Coast Unified’s Adams fleeing federal probe?

August 29, 2013
Chris Adams

Chris Adams


Departing Coast Unified School District Superintendent Chris Adams is leaving his post under the cloud of a federal investigation into alleged civil rights violations.

Earlier this week, Adams acknowledged his five-year stint as head of Cambrian schools was ending and that he would be taking an assistant director position with a lobbying group, the Association of California School Administrators in Sacramento.

Jim Bradshaw, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C., told CalCoastNews an investigation, conducted by a special division of the department, is ongoing.

“We can confirm that the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is investigating allegations that the district retaliated against an individual for raising issues involving Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” Bradshaw wrote in an email Tuesday. “That law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin in all programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.”

Bradshaw also noted that federal privacy regulations prohibit identification of “people involved with our civil rights cases.”

There may be more than one complaint and multiple probes. But a specific investigation apparently centers around a formal complaint made to the district’s board of trustees by a parent, Lee Chamberlain, two years ago.

Chamberlain was objecting to what he considered the district’s failure to provide mandated assistance for English-language learners — 60 percent of the district’s student population.

Adams claimed the district was in compliance with state law; a subsequent investigation by state officials determined the district was not adhering, and Adams and the board were ordered to comply.

Adams and his wife, Julie, then allegedly retaliated against Chamberlain by publicly releasing and discussing confidential information regarding Chamberlain’s own special needs child.

During this same period, a local newspaper, The Cambrian, printed a faxed letter-to-the-editor from one “Pedro Garcia,” praising Adams’ skills, activities, and sensitivity to minority issues and  requirements. Extensive efforts by local residents failed to locate anyone using that name with any connection to the region.

The fax’s origin was eventually traced to a telephone number assigned to the Adams while they lived in Redding, prior to his move to Coast Unified.

Adams repeatedly denied complicity in the faux fax.

The civil rights violation allegations center on suspected suppression of free speech and dissent through false pretenses by Adams.

Department of Education attorneys presently are discussing how Adams’ move will impact the investigation, if at all, according to one source, and “nothing will change” until Adams actually leaves the area.

The investigation is not the only shadow over Adams’ tenure.

In 2011, it was discovered that Adams’ two school-age children were included in a federal- and state-funded free-lunch program despite his combined family income at the time of more than $250,000. Adams denied it was an effort to “pad” program participant numbers to increase grant revenues, and blamed the whole thing on a bookkeeper’s error.

Adams also was criticized by some parents at board meetings for hiring his father for electrical work around the district, and for authorizing a district-funded series of costly programs designed and marketed by his wife as an independent consultant.

Three weeks ago, Adams and district trustees completed negotiations on a new contract calling for an annual salary of $168,000. It is not known if the contract was signed.

Adams did not respond Wednesday to CalCoastNews’ request for comment.



  1. niffty2 says:

    Good Grief! You guys have run him out of town, besmirched his character, and perhaps ruined his career. Isn’t that enough for you? Be good winners. As “leaders of the community”, show a little class and be done with the hate thing. Surely there are other things up there that need some attention.

    (1) 9 Total Votes - 5 up - 4 down
  2. CambriaKing says:

    Read the Trib today..8/30 Mr. Adam’s district had some of the lowest scores in the county with the biggest drops of any,,,nice work. Must be those lame teachers who won’t listen to Him and the fine instruction they received from his wife. (That capital “H” on him in the previous sentence was a Freudian slip, but I thought it appropriate due to the vision he has of himself.)

    (17) 23 Total Votes - 20 up - 3 down
  3. cmbrian says:

    Funny a tweet from Julie Adams last week was a quote about those who can teach and those who can’t pass laws about teaching. Interesting. The Cambrian can’t afford to lose board pres. Del Clegg aka cookie crock owners advertising. Not sure how he will be without his lapdog Chris. Maybe there will be a letter to the editor today from Pedro Garcia telling us how much he will miss Adams.

