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Bill Handel

LAUSD Accused of Blocking Miramonte Investigation

Posted May 7th, 2014 @ 6:55am

Photo credit: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A lawyer representing 15 former Miramonte Elementary School students accused Los Angeles schools Superintendent John Deasy today of blocking a probe into the extent of sexual abuse at the school.

Brian Claypool said Deasy curtailed the probe of a blue-ribbon panel that included former LAPD Chief Bill Bratton without an explanation.

Earlier, Claypool called for a federal criminal investigation into the destruction of school district files containing abuse allegations.

Mark Henry Berndt, who taught at Miramonte for decades, pleaded no contest last year to 23 counts of committing lewd acts on children and was sentenced to 25 years behind bars.

The charges against Berndt involved 23 children who were 7 to 10 years old at the time of the crimes, which were committed between 2005 and 2011.

As part of his plea agreement, Berndt will also be required to register as a sex offender for life.

``The school district continues to seek outside funding for the commission's work,'' according to a LAUSD statement. ``In order to avoid any public perception that the school district might seek to control the work of the commission, we felt it critical that the commission be funded by outside sources.''

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