21 A. Oh, I think he used the word "irrational,"
22 just again and again and again. Actually, there was
23 not a whole lot of content. It was just a lot of
24 repetition and a lot of -- and very contemptuous,
25 and then he asked me to return to work.
1 Oh, I should tell you what happened the day
3 Q. Please don't. Please don't. I am going to
4 try to keep us segmented here, please.
5 A. Well, no, I really think that since you
6 asked about the connection between my arrest and
7 Chula Vista, and since we have brought up this meeting
8 at all -- here they suddenly asked back this person
9 who they think is -- supposedly is going to kill
10 people. There has to be a trigger. It is important
11 that you know the trigger, if you want to be educated
12 about this.
13 Q. Trigger for what?
14 A. Asking me back.
15 Q. Okay.
16 A. On April 3rd, I sent a fax to
17 Richard Werlin. This was when I was just beginning to
18 figure out the relationship with the arrest. I said,
19 "I trust that Chula Vista Elementary School District's
20 action against me has nothing to do with the
21 allegations of Kathleen Elton against me this past
23 Q. You said on April 3rd?
24 A. Um-hmm.
25 Q. Okay.
1 A. I said that would be very bad if that were
2 the trig-- you know, if that were the reason for these
3 actions against me.
4 Q. Why would that be bad?
5 A. It is a crime.
6 Q. You think it is a crime -- a school district
7 employs a teacher. Another teacher makes a -- two
8 other teachers say, "We are afraid of this teacher.
9 We think she might harm us," the school district finds
10 out that roughly contemporaneous with these events the
11 teacher against whom the complaint was made was
12 arrested, you believe that it is a crime for the
13 school district to take that into -- the arrest into
14 account in trying to determine if, in fact, the
15 teacher complained against has any propensity to harm
17 A. You know -- the answer is yes, that is a
18 crime. Apparently, you are not familiar with that
19 section of the labor code. It most definitely is a
20 crime. It is only a misdemeanor, though.
21 It is really too bad that the district
22 committed so many felonies to cover up the
23 misdemeanor, which I think the public probably would
24 have been pretty sympathetic with.
25 I mean, you know, there are all these school
1 shootings and the public would probably say, "Well,
2 gee, it is probably just as well to know about if a
3 teacher was arrested, you know."
4 I don't really think that there would have
5 been that many -- I don't think there would have been
6 any negative repercussions against the district if
7 they had simply said, "Okay, sorry, we were wrong
8 about you," you know. "Let's just straighten it all
9 out. These two teachers committed a crime by
10 obtaining the arrest records." I don't know if you
11 know that that is also a crime.
12 Q. I was trying to get the -- you have told me
13 that --
14 A. Well, you keep cutting me off when I am in
15 the middle of a thought, and now I am having trouble
16 remembering what I was going to say.
17 Q. Yeah. Well, you have given me my answer.
18 A. Apparently, you don't want to hear the full
20 Q. I don't. I want to only get the answer to
21 the questions I have asked.
22 A. No. You don't want to hear the truth.
23 Q. Okay.
24 A. You don't want to give me a chance to put on
25 the record the full truth. When you ask me a
1 question, I have a right to give a full answer.
2 Q. Okay. I thought you had.
3 A. I had not.
4 Q. Okay. Which question are you answering now?
5 A. We are talking about the fact that the
6 district probably would not have suffered any negative
7 repercussions if it had just admitted, "Yeah, we have
8 these arrest records."
9 "This woman, Kathleen Elton, said that
10 Maura Larkins was violent and had a gun and had
11 psychological problems. So naturally we were
12 concerned. If this was true, we could have had a
13 Columbine-style massacre at Castle Park Elementary."
14 No one would have -- I don't think there
15 would have been any negative repercussions for
16 Chula Vista if they had admitted the truth.
17 Instead they paid hundreds of thousands of
18 dollars and forced people to commit perjury to cover
19 up the truth.
20 Q. Have you ever seen Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff &
21 Holtz bills with respect to this payment of hundreds
22 of thousands of dollars -- I presume you mean that
23 Chula Vista Elementary School District paid our firm
24 hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover up this
25 obtaining of arrest record?
1 A. As a matter of fact, I did a public records
2 request for just those documents to Diane Crosier, and
3 she gave me a few bills.
