Investigation at West Covina Unified Clears Board Members

An investigator has concluded that a former West Covina Unified superintendent’s claims of discrimination, retaliation and sexual harassment are “without merit,” district officials said this week.

Liliam Leis-Castillo, who was hired as West Covina Unified superintendent in 2006, filed suit against the district and board members Mike Spence and Steve Cox in August, following her termination by a board vote in May.

Castillo’s lawsuit claims she was fired because she did not reciprocate Cox’s alleged sexual advances toward her and because she opposed the way the board was managing the district’s charter school.

The lawsuit also accuses Spence and Cox of discriminating against Leis-Castillo for being a Latino woman.

In response to the suit, West Covina Unified hired Michelle Lane, a San Ramon-based attorney and private investigator, to look into the allegations.

At its meeting on Tuesday, the board received and reviewed the final report compiled by Lane.

The report has not been made public, but according to a statement issued by the district, “hundreds if not thousands of documents” were examined and thirteen individuals were interviewed. The report determined the following:

Leis-Castillo was not fired for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons.

Cox did not sexually harass Leis-Castillo.

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