    (19) 29 Total Votes - 24 up - 5 down
  4. inmyopinion says:

    Wow, for someone who claim’s to be so innocent, he sure is running like a bat outta hell with his tail between his legs. What a real piece of “Ya Know” to retaliate against a child / special needs or not because of a parents concern shows his true colors. Thats right Chris, run like the dog you are.
    Sad to see you lobbying for our kids when we know you have no such concern in your blood. I feel sorry for the flack your poor kids probably take because of your selfish actions. Karma is a Beeeeoootch and she waits patiently for her time. JMO

    (32) 42 Total Votes - 37 up - 5 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      If you have concerns about the appropriateness of Chris Adams lobbying for school children, you might want to contact the organization that is reportedly hiring him:

      (18) 24 Total Votes - 21 up - 3 down
      • blondehare says:

        On thier media web site..
        Latest News

        Skilled Leader to Head ACSA’s Educational Services Department
        Chris Adams, superintendent of Coast Unified School District, has been selected to serve as ACSA Assistant Executive Director.

        (5) 13 Total Votes - 9 up - 4 down
        • CambriaKing says:

          Oh, my…you need to go to this site and read what the ACSA’s press release has to say. For those of us who live in Cambria and have had to deal with him over the past 6 years, it is hysterical, really hysterical.

          (13) 19 Total Votes - 16 up - 3 down
  5. SLOBIRD says:

    Once again we see government rewarding it’s best with promotions just to move them up, on, out, away, rewarding them for their outstanding performance. Then we all sit here wondering why we are in trouble in this Country . Only in government do you get rewarded for your stupidity!

    Is this not the same person that signed his kids up for low income lunches when he was paid over $150,000 and his nepotism wife had a wonderful contract with the school district as well for over $100,000 but couldn’t afford to buy their kids’ lunch? Losers, and yes, they belong in Sacramento with all the other losers!

    (18) 36 Total Votes - 27 up - 9 down
    • bobfromsanluis says:

      Once again, your anti-anything-connected-to-anyone-working-anywhere-connected-to-the-“government” bias is very transparent; however, do you NOT comprehend that Chris Adams is taking a position with a lobbying group? The group may have a government connected sounding name, but it is NOT a government position, it is a LOBBYING business. Get off your high horse about corrupt government, it is the government that is investigating Mr. Adams … sheesh.

      (16) 34 Total Votes - 25 up - 9 down
      • CambriaKing says:

        Oh, that’s better…a lobbying group. Who is he lobbying for? Kids? Parents? Teachers? Nope. Superintendents! Perfect. There is a group that needs lobbying. Superintendents, poor misunderstood superintendents, never get a break, living on a shoe string superintendents. Now he and the CTA can really figure out how to screw things up.

        (19) 29 Total Votes - 24 up - 5 down
        • MaryMalone says:

          The folks who need to learn of your concerns are the ones hiring Chris Adams. Here’s a link to their website.

          (13) 17 Total Votes - 15 up - 2 down
      • SLOBIRD says:

        Another union poster!

        (-5) 15 Total Votes - 5 up - 10 down
        • bobfromsanluis says:

          Huh? I do not belong to a union, especially a teacher’s union. I am retired from a food industry that had union representation and I do get a small pension each month, nothing like those in the public sector that retired from a manager or supervisory position.
          My problem with your comment is that you equated Mr. Adams leaving his Superintendent position and moving into a government position, which a lobbying group IS NOT. Sure, the lobbyists interact with elected officials and their assistants, but the pay and benefits are provided by the lobbyist company, a private organization. I happen to detest most lobbying groups, I think they wield way too much influence and sway over elected officials; but one more time, they are not government positions, period.

          (11) 23 Total Votes - 17 up - 6 down
        • zaphod says:

          another derail

          (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
  6. HarryMalone says:

    One down…many more to go.

    Keep up the good work CCN!