4 It was very interesting, like she'd skip a
5 month here and skip a month there, and then she would
6 not give any after a certain point. She is obviously
7 covering up things.
8 So that is the answer. That is how many
9 bills I have seen.
10 Q. So you think you have seen some but not all?
11 A. I know I have seen some, and I know I have
12 not seen all.
13 Q. The ones you saw, did you tally them up to
14 see what they added up to?
15 A. No, they did not add up to much.
16 Q. How do you know that the school district
17 paid our firm hundreds of thousands of dollars to
18 defend your case?
19 A. It is an estimate. I am allowed to make
20 estimates, right?
21 Q. It depends. We will talk about that a
22 little bit later.
23 A. Am I wrong?
24 Q. About what?
25 A. About them paying Stutz, Artiano hundreds of
1 thousands of dollars.
2 Q. Ma'am, I haven't the slightest idea. I
3 certainly doubt that you are right. But we are not
4 here to have me testify today. I am going to ask you
5 what you know.
6 A. Okay.
7 Q. We will get to that. Now, you mentioned
8 that Kathleen Elton had said that you were violent and
9 that you had a gun?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Kathleen Elton told the police that in order
12 to instigate your arrest?
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. Why don't we take a real quick break?
15 A. I am game for breaks.
16 Q. Do you want to stop your video recording for
17 a moment, or you want to just keep it on?
18 A. I'll stop it when she stops.
19 Q. We have to stop talking for her to stop. So
20 why don't we go off --
21 A. I will just put -- off right after she goes
22 off. So are we going off now?
23 MR. KOSTIC: Sure. We can go off the
25 (Recess taken.)
1 BY MR. KOSTIC:
2 Q. During the break you may have had some
3 concern about the videoconferencing equipment.
4 A. Oh, no. I was just curious. It a marvelous
5 design the way it is so curvy. It's very
6 Star Trekish.
7 Q. I just want you to know that is
8 videoconferencing equipment. I am not videotaping you
10 A. Oh, okay.
11 Q. The only videotaping going on is with the
12 camera that you brought. So don't be concerned about
14 I think we were talking about the fact that
15 Ms. Elton told the police that you were violent and
16 you had a gun in order to instigate your arrest.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. How did you find that out?
19 A. By looking at the police record.
20 Q. Where did you get the police record?
21 A. I got a lawyer and she got the record.
22 Q. Now, your lawyer was Ms. Schulman?
23 A. No. It was Davis. What was the first name?
24 I am not sure what her first name was. It was Davis,
1 Q. Have you ever subpoenaed records -- which
2 police department are we talking about?
3 A. San Diego, City of San Diego.
4 Q. So the metropolitan police?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Have you ever subpoenaed records from the
7 San Diego metropolitan police department to see who
8 else had requested records of your arrest?
9 A. No. I don't think it was Chula Vista
10 schools, if that is what you are getting at.
11 Q. Let's see here. Now, on April 22nd -- was
12 it April 20th, 2003 that was your last date of
13 employment with the Chula Vista Elementary School
15 A. I believe February 11th.
16 Q. February 11th, 2003, I'm sorry.
17 A. Yeah. February 11th is a big date in this
19 Q. On February 11th, 2003, was that the date
20 that you were told you were terminated?
21 A. That was the date of the decision of the
22 Office of Administrative Hearings.
23 Q. There was a hearing held at the Office of
24 Administrative Hearings, and the decision was rendered
25 to terminate your employment as a public
2 A. Actually, if you want to be technical, I
3 think it become official 30 days later.
4 Q. Fair enough. Now, did you then challenge
5 the decision of the Office of Administrative Hearings
6 regarding the decision?
7 A. I tried to. I wrote a beautiful petition
8 for writ of mandate. I was just about to file it
9 60 days after the decision, when I got a letter from
10 Elizabeth Schulman telling me that she may have told
11 me 60 days earlier but, in fact, I had 90 days to file
13 So I filed it in 90 days, and it was
14 rejected for being late filed because it should have
15 been filed within 60 days.
16 Q. Have you instigated any type of legal
17 malpractice action against Ms. Schulman?
