Defendant in pro per
) Case No. 37-2007-00076218-CU-DF-CTL
) Judge: Hon. Judith F. Hayes
) Dept: 68
) Date: February 6, 2009
) DECLARATION OF MAURA LARKINS
) IN OPPOSITION TO
) PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
) SUMMARY JUDGMENT
) TRIAL DATE: NOT SET
) CASE FILED: OCTOBER 5, 2007
STUTZ ARTIANO SHINOFF
& HOLTZ, APC,
|SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO
Maura Larkins' Declaration
in Opposition to Stutz, Artiano Shinoff & Holtz motion for summary judgment
regarding website defamation
I, the undersigned, declare:
1. I am the Defendant in pro per herein.
2. I was removed from my classroom on February 12, 2001, less than three
weeks after I reported in writing to my principal that I was being harassed.
I was told on February 12, 2001 that two teachers feared that I would kill them,
but I was not told the names of the teachers or what I was accused of doing.
3. At that time I began a painstaking process of discovery which eventually led me
to file suit against Chula Vista Elementary School District (“CVESD”) and California
Teachers Association (“CTA”) for violations of Labor Code 432.7 and other illegal
actions. The district had taken action against me based on an illegally-obtained
report of false allegations by my ex-sister-in-law Kathleen Elton, who had stated that
I was violent and had a hand gun.
CVESD and CTA were determined to protect a small group of lawless teachers who
had taken control of Castle Park Elementary School. Several of these teachers were
administratively transferred out of the school in August 2004.
4. On April 4, 2001 I was asked to return to work. One day earlier I had
informed the district that I suspected that its actions were based on Kathleen Elton’s
5. I was reluctant to return to work because I was concerned that new allegations
would be made against me, since the first allegations had never been retracted and I
had received no apology. The district assured me that I would be protected from new
false allegations. However, I was sent home again after a week. Linda Watson, one
of the teachers who had made the original allegations, but whose identity had been
kept secret, made new allegations. The district punished me for not being silent about
the actions against me.
6. On August 13, 2001 I was told that I could not come back to work until I was
ready to “forget the past.”
7. My work environment was intolerable even before I was accused of being a
homicidal maniac and removed from my classroom. My work situation was well
beyond intolerable when I was ordered to return to work in September 2001 without
any investigation having been done into illegal actions against me. I refused to return
to work until there was an investigation. No investigation was ever done.
8. I filed a tort claim against CVESD on October 4, 2001.
9. Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz became involved in my case on October 4, 2001
as a result of my tort claim being filed.
10. I filed three grievances on November 13, 2001, and the next day I was
threatened with dismissal. One day after that, my medical benefits were cut off.
11. I filed suit against the District on March 12, 2002.
12. I was dismissed less than two months later.
13. Judge H. James Ahler of the Office of Administrative Hearings (“OAH”) filed
a decision on February 11, 2003 dismissing me for filing grievances and a lawsuit,
and for not coming back to work and “forgiving” the actions against me. At the same
time Judge Ahler said that no hostile actions had been taken against me(!?) It would
seem that no effort was made by CVESD to create any logical consistency in the
allegations against me, nor was any such effort required by the OAH.
14. I collected hundreds of documents and thousands of pages of deposition
transcript, and put a great deal of effort into analyzing the events in this case. My
website is the result of careful critical thinking.
15. All the statements on my website are true, and I can back them up with
testimony and documentation. I have corrected minor errors as soon as they have
been brought to my attention. I welcome opinions and facts that might help make my
website more accurate and helpful to the community and electorate. If any
defamatory statement were ever to find its shameful way onto my website, I would
wish to eliminate it immediately. It is only true statements about matters of public
interest that I wish to keep on my website.
16. My website does not contain any defamatory statement. It contains true
statements about matters of public interest. The statements on my website are
supported by my personal knowledge and documents and deposition transcripts, many
of which have been filed in the instant case and in Maura Larkins v. Richard Werlin.
17. My career was destroyed, ironically, by Plaintiff’s enthusiastic efforts at
defamation. When SASH attorney Daniel Shinoff became involved in my case, I had
not yet been permanently damaged, even though I had been the victim of slander and
several violations of law, including criminal violations of law. Mr. Shinoff had only to
advise the Chula Vista Elementary School District to obey the law. Instead, he
launched his subordinates on a campaign of scorched earth tactics and he propelled
CVESD officials and employees into ever more serious violations of law.
18. Some people might find it hard to believe, but I harbor no malice toward
Daniel Shinoff. I believe that human beings do the best that they can, and when they
violate the law, it is usually a matter of confused thinking and overconfidence. My
guess is that honest lawyers simply don’t get hired by San Diego Office of Education-
Joint Powers Authority and member school districts. Schools don’t want lawyers who
blindly follow the law. School officials want lawyers who are willing to take, or
create, opportunities to wrestle undeserved legal victories from the justice system.
Plaintiff probably figured that somebody was going to get rich doing what school
officials want, and it might as well be them. This sort of greed and rationalization is a
natural part of the make-up of a large number of human beings. These natural
instincts seem to be the basis of how the world functions; why would I harbor malice
regarding an apparently immutable fact of life? This does not mean, of course, that I
don’t try to make the world a better place. My website is a major part of my efforts to
bring more respect for the law and for human beings to San Diego schools.
19. I tried hard to help Daniel Shinoff avoid guilt and disrepute in this matter by
trying to set up a mediation session with his religious leader. I did same thing with
another individual involved in this case, who belongs to a different religion. I think Mr.
Shinoff would have made his own life better if he had been willing to talk to his
clergyman about the matter.
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the
foregoing is true and correct.
DATED: December 23, 2008 _________________________________
Maura Larkins, Defendant in pro per
Education Reform Report