Anti-Casino Lawsuit Says Elk Grove Mayor Ly Suggested Solicitation of Funds For Son's Classroom From Wilton Rancheria

June 22, 2017 |  

The lawsuit filed earlier this week by four Elk Grove plaintiffs accusing the City of Elk Grove of stonewalling a public records request regarding the city's involvement Wilton Rancheria in their proposed $400-million casino resort has provided a glimpse of the inner working of the local government, staff members, and elected officials.

Among the tidbits of revealing information uncovered by those documents the City has agreed to release, showed a discussion between Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly, and his son's them sixth-grade teacher at the Elk Grove Unified School District's Carroll Elementary School, Matthew Baur. Specifically, it appears Ly tried to leverage his relationship with the Wilton Rancheria to benefit his son's classroom.

As detailed in paragraph 61 of the lawsuit, between January 26 and 30, 2017. Ly and Baur exchanged emails. Specifically, Baur was seeking Ly's assistance to obtain a $750 donation for chrome book connections for his classroom.

Ly responded to Baur saying "Please share our conversation with everyone. My position is no secret. Regarding the chrome books. No worries, let's get a donation from the Rancheria. Can you do a letter to me describing your situation and the need for $750."

The lawsuit did not say if Baur sent the letter to Ly.

According to Elk Grove Unified School District spokesperson Xanthi Pinkerton, the district is not aware of a donation in this amount targeted for Carroll Elementary being made by the Wilton Rancheria.

"With regard to your inquiries, the District was not aware that Mayor Steve Ly sought funds for the benefit of his son’s class. The Elk Grove Unified School District has Board Policy 3290 for Gifts, Grants and Bequests and can be found online at this address," Pinkerton said in an email.

Pinkerton acknowledged the Wilton Rancheria made two donations of $750 and $1,000 made on October 7, 2015,  and May 2, 2016, respectively.

"Both of these donations are attached to our Learning Support Services Department which oversees the District’s Native American Education Program," Pinkerton added.

Wilton Rancheria spokesperson Robert Magnuson said the Tribe never gave a contribution in that amount to Ly's son's teacher. He added that through the memo of understanding the Tribe negotiated with several government entities included the EGUSD, the district will receive annual payments of $400,000.

Through Magnuson, Wilton Rancheria Tribal Chairman Raymond Hitchcock released a statement regarding the lawsuit filed earlier this week. Hitchcock's statement can be viewed here.

Although it appears the donation that Ly suggested soliciting was not made, the Mayor may have violated the City of Elk Grove's Code of Ethics. Among several items contained in that non-binding document is that "I do not use my office or the resources of the city for personal or political gain."

Ly did not respond to an email request seeking comment.


Post a Comment Default Comments

1 comment

D.J. Blutarsky said...

Maybe when Robert Mueller is done with Trump, he can come to Elk Grove!

Follow Us



Elk Grove News Minute

All previous Elk Grove News Minutes, interviews, and Dan Schmitt's Ya' Gotta be Schmittin' Me podcasts are now available on iTunes

Elk Grove News Podcast