Maricopa Security Breach

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MCCCD employees denied due process | Security Breach

Maricopa Community College District (MCCCD) employees are being denied legal rights to due process by the MCCCD Administration and the hearing committee. MCCCD refuses to comply with employee request to access to public records in order to defend themselves in a public hearing.  Lawsuits are now being filed in court to resolve this matter. MCCCD employees have not received ‘a single’ document since their records request was made months ago. Furthermore, MCCCD appears to have failed to notify their employees of records request as requested in order to preserve evidence. A recent article in the front page of the Arizona RepublicArizona Daily Independent and Databreaches.net tell the story.

The following string of emails represent communications between Mr. Galvan and the hearing committee at MCCCD handling the security breach. Additional communication between these two parties will take place this week. We will post the information as it becomes available. Stay tuned!

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Observations:

              • When an edicational institution is not transparent with the public, it is safe to assume that they have something to hide.
              • The matter of public records request is now in court and Mr. Lee Combs, legal counsel for MCCCD, is being sued for MCCCD refusal to turn over public records. Other lawsuits are on the way.
              • Mr. Corzo and Mr. Monsour are being denied access to public records they requested.
              • Only one member of the hearing committee appears to be involved.
              • It is unclear whether District legal is writing responses back or the hearing committee is.
              • District has access to everything, yet they seem to know how much Mr. Corzo and Mr. Monsour need for their defense.
              • District is forcing their employees to sign non-disclosure agreements that will be used in a public hearing.
          • Mr. Huston seems confident that Mr. Corzo and Mr. Monsour have all they need for their defense yet none of the information shared so far with the District (more so than what’s on this website) seem to be enough to deter MCCCD from their efforts of terminating employees

——— Forwarded message ———- From: “Dan Huston (DANUH96301)” <dan.huston@riosalado.edu>
Date: Mar 4, 2014 8:26 AM
Subject: Hearing Preparation
To: <james.tucker@wilsonelser.com>, <rjgalvanlaw@gmail.com>
Cc: “Lee Combs” <lee.combs@domail.maricopa.edu>

Mr. Tucker and Mr. Galvan,

With March 31, 2014 being confirmed as the hearing date for Mr. Corzo, by agreement of the parties involved, as the Hearing Committee Chair, I would propose the following as a plan to proceed.

We request that the parties submit pre-hearing statements no later than Friday, March 14, 2014, 5:00 pm,  These should include a statement of the facts each party intends to prove and the rules and/or legal principles the party wants the committee to consider. The statements should include copies of all documents and a description of any other physical evidence the party wants to introduce in evidence. They should also include a list of the witnesses the party intends to call and a succinct description of the testimony the party expects them to give. Documents not exchanged at this time will not be admitted.

As the administration bears the burden to convince the committee that a preponderance of the evidence shows Mr. Corzo’s conduct violated the employment standards at issue, I request that Mr. Tucker draft a stipulation as to evidence and facts. The stipulation should be agreed upon prior to the pre-hearing meeting and a signed copy provided to the hearing committee chair prior to the start of the hearing.

As the Committee Chair I further request that a meeting with the parties and/or their representatives, Mr. Combs and myself be scheduled for March 21, 2014. The purpose of this meeting will be to discuss the pre-hearing statements, hear stipulations and objections as to the admissibility of evidence, and resolve issues to the extent possible before the hearing.

After the pre-hearing meeting with counsel, the chair will provide copies of the pre-hearing statements to all committee members.

At the hearing please provide five sets of all exhibits in binders (a copy for each committee member, the legal council for the committee and a copy for use by the witnesses).

Thank you,

Dan Huston

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Richard Galvan <rjgalvanlaw@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Mar 12, 2014 at 3:58 PM
Subject: Public Records Requests
To: Lee Combs <lee.combs@domail.maricopa.edu>
Cc: James Tucker <James.Tucker@wilsonelser.com>

Dear Mr. Combs:

It has been nearly two months since my client, Mr Corzo, at my direction submitted five public records requests to MCCCD employee Teresa Toney.  To date MCCCD has not satisfied the request.  Indeed, MCCCD has not even officially acknowledged receipt of the requests.

