LAUSD disbands Miramonte child-abuse panel

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Updated: 5/07/2014 2:30 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Citing its cost, the Los Angeles Unified School District has disbanded a special investigative panel intended to review the Miramonte Elementary child-abuse case.

Civil rights attorney Connie Rice, who was asked to lead the commission, tells the Los Angeles Times she believes the district feared increasing its liability if the panel found fault with the school system.

The district has paid about $30 million to 63 students and their families to settle civil lawsuits, along with millions more in legal fees and other costs. Other litigation is pending.

Officials pledged to form the commission in 2012 after the arrest of Miramonte teacher Mark Berndt, who was charged with lewd conduct.

Berndt was given a 25-year sentence after pleading no contest to 23 counts in November.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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