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JC Hayward files motion to be dropped from lawsuit | News

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JC Hayward files motion to be dropped from lawsuit

WASHINGTON DC (WUSA9)--Longtime WUSA9 anchor JC Hayward is asking a judge to dismiss her from a lawsuit alleging mismanaged funds at a DC charter school. 

On Wednesday, Hayward's attorney Jeffrey Jacobovitz filed a motion to dismiss Hayward from the D.C. Attorney General's lawsuit alleging that former school administrators diverted more than $3 million from DC's Options Public Charter School.

Hayward's lawyer states that the AG's complaint doesn't accuse Hayward of profiting in any way from the alleged scheme. In fact, Hayward's lawyer claims, the D.C. television personality was "entirely unaware of its existence."  

The school at the center of the case is Options Public Charter School on E Street NE.  Options is DC's oldest charter school,  known for its focus on at-risk students and special education programs.  Options Public Charter School is also one of the defendants in the case.

Jacobovitz says while Hayward served on the Board of Trustees for Options Charter School, she received no compensation for her work and had no moneymaking interest in the for-profit corporations EES and EEMC, which are at the center of the allegations.

Eight transactions

In his motion for Hayward, Jacobovitz says there are eight transactions identified by the District as evidence of wrongdoing by Options administrators. Jacobovitz claims that Hayward merely signed management agreements and loan agreements with the for-profit corporations owned by the former school officials, which was part of her role as the Chair of the Board of Trustees.

The other defendants include attorney Paul Dalton who, according to the DC Attorney General's lawsuit, was general counsel at the school, and at the same time worked for EEMC, a for-profit company that got $2.8 million in school contracts; Donna Montgomery, who not only was Executive Director at Options Charter School, but according to the lawsuit was also  the CEO of EEMC and a second company getting school contracts; and, David Cranford who the lawsuit says was Chief Operating Officer at one of the companies getting school contracts and at the same time was serving as Chief Operating Officer (COO) at the Charter School.  A fifth defendant, Jeremy Williams, is accused of using his position with DC Public Charter School Board to help conceal the alleged mismanagement.

Lawsuit's claims "clearly not directed at her"

Hayward's filing states, unlike specific claims against other defendants, there's not a claim anywhere that she "received any payments or other financial benefit from Options PCS," arguing the claim of improper financial benefit "is clearly not directed to her."

In a statement last week, Donna Montgomery stated that no public funds have been misused and that all contracts and payments were transparent and vetted by a variety of third parties.

Wednesday's filing doesn't address the District claim that JC herself incorporated one of the companies that allegedly benefited from the insider deals.  The District alleges Donna Montgomery, the schools COO was the actual owner of that company - while at the same time, running the school and the other company involved.

In full disclosure, JC's attorney, Jacobovitz, has been a frequent unpaid analyst on WUSA9.  He did not respond to investigative reporter Russ Ptacek's requests for comment today. A message left for Hayward wasn't returned either.  WUSA9 reached out to the other co-defendants and the District Attorney General.  So far no responses there either.  There's a hearing scheduled for Friday. 


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