Schoolhouse Beat

L.A. district knew employee had been accused of molestation, but allowed him to keep his job

Officials at the Los Angeles Unified School District knew that a former priest it hired as a community organizer had been accused of molestation, but decided to keep him on the job. The Los Angeles Times reports that district administrators and school police discussed the accusations against Joseph Pina, and were aware in 2002 that the L.A. County Sheriff's Department was investigating him for alleged child molestation. Records indicate that school officials concluded that Pina should be removed from his job only if he were charged — or possibly convicted — of a crime. In the end, the Sheriff's Department dropped the Pina case because the alleged crime had passed the statute of limitations. The new focus on Pina came after the Los Angeles Archdiocese, released priest abuse files, including those covering the accusations against Pina. After the files were released, L.A. superintendent John Deasy ordered Pina fired.

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