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UPDATE: Saugus district gets OK to move forward with proceedings against Winkler

Posted: February 12, 2014 1:03 p.m.
Updated: February 12, 2014 5:09 p.m.

Stephen Winkler in 2013


The state Attorney General’s office has given the Saugus Union School District the green light to move ahead with proceedings that could officially remove Stephen Winkler from the board.

Tuesday’s opinion from the Attorney General clears the way for the district to sue “to determine whether proposed defendant Winkler meets the legal residency requirements for holding the public office of School District Trustee,” the document says.

Saugus district board members voted 4-1 last June to declare Winkler’s seat vacant after evidence emerged that he may live in Sylmar. Residency outside the district would make him ineligible to serve as an elected Saugus board of education member.

Winkler has maintained that he is eligible to hold the seat.

“I’m like an independent merchant fighting a chain store when I’m fighting the school board,” Winkler said Wednesday. “So I don’t have the resources to fight them tooth and fang.”

Winkler said he stopped attending board meetings after the vote to declare his seat vacant because he did not want to create a distraction.

“They don’t want me on the board, and this is the only single issue they can work with to keep me off the board,” Winkler said.

The board has been meeting as a four-member body since Winkler's seat was vacated, said board President Paul De La Cerda.

Saugus district Superintendent Joan Lucid confirmed Wednesday that the district had received the go-ahead for proceedings to determine whether Winkler is eligible to hold a seat on the board.

“It’s only the first step in the legal process, and this completion isn’t going to happen overnight, but it’s one more step toward resolution,” Lucid said of the opinion.

District officials hope to begin those proceedings soon, said De La Cerda.

“We’re going to do that as quickly as possible because we want to move this process down the road,” he said.

On Twitter @LukeMMoney





ohhyaa: Posted: February 12, 2014 5:22 p.m.

Oh, him again? I thought he was partying naked somewhere in Sylmar.

This message has been removed due to a violation.

EgbertSouse4U: Posted: February 13, 2014 10:47 p.m.

Well, seems like only yesterday that Winkler, ol' "Stevenson," was on these boards talking about running over dogs and stringing up potsmokers with piano wire. I wonder if he has figured out his address yet.

bartman: Posted: February 13, 2014 8:41 a.m.

Strange the article is about due process and the comments are about one persons character. Yet not a single one is about how the remaining elected board members failed to follow the law and violated his rights to due process. As Americans you should be more concerned about tyranny than someones differences.

For the record, I would not let this individual house-sit, baby-sit, or handle my finances after his response to the allegations that he was hacked and didn't know about it. Placing blame on others is not the type of person I would hire.

I still have not heard that anyone has done the research to confirm that and proved he lied. That doesn't make me a supporter of him or condone those type of activities, and is the reason I would avoid hiring him. However, I am more concerned how people prejudge based on allegations instead of allowing the process to work. Social media is providing a reason for more division.

Americans are supposed to be innocent until PROVEN guilty, but social media has provided people with a false sense of authority. The media has always shaped peoples opinion as far back as Benjamin Franklin's day, but today we get "news" before its ever investigated, confirmed, and presented in the major media. There is no license to create a blog, a website, or internet radio / TV station. In fact, I have seen articles written by The Onion on all the major media (remember Chick-Fill-A and homophobia?). It is so easy twist the truth today with no consequences. Depending on what triggers emotions determines which side you are on these days.

Labels are thrown out like greetings today. People are either: Patriots or terrorists, conservative or liberal, right wing or left wing, depending on ones emotions. Both major political parties call each other names with malicious intent like tea party, socialists, to evoke emotions and most people don't understand that.

I fear for our childrens' future because people have become more distant and opinionated than any other time in our history.

In conclusion, lets let the process happen as it should without our personal opinions. The Attorney General has concluded that Winklers' rights were violated, due process was not conducted, but there is a course of action to correct that. Lets let the character of those who were involved in this activity play out. Lets see if the Trustee's can be trusted.

stray: Posted: February 13, 2014 9:18 a.m.

@Bart - "I am more concerned how people prejudge based on allegations"

I assume you are referring to his place of residence in question.

"It is so easy to twist the truth today with no consequences"

Yep... Obozo does that each and every time he gets in front of the microphones!

bartman: Posted: February 13, 2014 10:35 a.m.

Stray, I was referring to everything...

The 3 previous comments (one of which has been removed), the fact that the boards conclusion at the "vacancy hearing" that they could not deny his Valencia residency but instead relied on a court document of his "vacation" rental as his primary residence, and the fact he claimed he didn't know about one account and stated he hadn't used the other in awhile. Why are people still following his posts if it offends them?

Proper due diligence would require:
1. a utility bill with his name on it sent to the service address showing residency. (why didn't they ask for this?)
2. IP domain search of posts with MAC address from the device. (Why didn't they ask for this?)
3. a sworn statement on the allegations.

These were not done at the time of the hearing in addition to unlawful removal of an elected official. Protect the children from access during the investigation I understand, but not allowing him to perform the duties he was elected to do is Tyranny.

The comments above are opinions, which everyone has a right to voice. However, just like I have no clue who these people are, they can not confirm that he is the one posting them. Again, these are easy things to prove. My company does it all the time when we are slandered or threatened. When public venues are used, security camera footage is sometimes required to prove the persons presence.

The board has the obligation to conduct due diligence and not just bow down to popular opinion. Lets let them do their job before any further actions are made. This is not something that happens often, nor should most trustees even know how to do this. However, if they sought council and this is the outcome, they should at least learn from that.

timothymyers02: Posted: February 13, 2014 10:53 a.m.


Innocent until proven guilty is a legal construct that only applies to the state . As private citizens we are free to draw our own conclusions and the individual in question was so wacky that I can certainly see the elected officials trying anything to get him out of the building as quickly as possible.

bartman: Posted: February 13, 2014 11:53 a.m.

Agreed that he is a different sort of person. Not one I would hang out with. The board does not choose who they must work with, the people do. They can limit his positions on committees and access to school grounds, but as strange as it sounds he had the right to vote against them and see the same documents they saw. That right was taken away unjustly. When our local or other government agencies take those rights away without proper process, the whole system is in jeopardy.

My point of social media shaping our views and coming to immediate opinion is more dangerous than we have ever experienced in history. I fear what it can become. We have spent a lot of years attempting to suppress hate and bigotry. This appears to be a forum that can fuel the fire.

EgbertSouse4U: Posted: February 13, 2014 12:40 p.m.

"We have spent a lot of years attempting to suppress hate and bigotry."

Maybe that's why so many of us have a problem with defending this man, who by his own admission, ran a nazi propaganda website.

philellis: Posted: February 13, 2014 2:57 p.m.

"Yet not a single one is about how the remaining elected board members failed to follow the law and violated his rights to due process."

"Americans are supposed to be innocent until PROVEN guilty,"

Looks like you have already found the remaining board members guilty.

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