Our public records requests were narrowly and carefully drafted in order to ferret out all exculpatory documentary evidence regarding the unfounded allegations leveled against my clients.  Without the requested documents, my clients and I are unable to prepare the best defense to which my clients are entitled.  In particular, MCCCD’s failure to satisfy the public records requests has adversely impacted on our ability to identify the best exhibits and witnesses for my clients’ defense.  Consequently, we are having great difficulty in timely complying with the various required tasks identified in Mr. Huston’s email dated March 4, 2014, a copy of which you were sent directly from Mr. Huston.

Accordingly, demand is hereby made that MCCCD provide the requested public records for our review and copying by March 18, 2014.  If it is MCCCD’s intent to deny our public records requests, in whole or in part, we demand that MCCCD furnish us with an index of records that have been withheld and the reason for each by March 18, 2014.  Having nearly two months to comply with the law, it is compliance time for MCCCD.   Rest assured that an enforcement action will be filed in superior court should MCCCD continue on its present course of complete non-compliance.

Moreover, we expect to see a records retention notice sent to all MCCCD employees involved in our request to help preserve critical records needed for my clients’ defense. Please copy me when that notice has been sent out.

Once MCCCD satisfies our records requests, we will then be in a better position to schedule the various tasks called for by Mr. Huston in his aforementioned email.  My clients remain willing to sign a ‘nondisclosure’ agreement for any records needed for their defense which contain currently critical network security information.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Richard Galvan <rjgalvanlaw@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Mar 12, 2014 at 4:01 PM
Subject: Monsour and Carzo hearings
To: “Dan Huston (DANUH96301)” <daniel.huston@riosalado.edu>
Cc: Lee Combs <lee.combs@domail.maricopa.edu>, James Tucker <James.Tucker@wilsonelser.com>

My clients and I feel that this case is most certainly not ready to go to hearing. There are two critical matters which need to be resolved before we can set realistic dates for the tasks you have identified in your earlier email.

The first issue is MCCCD’s non-compliance with my clients’ nearly two months’ old public record requests.  The requested documents are of utmost importance to the defense of my clients.  If complete compliance does not occur by March 21st, my clients will file an enforcement action in superior court.
The second issue has to do with confidentiality.  At this time, MCCCD and my clients and I hold positions regarding confidential documents and witness testimony which are 180 degrees apart. Fortunately, this issue will likely be resolved in our aforementioned enforcement action.
Bottom-line, the hearings need to be continued for 90 days.

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: Dan Huston (DANUH96301) <dan.huston@riosalado.edu>
Date: Mon, Mar 17, 2014 at 9:41 AM
Subject: Regarding your request to extend the time before the hearing
To: Rick Galvan <rjgalvanlaw@gmail.com>
Cc: James Tucker <james.tucker@wilsonelser.com>, Lee Combs <lee.combs@domail.maricopa.edu>

Mr. Galvan,
I am not persuaded that unforeseeable circumstances justify a further extension of the period in which the committee must conduct a hearing.
Dan Huston
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Richard Galvan <rjgalvanlaw@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 5:24 PM
Subject: Your Ruling Denying a Continuance of the Hearing
To: “Dan Huston (DANUH96301)” <daniel.huston@riosalado.edu>
Cc: James Tucker <James.Tucker@wilsonelser.com>, Lee Combs <lee.combs@domail.maricopa.edu>

My clients request that yesterday’s ruling which denied my clients’ request to continue the hearing be reviewed by the entire Committee because of the rulings’ importance to a fair hearing.
The District has raised the issue of confidentiality in bad faith for the sole reason of thwarting my clients’ ability to identify and designate relevant exhibits and witnesses.  Notwithstanding the hearing rules, you and the other members of the Committee are ultimately charged with insuring that my clients get the fair hearing promised by the Governing Board in MAT Policy.
Do you support my clients having access to the public records they requested?
Do you believe that my clients should go to a hearing without these critical pieces of information?
My clients need this information to review the basis for the accusations, prepare a proper defense and provide meaningful exhibits.
The District has all the information.  My clients have little or none. Indeed, the District has demanded that all “confidential” information be handed over to them even information obtained from earlier public records requests (i.e., a public records request recall).  How can they defend themselves given this scenario?
If you were in my clients’ shoes, would you feel that you had been treated fairly?  Your gut should tell you,”No.’
My clients are requesting that you pass this information to other members of the committee for further consideration.  Should they not also be part of this critical decision?
As an unbiased member of the hearing committee and MAT President, it is up to you to make this a fair hearing.
———- Forwarded message ———-