    (28) 42 Total Votes - 35 up - 7 down
  7. Scarlet says:

    The Tribune didn’t have ANY of this info in its fond farewell to this ass.

    (37) 45 Total Votes - 41 up - 4 down
    • pasodowny says:

      You are so very correct on that score. All the tribune does is editorialize. Badly.

      (25) 29 Total Votes - 27 up - 2 down
  8. CambriaKing says:

    Don’t let the door hit you in the ass…Sac Town will be perfect for this bureaucrat. He will no longer be around parents or children, just other pompous know it all’s that are continuing to run a defunct and failing education system. As they say, those that can’t usually end up instructing or regulating.

    (35) 53 Total Votes - 44 up - 9 down
    • bobfromsanluis says:

      I just about clicked on “like” for your comment, but then you had to insult “instructors”; why?

      (1) 17 Total Votes - 9 up - 8 down
      • SLOBIRD says:

        Because there are union supporters and have ruined the education system of California and everything else they put there dirty hands on. I use to be a big supporter of the private unions and then watched then take down everything that was decent and then they discovered the real power was in government unions and poor, they have done a damn good job with it. Look at IRS, education system, public safety (can’t even fire an idiot paramedic after he practically kills someone), now we have a police drug runner wants his job back because what he did was not as bad as the paramedic,a CMC allowed to “resign” and gets probation after being charged with contraband (and lots of it) and the IRS manager Lerner still won’t talk but draws a salary and can’t be fired because of unions, etc.

        Bob, give an example, just one, when the last time a government employee was directly fired with no deals attached. I will watch for your answer.

        (-3) 23 Total Votes - 10 up - 13 down
        • SLOTECH90 says:

          Your argument is grossly contaminated with the fallacy of Sweeping Generalization.

          (2) 20 Total Votes - 11 up - 9 down
        • bobfromsanluis says:

          Jeepers, where to begin; first, I do not have an example of a government employee being directly fired “with no deals attached” – I do not have a fixation on how unions are supposedly ruining everything they are associated with. Many of the government worker types that have had a public awareness of their situation have either been management level types (Gail Wilcox, for example) or have had real stories about the whole situation (John Ryan Mason who should have NOT been allowed to be hired back- it wasn’t the union that made the decision to hire him back, that was the Fire Chief).
          As for the private unions “taking down everything that was decent”, um, NO. That would be the companies that wanted to rid themselves of union workers, which is what was started by Saint Ronnie when he illegally fired the Air Traffic Controllers which led to a “war” on unions. The rich and big business types pushed Congress to make some changes, they gave tax credits to American companies who chose to move their factories overseas and put American workers out of work.
          I understand the angst of those who feel we should have no public sector unions; FDR certainly made some very good arguments against union representation; the fact remains however that they do have union representation and instead of demonizing them for how effective they have been in getting good deals for their members, perhaps we should focus on how to negotiate with them to have their future contracts brought more closely into alignment with the private sector on issues of pay and benefits and retirements.

          (2) 18 Total Votes - 10 up - 8 down
          • OnTheOtherHand says:

            I generally agree with you but your last proposal to negotiate with them on future contracts to be more realistic is itself unrealistic. They don’t negotiate with the taxpayer. They negotiate with elected officials who seem to have little problem spending tax dollars and giving in on non-monetary issues to keep those large and politically-benevolent public unions happy.

            Since most Americans vote based upon whatever politician lies to their prejudices loudest and longest, this means we all suffer when such politicians cave to well-funded special interests (corporate and/or union). We may, collectively, deserve this fate but I, individually, do not and I do object to it.

            (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      Sacramento may be perfect for a bureaucrat, but Adams will be just an eensy-beensy baby shark, swimming with a whole mess of great, big, ravenous sharks.

      (8) 10 Total Votes - 9 up - 1 down
      • MaryMalone says:

        The above post was in reply to CambraiKing’s post. Sorry for posting it astray.

        (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down

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