principal.” Ms. Foster explained that she did not wish to work with the Principal. 


Cindy Marten Dressed Up Like Charlie McCarthy

In this section Marten is simply playing “Charlie McCarthy” for Donovan and the Legal Department “puppeteers”.

Exhibit “A”

In December 2013 I received a phone call from Trustee Foster who was very angry and upset about something that had just occurred at SCPA where her son was a senior.  As I listened to her anger about something a counselor had done that would cause great harm to her son’s  future, I immediately interrupted the conversation and asked Ms. Foster, “Are you calling me as a parent, or as a Trustee?”

Marten = Charlie McCarthy Legalese – Exhibit  “A

So let’s examine what Marten wants us to believe in the REAL world:

Marten gets a phone call out of the blue from Foster who is  raving about an alleged mistreatment her son and the 1st thing that came to Marten’s mind to say is “Are you calling me as a parent or a trustee”

“District Deeds Translation of  Exhibit “A 

This Marten question to Foster would HAVE to be one of the stupidest questions ever to ask an irate parent who was raving about mistreatment of her son…so stupid that it can only exist in the mind of a lawyer to try to create plausible deniability of a violation and written by that lawyer on a public “Statement”.

“Then, this phone call needs to end and I need to refer you to the school Principal.” Ms. Foster explained that she did not wish to work with the Principal.

Marten = Charlie McCarthy Legalese – Exhibit  “B

 Here is the District Deeds translation:

Despite numerous complaints and “pressure” to punish Principal Lizarraga by Foster since Marten became Superintendent, the 1st solution Marten offers to Foster is that she should go to Principal Lizarraga for resolution.”

District Deeds Translation of Exhibit “B 

RIDICULOUS..and simply more Cindy Marten “Charlie McCarthy Legalese” crafted by the Law Firm of Andra Donovan.  Just another lie of many in the Marten Statement.


At which point I then directed her to Melissa Janak, head of Counseling and Guidance, since School Counselors were involved and Joe Fulcher, Chief Student Services Officer, to whom Ms. Janak reported.  After referring Ms. Foster to Dr. Fulcher and Ms. Janak, I notified our General Counsel, Ms. Donovan, that a Trustee had contacted me in that manner. Ms. Donovan then engaged the process with Dr. Fulcher to ensure that Board Governance policy was followed and that we were appropriately addressing the needs of the student.

This is NOT the complete truth according to email evidence between Foster and Fulcher.  Marten claims that she referred Foster to Fulcher and contacted Attorney Donovan to notify her of the inappropriate contact by a Board Member and to have her instruct Fulcher and Janek on how to proceed.  Marten DOES NOT mention any direct contact or instructions to Fulcher…only contact through Donovan to Fulcher.


Here are the emails posted in a VOSD article:

Here’s Foster’s first email to Fulcher on December 6, 2013 at 7:55 a.m the day AFTER her discussion with Marten:

foster-email1 (1)

And here is Fulcher’s reply ONLY 94 MINUTES LATER also from the same VOSD article:

fulcher-email (1)

Marten’s Statement led us to believe that Fulcher was solely being guided by Donovan…but Fulcher’s email to Foster tells a different story:

We are in the process of researching your concerns and many of your demands were already discussed (yesterday) with Supt. Marten as possible next steps.

Chief Student Services Officer Joe Fulcher email to Trustee Foster – 9:29 a.m. December 6, 2013

So it was MARTEN giving directions how to handle Foster’s complaint EVEN BEFORE FOSTER CONTACTED FULCHER…NOT Attorney Donovan!

This act CLEARLY establishes the Fact that Marten VIOLATED Board Bylaws by taking direction from Trustee Foster and making it happen with Senior Staff in the SDUSD Central office completely bypassing chain of command protocols.

And Marten says NOTHING to Donovan about Foster stealing the Common App and unsealing it…or the legal actions they should take against Blum and Foster.  It is just ignored. 

That must have been how Elementary Superintendent Cindy Marten handled Common Applications at Central Elementary!

