Embattled and recall-threatened school board member Alison Collins has withdrawn the bizarre lawsuit she filed in March demanding $87 million in various damages from her fellow board members and the school district.
A federal judge dismissed the suit several weeks ago before a hearing was scheduled, saying that its claims entirely lacked merit. Rather than press on and fight the dismissal, Collins filed paperwork this week to voluntarily dismiss her previous claims. And it remains to be seen, as the Chronicle reports, whether the SF Unified School District will choose to come after her for legal expenses it's already incurred related to the suit, estimated at $110,000 and counting.
Some, including SF Parent Coalition founder Meredith Dodson, think that the district absolutely should not let that money go. Dodson tells the paper, "SFUSD is in a serious budget crisis. We need every last dollar to go to our kids."
Alongside Collins, two other school board members — board Vice President Faauuga Moliga, who was among the five members Collins named in her suit, and board President Gabriela Lopez, who was not named — are facing a recall election that could take place before the end of the year. Proponents of the recall submitted far more than the needed signatures to put the recall on the ballot on Tuesday, the same day that Collins dropped her suit.
And given everyone's recall fatigue, and our fatigue in general with hearing far more about the SF school board in the news than in any year in living memory, those three recalls stand a decent chance of passing. The proponents are passionate and will get their people to the polls, and it's hard to imagine too many others in San Francisco will be paying much attention.
If Collins, Moliga, and Lopez are recalled, Mayor London Breed will appoint their replacements, and those replacements will have to then stand for election next year.
The only person we've heard calling Collins's suit "reasonable" is fellow board member Kevine Boggess — whom, incidentally, Collins was suing for $15 million.
Boggess tells the Chronicle that after Collins was stripped of her Vice President title back in March — over allegations of racism relating to some 2016 tweets she said were taken out of context — she "had a right to file the lawsuit, because she felt wronged and saw this as her only path to get justice." Boggess said he was confident that their no-confidence vote was legal, so he was not concerned about Collins's suit being successful.