18 A. I did.
19 Q. What happened with that?
20 A. It was thrown out.
21 Q. What do you mean by "thrown out"?
22 A. Judge Styn threw it out. Basically, he --
23 it was pretty obvious it was because I was in pro per
24 that he allowed abusive discovery. For example, they
25 never wanted to take my deposition.
1 So I finally scheduled my own deposition,
2 and then they would not let me take my deposition.
3 Because suddenly there was this trip that he claimed
4 to be going on -- Matthew C. Smith, Schulman's lawyer,
5 and they were working quite effectively with Stutz Law
7 Q. Who was?
8 A. Matthew Smith. I don't know if it was
9 direct communication or just coincidence. But
10 together they made it impossible for me to attend my
11 own deposition.
12 Q. How did they do that?
13 A. Well, for example, Kelly Angell, or whether
14 it was Jeffrey Morris, they were signing letters
15 interchangeably about that time. They wrote me and
16 said, you know, "We" -- oh, no, they went to the court
17 and said, "We want you to depose you, Maura Larkins,
18 on such and such day," and I think they gave two or
19 three days and times.
20 I wrote to her and I said that one of those
21 dates -- and the court gave the order that I had to
22 submit to my deposition by Stutz Law Firm at one of
23 these times, and I wrote and I accepted. I said,
24 "Yeah, I could do it on this date."
25 Kelly Angell then went back to the court. I
1 thought that it had all been settled. She went back
2 to the court. I did not even think she was going to
3 go back. I thought that that ex parte would be
4 canceled because we had agreed on a date. She went
5 back and got it changed to the date that I had told
6 her that I was not available.
7 Q. Why was Stutz taking depositions in the
8 malpractice action between you and Ms. Schulman?
9 A. The case that Stutz was involved in was
10 going on at the same time as this other malpractice
11 case against Schulman.
12 Q. What was the case that Stutz was involved
13 with that was going on?
14 A. That was the suit in which I was plaintiff
15 against Robin Donlan and she was the teacher who
16 obtained the arrest records.
17 Q. Can I have that name again?
18 A. Robin Donlan.
19 Q. Could you spell the last name for me?
20 A. D-o-n-l-a-n. Also, sometimes known as
21 Robin Colls, C-o-l-l-S.
22 Q. The lawsuit where you named Ms. Donlan, also
23 known as Colls, as the defendant, was the Stutz firm
24 defending that lawsuit?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. What does the Stutz firm taking your
2 deposition in that lawsuit have to do with you taking
3 your own deposition in your malpractice action against
4 Ms. Schulman?
5 A. Because they made it -- scheduled all at the
6 same time. So it was impossible for me to get
7 everything done.
8 Q. Did you notice your own deposition in the
9 Schulman action?
10 A. Yes. As I told you before, they got the
11 court to change it.
12 Q. Who got the court to change it?
13 A. Matthew C. Smith.
14 Q. He got it changed to a different date?
15 A. Yeah.
16 Q. And then the date that he got it changed to,
17 what was also happening on that date?
18 A. I don't remember all the events on each
19 date. I just know that it was just impossible for me
20 to comply with all the demands.
21 Q. Why did you want to take your own deposition?
22 A. To have a record under oath -- partly
23 because they were not taking my deposition. They did
24 not want to take my deposition until I started taking
25 it. I wanted to have a record under oath.
1 Q. In case what happened?
2 A. A trial. Which I was foolish to think that
3 would ever happen.
4 Q. Why did you think you could not just testify
5 on your own behalf at the time of trial rather than
6 taking your deposition prior thereto?
7 A. Well, as you know, Stutz Law Firm and, I
8 think, most law firms, like to do summary judgment
9 motions. That is the only way I would have testimony
10 under oath available for a summary judgment motion.
11 Also, please remember that I have no
12 training as a lawyer. I was just making my decisions
13 as best I could, trying to.
14 Q. Did you look for a lawyer to represent you
15 against Ms. Schulman in your malpractice action?
16 A. I don't believe I -- I don't believe I did,
Education Reform Report
Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz
defamation lawsuit against Maura
Larkins for statements on this
|Deposition of Maura Larkins
by Ljubisa Kostic
June 16, 2008
Pages 35 to 48
15 That was the day that I was called back to
16 the district for another meeting. For about
17 10 minutes Richard Werlin railed against me, talking
18 about how I was such a horrible person, yelling.
19 Q. In what way did he say you were a horrible