Later in this Statement, Marten said the following: 

(Fosters complaints) were not handled any differently or any more quickly than similar issues raised by other parents”  

“Supt. Cindy Marten Statement

This is a ANOTHER huge inconsistency admitted by MARTEN’S OWN STATEMENT that PROVES ABSOLUTELY the improper SCPA intervention by Foster and the improper assistance by Marten that violated Board of Education bylaws and was described in detail by the Grand Jury Report.

Here is the District Deeds exposure of the Marten violation and LIE to cover it up in her statement:

“other parents”:

  • ARE NOT allowed to illegally acquire and review sealed Common Application Documents after signing the FERPA waiver
  • DO NOT have Cindy Marten’s personal phone number
  • CANNOT call her directly with their complaints and have her take immediate action
  • Cannot force the Superintendent to bypass the SDUSD chain of command
  • That have a problem with a Principal are referred to the Area Superintendent, NOT to the Chief Student Services Officer
  • DO NOT have SDUSD Senior Staff respond within minutes of your previously undocumented complaint when you have acquired documents illegally as a basis for your complaint
  • ARE NOT believed when they LIE in an email to the Head of a department that they want a copy of a report they already acquired illegally
  • DO NOT have a $20,000* “independent” Private Investigator paid for by an “overreaching” Trustee and appointed by her Superintendent accomplice to prosecute SDUSD Employees that a TRULY INDEPENDENT San Diego Grand Jury was already providing.

With approximately 7,000 graduates in the SDUSD Class of 2014, NOT ONE OTHER “PARENT” was provided the customized service by SDUSD SENIOR STAFF like Foster.

From the very beginning Foster acted like and was treated like by every Senior Staff Member…Fulcher…Janak…Donovan,,,and ESPECIALLY MARTEN…as the SDUSD Board of Education President..NOT like just another parent.

FOSTER LIED to Fulcher when she asked for the Common Application Report that she had already acquired and that had launched her angry tirade with Marten…and Fulcher dutifully complied without reporting her to Donovan for prosecution.

Marten CLEARLY took directions from Foster as a BOARD MEMBER for a site operational matter and operationally commanded highest levels of the SDUSD management to cooperate with her directly to resolve it!

THAT is the DEFINITION of a Superintendent and Staff taking operational orders directly from a Trustee illegally WITHOUT approval by the rest of the Board of Education.

The FINAL sentence in this paragraph has to be Marten’s BIGGEST LIE of all:

I was not involved in the decisions, actions or discipline that occurred with the two counselors at SCPA.”

Supt. Cindy Marten – “SCPA Statement – September 29, 2015

But TWO WEEKS earlier BEFORE the Legal Department could stop her, Marten’s overwhelming EGO couldn’t resist embracing the public pronouncement of her power in this Voice of San Diego article::

“As the Superintendent, I am solely responsible for all campus personnel decisions. Our governance policies are very clear; the board sets policies and the Superintendent carries out the policies. This includes all decisions regarding hiring, disciplining and termination of employees.

Supt. Cindy Marten – VOSD – September 14, 2015

Only ONE of these statements by Marten can be true…which further establishes her reputation as a LIAR.

But which one IS true?

District Deeds believes that Marten HAS the absolute power and authority to do anything she pleases operationally and exercised that power illegally and improperly at Foster’s command.

District Deeds ALSO believes Marten had to “plead the 5th” by lying about NOT being “involved” because ALL the proof showed that she WAS involved…which also explains the desperate act of releasing the SCPA Statement in the first place.


Like any parent, the Trustee had a right to voice her concerns about her own child. My administration frequently receives complaints from parents similar to those received from Trustee Foster and we take swift action, when warranted, to ensure that our students’ educational rights are protected.  The issues surrounding Ms. Foster’s son’s  evaluation were not handled any differently or any more quickly than similar issues raised by other parents whose children had college application issues and risked loss of scholarships due to human or technical errors made by our district.  The entire administration, including Melissa Janak, Joe Fulcher and Ms. Lizarraga, believed the recommendation submitted by head counselor Kim Abagat who was not his assigned counselor – was not written following best practices by school counselors, making it an incomplete submission.  Therefore, steps were taken to mitigate any harm.

We already addressed earlier in this post  the complete LIE about how  “The issues surrounding Ms. Foster’s son’s  evaluation were not handled any differently or any more quickly than similar issues raised by the other parents” – a whopper of a lie.

the recommendation submitted by head counselor Kim Abagat who was not his assigned counselor is another lie.

