Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Slatic's Attorney Says Superintendent Trying to Cast Trustee in Bad Light
bill-new-mug-002
By Bill McEwen, News Director
Published 5 years ago on
February 2, 2019

Share

The attorney representing embattled Fresno Unified trustee Terry Slatic says that Superintendent Bob Nelson is trying to tarnish the trustee’s reputation because Slatic’s aggressive efforts to improve the district are “ruffling feathers.”
In an interview with GV Wire on Friday afternoon, attorney Charles K. Manock said that Nelson prematurely approved the release of a security-camera video depicting a confrontation between Slatic and a Bullard High School student on Jan. 11.

“There can be no more one-sided narrative (on what happened) because of the damage that this has done and is continuing to do to my family.” — Trustee Terry Slatic
The video didn’t include audio of the incident, which has received prominent media attention and sparked much public debate about the actions of Slatic and the student.
Manock further said that a letter written by Nelson to the district board, which was leaked to The Fresno Bee, “cherry-picked” email correspondence between the superintendent and the trustee to cast Slatic in a bad light.

Attorney: Video ‘Doesn’t Speak for Itself’

“It is unfortunate that the video was released without a full investigation,” Manock said. “If you are releasing a video, along with that, you are speaking to the public and allowing the public to view a case before you have all the facts. I believe once all the facts are known my client will be totally exonerated.”
Following the video’s release, Nelson said, “I think that video speaks for itself, I encourage folks to watch that video so that they can draw their own conclusions from what they see, right there.”
Countered Manock: “Because crucial to any video evidence is audio … by its very nature, it doesn’t speak for itself.”

District Won’t Comment Again Until Probe Is Finished

District spokeswoman Amy Idsvoog said Friday that Fresno Unified officials would have no further comment about the confrontation “until the investigation is completed.”
A request for comment left on Nelson’s voice mail wasn’t returned prior to publication Friday.

Slatic: Family ‘Crushed’ by Social Media Attacks

Slatic accompanied Manock to Friday’s interview and spoke about social media attacks on himself and his family.
“I’m the father of four. My daughters are twenty-three, twenty-two. My boys are 19 and 18 as of tomorrow. Been married for decades to my wife. And they’re all crushed by this stuff on the internet. Because, as with any kids of that age they’re quite internet savvy.
“When they see some of the things that are out there and the accusations that are out there, it has broken all of them. And that’s why counselor Manock and I have decided to speak. There can be no more one-sided narrative (on what happened) because of the damage that this has done and is continuing to do to my family.”

Manock Doesn’t Address Slatic’s Actions During Incident

Manock declined to speak about the confrontation, saying that “everybody’s entitled to their privacy and given that a minor is involved, we can’t speak to Terry’s actions or the minor’s actions.”
However, three days after the confrontation in which the trustee pulled the student’s backpack from his back, Slatic told GV Wire that the student swore at and threatened both the trustee and his aide, Michelle Asadoorian.
“Based on my training, when somebody says they will kill me and shoot me, I take those threats seriously,” Slatic said at that time.
The lawyer representing the student, Roger Bonakdar, has said that his client didn’t trigger the confrontation. Slatic’s version of the incident, Bonakder said, “is just completely illogical and unsupported by what is depicted in the video.”

Attorney Says Nelson Asked Slatic to Mentor Him on Leadership

Manock cited contents in the leaked letter as evidence of Nelson’s efforts to control the public narrative about Slatic, a retired war-service Marine and business executive.
The attorney said that Nelson mistakenly attributed to Slatic phrases of a famous essay on leadership written by William Bennett, the former Secretary of Education under Ronald Reagan and a conservative pundit.
According to The Bee, Nelson wrote, “In the e-mail, you describe yourself as a sheepdog, a person who you say ‘has a capacity for violence. The email was – and is – very disturbing to me.”
Manock said that Slatic sent Nelson the Bennett essay because the superintendent has asked the trustee “to mentor him on leadership.”

