Perks of Being a College President
SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) - In a lurid lawsuit, a former teacher claims the founder and president of the California University of Management & Science and South Baylo University used his colleges as "his own harem," forced him to change paramours' grades from F's to A's, then hired them for faculty jobs, and when the teacher objected, fired him - for changing grades, as the boss had ordered.
Keunjun Choi sued the two colleges and their founder and president, David Park, on Tuesday in Orange County Court.
Both colleges are based in Anaheim. CalUMS also has campuses in San Diego and Falls Church, Va. SBU has branch campuses in Los Angeles and Annadale, Va. Students pay about $1,000 a month in tuition, Choi says in the lawsuit.
Choi, a golf pro who taught sports management for Park from 2008 until he was fired this year, claims that his "American dream turned into an American nightmare coupled with tawdry day-time soap opera starring philandering Park and plaintiff as the miserable lap dog forced to cater to the whimsical needs of Park and providing services akin to involuntary servitude."
Among the many allegations in Choi's lawsuit are that Park, about 85, forced him to drive Park to golf courses as far away as Palm Springs and Bakersfield 100 times, for free golf lessons, for which Choi, "as a certified teaching pro," would have earned $400 a pop.
The most tawdry allegations involve Park's alleged serial philandering.
"Park treats CalUMS as his personal playground and a personal piggy bank. Park has had a history of womanizing over the years. Park used CalUMS as his own harem by picking and choosing students to garner sexual favors in exchange for grades, degrees, money, gifts, and positions at CalUMS," Choi claims.
He claims that after Park started having sex with a 45-year-old student several years ago, he bought her a new Audi and rented a house for her, "with the school funds." When Choi gave her an F for missing classes, Park ordered him to change the grade to an A, and "made I clear" that if he did not, he would be "summarily terminated," Choi says. So he did, and Park then hired her as the Dean of Student Affairs, Choi says.
He claims that the colleges are indistinguishable from Park himself, and that "Under the direction of Park, CalUMS arbitrarily and routinely inflated student grades especially in anticipating of the audits by Bureau of Postsecondary Education. Park uses both SBU and CalUMS as I-20 (foreign student Visa) mills and diploma mills. Plaintiff is informed and believes that SBU has been blacklisted by United States Citizens and Immigration Services for recklessly over issuing I-20s to unqualified foreign students. SBU also received a notice to comply from Bureau of Postsecondary Education for not keeping proper student records."
When Park found out that his new dean was also sleeping with another man, he picked out another 45-year-old student, named Jessica, and started having sex with her, Choi claims.
Again, Choi says, Park forced him to change his new concubine's grade from F to A. Then Park made her a professor, before she graduated, "and even had CalUMS pay for the graduation examination," Choi says.
Then things got really complicated.
Park "resumed his sexual relationship" with his dean in May this year, and when the new professor learned about it, she "became very upset" and threatened to sue Park and CalUMS for sexual harassment, Choi claims.
"Park became very alarmed and ordered plaintiff to relay a message to Jessica," the lawsuit states. "The message was 'if you were to really file a sexual harassment lawsuit, then your sister will get hurt because she is married.' As it turned out, Park was also having a sexual relationship with Jessica's older sister, who was married with children at the time."
But it gets worse. Choi claims that he met with Jessica to relay Park's message, upon which "Jessica remained silent for a couple of minutes and then started sobbing uncontrollably. Plaintiff attempted to console her and show some measure of sympathy by saying, 'If you were my own sister, then even I may desire to kill or beat up David Park.' Jessica, however, was surreptitiously and unlawfully recording the conversation with her phone.
"Shortly after plaintiff s relay of Park's message to Jessica, Jessica made up or 'settled' with Park and played the recorded conversation to Park. Park became very upset and sent another teacher to confront and reprimand plaintiff."
In June, Choi says, Park "summarily and wrongfully" fired him.
"Park's reason for termination was inflation of student grades by plaintiff which Park directed and orchestrated to benefit his sexual partners," Choi says in the complaint.
He also claims that Park owes him 10 months of wages.
He seeks lost earnings and punitive damages for wrongful firing, breach of faith, $67,500 for labor code violations, unfair competition, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Choi is represented by Jason Kim, with Kim, Au and Associates, of Los Angeles.