Marne Foster herself sent Kim Abagat a request via Marne Foster’s OFFICIAL SDUSD email account to complete her son’s Common Application here:


AND in the Investigator Report

In late October 2013, Marne Foster sought Head Counselor Kim Abagat’s assistance with REDACTED Common Application requirements. See Attachments CC and RR-3/4/9/10.

“independent” Investigator Report

Mrs. Lizarraga DID NOT agree that the “recommendation…was not written following best practices”.  

It was not possible to agree since NO SUCH “best practices” actually exists in any SDUSD “policy or provision” documentation.


No counselor at SCPA was disciplined for their subjective professional opinions expressed in their recommendations of Trustee Foster’s son.  Any employee discipline was based on the independent investigation performed by an outside investigator who was retained specifically to ensure that the results of the investigation were not influenced by Trustee Foster or any staff member who may have been interested in the outcome.

In the”Relevant Policies and Procedures” section of the “independent” Investigator Report:

Relevant Policies and Procedures”

“The SDUSD does not have specific policies or procedures governing the completion of the School Report portion of the Common Application”

“Independent: Investigator report

This statement was the 1st sentence on the 2nd PAGE of the Investigators report…and should have ended the investigation right there,

We have a District Deeds Riddle:


QUESTION: “How do you discipline a SDUSD Counselor for breaking a policy or procedure that doesn’t exist?”

ANSWER: ” By not prosecuting a Superintendent and Trustee who breaks a policy and procedure that does exist 

We have another District Deeds Riddle:


QUESTION: “How do you hire an San Diego Unified independent Investigator?”

ANSWER:  “Have the guilty Board Member approve the expense, the lawyer creating the alibis choose which investigator to use and the accomplice Superintendent direct the investigator away from the guiltiest parties, the Superintendent and the Legal Team, that approved and directed the abuse operationally.

The so-called  “independent investigation performed by an outside investigator” was NOT very independent and NOT much of an investigation.

It was a preemptive strike against the Grand Jury Report that had interviewed many District Employees, likely including Foster and Marten herself, UNDER OATH during the same time period and tipped off Marten and Foster that trouble was coming.

The District “investigator” had no subpoena power, could not put witnesses under oath and did not attempt to place blame on Foster or Blum for violating FERPA law.   In fact the only reference to FERPA was the “Common Application FERPA explanatory form”.  District Deeds could not find where the Board financially approved the investigator so we are estimating a $20,000 charge until the District makes that public. 

That form, along with ALL the other “pertinent” documents reviewed by the investigator, WAS NOT RELEASED to the public with the so-called Marten SCPA Statement “data dump” that really wasn’t much of a “dump” after all…except in relation to rubbish.

The San Diego Grand Jury, that found the complete opposite results and blamed the Superintendent and Board of Education for improper actions had the power of LAW…Subpoena power…the power to put Marten, Donovan and Foster UNDER OATH!

The SDUSD Investigator?

According to the records provided, DID NOT INTERVIEW CINDY MARTEN or SDUSD LAWYER ANDRA DONOVAN for their misdeeds in the improper intervention and operational support of the Foster complaint that VIOLATED Board Bylaws.

Marten OBVIOUSLY decided that this was considered going “outside the scope” of the assignment which would have gotten him fired like SDUSD internal investigator Mike Gurrieri! 

District Deeds has shown the many lies, alibis, partial truths and diversions that Marten has included in her SCPA Response.

The FACTS and the EVIDENCE provided here  overwhelm Marten’s attempts to “plead the 5th”

District Deeds now believes Marten has just added another charge to the long list of legal, policy, and bylaw violations.

Marten has now lied ON THE RECORD to ALL SDUSD Stakeholders.

She cannot be trusted to lead the SDUSD that educates our children.

Marten AND Foster need to be removed from office IMMEDIATELY for their offenses!


Stay tuned for the next and final post of the Marten SCPA Statement Alibis Exposed Series:  SUMMATION – SDUSD Stakeholders/Taxpayers vs Supt. Cindy Marten, Trustee Marne Foster et al

Here is the full Alibis Exposed Series to date: Marten SCPA Statement Alibis Exposed Series


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