Dunn Adds Fuel to Case Against CA State Bar

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – Former state Sen. Joseph Dunn amended his whistleblower lawsuit to name a new defendant, Beth Jay, in his claim that the State Bar of California fired him as its executive director for exposing “serious ethical breaches, prosecutorial lapses, and fiscal improprieties.”
     Dunn claims he was targeted after he discovered that the bar’s chief trial counsel, Jayne Kim, removed 269 backlogged cases from official reports released to the public in order to make her office appear more productive.
     Jay, the newly named defendant, is the former principal attorney to the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court.
     “Consistent with her historical pattern of interfering with state bar affairs without any constitutional, statutory, or other authority,” Dunn claims, Jay met with certain members of the bar’s board of trustees to urge Dunn’s termination by spreading “blatantly false information” about him.
     Dunn alleges that Jay met repeatedly with Kim, Craig Holden (the bar’s newly installed president, who is also named as a defendant) and Jim Fox to set into motion plans for Dunn’s termination. The meetings “culminated in Kim filing a frivolous and unsubstantiated grievance against Sen. Dunn,” the amended complaint states.
     The former Democratic state senator also claims that Jay was directly involved in and copied on the grievance, which he was never given the opportunity to review or to answer.
     “Beth Jay’s involvement played a substantial role in the ultimate decision to terminate Sen. Dunn,” the amended complaint states.
     In addition, Dunn accuses Holden of engaging in a “campaign to derail the sale of the state bar’s San Francisco headquarters.”
     “Specifically, it has been learned that Holden has a plan to lien the San Francisco property, falsely claiming urgent needs to make property improvement and repairs, that is in effect nothing more than a poison pill plan to scuttle any sale of the property which could have led to the state bar realizing millions of dollars in equity which could be used to defray membership costs and to support its core functions,” Dunn claims.
     In November, the State Bar of California issued a statement that called Dunn’s lawsuit “baseless.”
     Both sides will be heard on Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
     In a telephone interview, Holden said that Dunn’s “eleventh-hour” filing of the amended complaint was an effort to derail the hearing.
     Dunn is represented by Mark Geragos in Los Angeles.

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