2007 Grand Jury Report Cited by Nelson

Other evidence of Nelson’s attempt to smear Slatic, the attorney said, was the superintendent’s reference in the leaked letter to a 2007 Fresno County Grand Jury investigation into the relationship between then-Superintendent Michael Hanson and two trustees. The grand jury concluded that the board president and board clerk at that time engaged in “micromanaging” to the detriment of the district.
As reported by The Bee, Nelson’s letter took Slatic to task for making “excessive demands on staff for information, research and justification for actions taken” as well as scheduling meetings, setting agendas and purporting to represent the district.
Said Manock of the grand jury report: “It was a sad period in grand jury history that had to do with pushing back against trustees with oversight of Michael Hanson. And during that period it was open warfare on trustees (by Hanson’s supporters in the community).”

DON'T MISS

Boeing’s Financial Woes Continue, While Families of Crash Victims Urge US to Prosecute

DON'T MISS

Police Tangle With Students in Texas and California as Wave of Campus Protest Against Gaza War Grows

DON'T MISS

Meet the Valley Republican Predicting a November Win Over Esmeralda Soria

DON'T MISS

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

DON'T MISS

Slumping California Risks Losing World’s ‘5th Largest Economy’ Title

DON'T MISS

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

DON'T MISS

Upward Bound: Edison High’s Garcia Headed to Johns Hopkins

DON'T MISS

Boxing Star Ryan Garcia Wants to Meet Netanyahu, Pledges Aid for Gaza Children

DON'T MISS

Fong Won’t Debate Boudreaux, but We Get Hot Topic Answers Anyway

DON'T MISS

Legislation Pandering to Tribal Casinos Is a Bad Bet for Fresno Cardroom Employees

UP NEXT

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

UP NEXT

Fong Won’t Debate Boudreaux, but We Get Hot Topic Answers Anyway

UP NEXT

Ancestry Website to Catalogue Names of Japanese Americans Incarcerated During World War II

UP NEXT

Fresno County Appoints New Librarian. What’s Her Favorite Book Genre?

UP NEXT

Costa Seeks Legislation to Prevent Reedley Lab Repeat

UP NEXT

Fresno Home Care Workers Threaten Civil Disobedience Over Low Pay

UP NEXT

Legacy of Speed: The 1,600 Horsepower 1957 ‘Skeva’ Chevy Bel Air Built in Fresno

UP NEXT

KMJ’s Gabriel & Musson Win Radio Honors, Fresno Council Plaudits

UP NEXT

Fresno’s Baklava House Entices Foodies With Its Delicious Flavors

UP NEXT

Google Fires More Workers Who Protested Its Deal With Israel

Bill McEwen,
News Director
Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

4 hours ago

Slumping California Risks Losing World’s ‘5th Largest Economy’ Title

4 hours ago

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

6 hours ago

Upward Bound: Edison High’s Garcia Headed to Johns Hopkins

Local Education /

7 hours ago

Boxing Star Ryan Garcia Wants to Meet Netanyahu, Pledges Aid for Gaza Children

8 hours ago

Fong Won’t Debate Boudreaux, but We Get Hot Topic Answers Anyway

8 hours ago

Legislation Pandering to Tribal Casinos Is a Bad Bet for Fresno Cardroom Employees

9 hours ago

About 1 in 4 US Adults Over 50 Say They Expect to Never Retire, an AARP Study Finds

9 hours ago

Biden Signs a $95 Billion War Aid Measure With Assistance for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

9 hours ago

Ancestry Website to Catalogue Names of Japanese Americans Incarcerated During World War II

10 hours ago

Boeing’s Financial Woes Continue, While Families of Crash Victims Urge US to Prosecute

Boeing said Wednesday that it lost $355 million on falling revenue in the first quarter, another sign of the crisis gripping the aircraft ma...

3 hours ago

3 hours ago

Boeing’s Financial Woes Continue, While Families of Crash Victims Urge US to Prosecute

3 hours ago

Police Tangle With Students in Texas and California as Wave of Campus Protest Against Gaza War Grows

CA District 27 Assembly candidate Joanna Garcia Rose
3 hours ago

Meet the Valley Republican Predicting a November Win Over Esmeralda Soria

4 hours ago

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

4 hours ago

Slumping California Risks Losing World’s ‘5th Largest Economy’ Title

6 hours ago

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

Local Education /
7 hours ago

Upward Bound: Edison High’s Garcia Headed to Johns Hopkins

8 hours ago

Boxing Star Ryan Garcia Wants to Meet Netanyahu, Pledges Aid for Gaza Children

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend