School Board’s Eisen is served intent to recall

by Danny Brown
Published February 21, 2008

A Jan. 30 school board meeting during which board trustees’ censured fellow member Bill Eisen, asking him to resign, has sparked a grassroots action for his recall. On Friday night, a coalition of 10 community members had Eisen served a Letter of Intent to Recall notice at his home.

Should the effort succeed Eisen would be the first Manhattan Beach Unified Board member to be recalled in the district’s history.

Before taking action to organize a recall, the community members pleaded with Eisen at the Jan. 30 meeting to resign.

“Do the honorable thing and resign,” said David Wachtfogel at the meeting, after warning Eisen there was a nascent recall effort.

Eisen responded that he had no intention of abdicating. He also said that he planned to remain living in the district, alluding to a Federal Court order evicting him from his house by Feb. 14 as the result of a bankruptcy hearing that spanned more than two decades.

After last week’s deadline passed, U.S. Marshals posted a five-day eviction notice on his door.
“Eisen has been known to sue a lot of people and intimidate them by tying them up in court and costing them money,” said former councilman Russ Lesser, who is a part of the recall effort. “There were people afraid to sign because they didn’t want him coming after them.”
Eisen refused to comment to The Easy Reader.

The recall’s allegations against Eisen include repeatedly insulting and making false charges against other board members, lying to the public about a vote that was videotaped, disrupting classroom sessions to argue with teachers, and bringing board meetings to a standstill. Additionally, the recall states Eisen’s personal legal problems, which include credible allegations of forgery and perjury, have called his character into question stating: “Mr. Eisen does not meet the required standard of ethics and conduct.”

Starting from last Friday, Eisen will have 10-days to submit a 200-word response to the Los Angeles County Clerk.

The recall committee will have from April 1 to June 30 to obtain approximately 4,600 signatures (20 percent of the city registered voters) to qualify recall for the November ballot.
“Our board is faced with some very serious challenges in the next year or two or more,” said Wachtfogel. “…the last thing our District needs is Bill Eisen around to make it difficult if not near impossible for the Board and Staff to deal with our needs in a positive and timely manner.” ER