From: Richard Galvan [mailto:rjgalvanlaw@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, March 20, 2014 5:14 PM
To: Dan Huston (DANUH96301)
Cc: Lee Combs; Tucker, James T.
Subject: Pre-hearing Exchange of information meeting for March 21, 2014

Lest there be any doubt, I will not attend the above referenced meeting, engage in any exchange of information, or present a pre-hearing  statement. The basis for my decision is the same basis I advanced in the twice denied motions to continue the hearing.  Without the public records requested two months ago I cannot determine the best witnesses and best exhibits.  Moreover, without the requested documents, I am unable to prepare the pre-hearing statement.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: “Dan Huston (DANUH96301)” <dan.huston@riosalado.edu>
Date: Mar 19, 2014 1:03 PM
Subject: Regrading your request for additional review regarding Mr. Monsour’s hearing
To: “Rick Galvan” <rjgalvanlaw@gmail.com>
Cc: “James Tucker” <james.tucker@wilsonelser.com>, “Lee Combs” <lee.combs@domail.maricopa.edu>, “daniel.huston@riosalado.edu” <daniel.huston@riosalado.edu>

Mr. Galvan,
 
The committee has a responsibility to apply the rules as written, consistent with your client’s legal right to due process. The hearing must take place within twenty days of the committee’s formation unless the parties agree to extend that timeline. The only other grounds to extend the time is when unforeseeable circumstances require it.
 
Disputes over public record requests are not unforeseeable. On behalf of the custodian, Mr. Tucker has raised legal objections to inspection of the requested records not only to you and your client, but to the press according to news accounts. Under the public records law, only the courts can resolve such disputes.
 
I cannot determine from your statement alone that your client has been denied documents so essential to his defense that his right to due process would be denied if he were required to defend himself without it.
 
In fact, there is reason to believe that your client already has all the documents he needs to defend himself. Your client has stated his position in press interviews, and has shown the press documents in an effort to support his statements. I saw your website describing the situation from your client’s perspective, which also refers to documents. Advocates for your clients say they have presented the documents directly to the governing board, to support their demand that the board stop the recommendation for discipline against your client and conduct another investigation. 
 
I attended last month’s board meeting, and I heard Ms. Rosie Lopez address the board concerning this demand. She said this was her second visit, and the board’s inaction was “inexcusable.” She said that the board had been provided with “plenty of evidence,” including documents. She indicated the the board had all the evidence necessary. I am informed that you attended the meeting, and left with Ms. Lopez. 
 
To summarize, your client’s advocate says she has already provided the board with all the evidence it needs to reject the recommendations for discipline against him, and news accounts and your own website demonstrate that you and your client have access to this evidence. In the circumstances, I cannot find that the dispute over your client’s public record request has deprived him of the evidence he needs to defend himself before the hearing committee.
 
Moreover, it appears that you and your client can have access to the District’s evidence by executing a confidentiality agreement. I cannot compel your client to agree to resolve the public records dispute this way, but since the District has made this offer I cannot find that it has unreasonably deprived him of access to the District’s evidence. I encourage you to work with Mr. Tucker to resolve these issues. 
 
Please advise if the pre-hearing conference meeting set for this Friday at 10:00am will work for your schedule.
 
Thank you,
Dan Huston

——— Forwarded message ———-
From: “Dan Huston” <danuh96301@riosalado.edu>
Date: Mar 21, 2014 7:51 PM
Subject: Pre-hearing summary for Mr. Monsour
To: “Rick Galvan” <rjgalvanlaw@gmail.com>
Cc: “Wilson Elser” <james.tucker@wilsonelser.com>, “Lee Combs” <lee.combs@domail.maricopa.edu>

Mr. Galvan,
The district administration has complied with my request for a pre-hearing statement, and is willing to provide you with its pre-hearing statement if you and your clients sign the proposed confidentiality agreement as I have.
I have reviewed your record request. It seems clear to me that you and your clients have requested documents far beyond what you need to defend this matter, that the request is so broad and vague that it was likely to draw objection, and that your refusal to work with Mr. Tucker on the issues has been unreasonable.
As chair, based on precedent and practice, I retain the discretion to prevent your clients from presenting the evidence they do have at the hearing because you have not shared it with the committee and opposing counsel. If you change your mind and want to submit a pre-hearing statement and/or participate in the pre-hearing conference, please let me know no later than Monday, March 24, 2014.
Again, I encourage you to work with Mr. Tucker to resolve the issues he has raised on an agreed basis.

Thank you,

Dan Huston

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