To paraphrase the late, great Kent Brockman, ladies and gentlemen, I've been to Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and
I can say without hyperbole that the Seal Beach Seizure World battle is a million times worse than all
of them put together. Dan Schaeffer is suing the Golden Rain Foundation because the Leisure World executive director was suspended for, he alleges, complaining about board members' racist and anti-gay remarks, including “too many Mexicans” work there.
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Like, you know that old uncle who every Thanksgiving, after too much nog, complains about them darkies, wetbacks and jeeeeeeeewwwwwwws? Well, after the Tums, he's deposited back into his retirement community, where he sits on the governing board, and makes the same jacked-up remarks. Allegedly. And he wonders why we don't call or visit more often.
Schaeffer, who won a new 18-month contract to run Leisure World late last year, alleges wrongful suspension, disability discrimination, harassment, retaliation and defamation in the complaint filed Sept. 28 in Orange County Superior Court. No dollar amount being sought is specified. Among the named defendants are Golden Rain Foundation board members Bruce Smith, Michael Supple and Larry Blake.
The executive director claims that he was suspended after complaining about board members making the “too many Mexicans” crack and saying they don't want gay seniors moving into the Leisure World. His suit further alleges that board members falsely accused him of theft, used information in employee files to embarrass them and created an overall hostile workplace.
But board members might have had other reasons to suspend Schaeffer. The Golden Rain Foundation was hit with nearly $273,000 in penalties from the Orange County Treasurer/Tax Collector
in May 2011 for being late paying property taxes. (Talk about a senior moment.) Five months later, a group of residents called for Schaeffer's head.
If the board was displeased with its executive director, it had an odd way of showing it in December 2011, when Schaeffer was awarded his new contract. Supple was among the minority of board members who voted against the extension.
Tim Bolton, the board president who is not named as a defendant in the case, issued this statement last week:
The Foundation has been named in a lawsuit entitled Daniell Schaeffer,
Plaintiff, vs. Golden Rain Foundation. The lawsuit was filed in the
Orange County Superior Court on September 28, 2012, bearing case number
30-2012-00601630. The lawsuit contains several employment-related
claims, including allegations of wrongful suspension, disability
discrimination, harassment, retaliation and defamation. The Foundation
has notified its insurance carrier, and is currently working with its
employment and corporate attorneys to investigate the allegations and to
prepare a defense. Unfortunately, the Board of Directors cannot
discuss the case during its investigations, which is necessary to ensure
the defendants are legally protected; however any inquiries should be
directed to the Foundation's President, Tim Bolton.
Question, Tim: You guys ever read Alex Sanchez?
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.