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Coleman Affair as 'Comic Opera'

May 01, 1986

The Caroline Coleman affair becomes more and more bizarre with each development.

The April 14 Inglewood School Board meeting was a real comic-opera event. The president sternly lectured one of the other trustees about Robert's Rules. He then voted to approve minutes of meetings he had not attended.

It got worse. The great embarrassment of Inglewood has been the criminal charge against Caroline Coleman claiming she had taken about $1,500 of the children's education money for a personal vacation in New Orleans. The judge did not allow the jury to decide the case, but . . . he made statements to the effect that the court should not be "auditing expense accounts." We can think of no more proper forum for making this type of judgment than the courts, but then that was his opinion.

Now this "expense account" has caused more notoriety for our city. The school board voted to give her the money she never furnished receipts for, nor proof that she attended a school conference in New Orleans. Now she makes a claim to reimburse herself for her criminal defense. It is bad enough that (board members) Dorn and Shaw would vote money to give her for this purpose, but she insisted on voting on the matter (naturally in her own favor).

I think that parents should ask the district attorney to investigate this matter and decide whether she violated the criminal statutes against public officials voting in conflict of interest. If what appears to be a gross violation is allowed to go unchallenged, what hope is there for Inglewood residents, as well as all California residents, of getting honest government?

KEN GOSSETT

Inglewood

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