A Superior Court judge has dismissed a bribery lawsuit filed against former Vice President of Administrative Services Richard van Pelt and former Facilities Services Supervisor Alfred Hutchings, according to Hutchings’ attorney Craig Renetzky.

A Superior Court judge has dismissed a bribery lawsuit filed against former Vice President of Administrative Services Richard van Pelt and former Facilities Services Supervisor Alfred Hutchings, according to Hutchings’ attorney Craig Renetzky.

The suit filed by LED Global Corp, LLC in July of last year was dismissed on Oct. 10 after LED principals Robert Das and Salia Smith failed to appear at two mandatory settlement conferences in August and September. Das and Salia were sanctioned $6,000 for their failure to appear.

On Sept. 18, Das and Smith’s attorneys from the Layfield Law Firm of El Segundo, requested that it be relieved of its responsibilities to represent LED Global, which Bruguera granted.

“The dismissal of the case was a long time coming, because Das and Smith did not have a single piece of evidence that could support their wild claims,” said John Schmocker, van Pelt and Hutchings’ attorney, in an email. “The harm caused to van Pelt and Hutchings can never be repaired, and a malicious prosecution lawsuit against Das and Smith is being prepared and will be filed if they return to California.”

According to General Counsel Gail Cooper, the LED Global case was dismissed by the Court for procedural reasons only. “It was not a decision on the merits of the case against Hutchings and van Pelt. We understand that the District Attorney’s Office is planning to file charges against them soon,” she said.

Hutchings and van Pelt were fired after the school found out that they were being investigated by the District Attorney’s office for “conflicts of interest.” According to Renetzky, the District Attorney relied on the allegations made by Das and Smith to begin an investigation.

Renetzky also said in a press release that PCC also relied primarily on the accusations made by Das and Smith to terminate the employment of van Pelt and Hutchings.

“This is not accurate,” Cooper said. “I cannot discuss the evidence that was relied upon to terminate them, but I can [say] that it was independent evidence that did not come from these two individuals.”

In the lawsuit filed on July 26, 2012, LED Global accused van Pelt and Hutchings of a host of illicit requests on top of a solicitation of bribes. According to the complaints in the lawsuit, van Pelt and Hutchings had offered LED Global a “purchase agreement” to the tune of $5 million for energy-efficient lighting after the company agreed to many requests, including high travel costs for van Pelt and Hutchings to go to Mumbai for a factory site visit.

Comments

  1. Word has it that Dr Hutchings and Gail Cooper were in on it together to sue the school for his sexual harassment claim. They settled out of court. Now they are enjoying a 7 figure reward.

    1. So…Dr Hutchings gets a seven figure settlement for a sexual harassment claim against him by Ms. Cooper????? Is this a JOKE?? he is the original CON MAN!!!

  2. Hutchings doesn’t need any help muddying his name. He does it all on his own. A track record of dishonesty follows him everywhere he goes. He pleaded no contest to criminal charges while he worked at LAPD, accused of falsifying pay slips and being paid for overtime he never worked. Honest people don’t plead no contest to criminal charges.

    According to multiple news sources, Hutchings was terminated for cause while employed at LA Valley College. Again, the reason was dishonesty.

    It is no surprise that Hutchings was once again involved with matters that could be construed as dishonesty while employed at PCC.

    Hutchings advocated for Renetzky’s election to the bench over a decade ago as part of his teachings at Valley College. Fortunately for the citizens of California, Renetzky did not win the election. Now he is a criminal defense lawyer… arguably the lowest form of life on the planet.

  3. Where is the original comment by Mr. Renetzky? Why are comments appearing/then disappearing? Courier editors – Please ensure ALL comments are kept available on this article (and all of your articles). Mr. Renetzky’s comment should be immediately restored (or have your received some sort of a cease and desist letter which asks for the comment’s removal). Freedom of the press, please!

  4. Since when does Gail Cooper have insider knowledge of what happens in the DA’s office?!?!? The District Attorney’s office can only reveal that there is an investigation, but will not under any circumstance comment on whether charges are to be filed or not. But Gail Cooper says: “It was not a decision on the merits of the case against Hutchings and van Pelt. We understand that the District Attorney’s Office is planning to file charges against them soon,” she said.

    Someone needs to investigate HER. Who did she talk to in the DA office? Hmmm….?

  5. Yesterday a response was posted from Dr Hutching’s attorney that was extremely informative. Now it is gone. Is that legal? Has PCC administration removed freedom of speech from our curriculum?

    This needs to be remedied immediately.

  6. Looks like PCC hired the wrong lawyer. Renetzky has the experience to make qualified statements. Cooper has the experience to make unqualified statements. I’m curious how much
    experience Cooper had in the courtroom prior to becoming PCC’s General Council. I’ve looked up Renetzky, not only was he a D.A., he now represents the L.A. Kings, and other high profile clients. You get what you pay for!

  7. Dear Mr. McCormick:

    I read with great amazement Gail Cooper’s statement that the case against Dr. Hutchings and Dr. van Pelt was dismissed for procedural reasons only. These self-serving statements come from an individual who is currently herself the defendant in a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and wrongful termination by Dr. Hutchings. She clearly is biased, and continues to attempt to disparage Dr. Hutchings’ and Dr. van Pelt’s reputation in any way possible. The standard of proof in a civil case is much lower than that of a criminal case. In a criminal case, the state must prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. The case against Dr. Hutchings and Dr. van Pelt was dismissed because they were unable to produce any evidence to meet even a lower standard of proof. The fact is that the case was dismissed with prejudice, which means the case cannot be re-filed, and the matter is permanently closed. The fact remains that the allegations made by LED Global against these two former college employees is, and remains, completely baseless.

    I was a Deputy District Attorney with Los Angeles County for over 16 years. I have prosecuted over 100 jury trials, including a number of murder defendants. I am intimately familiar with the office and its procedures. This case has been under investigation for over a year. There has been no filing of any charges in this case. Ms. Cooper’s statement that it is her understanding that the prosecutors will be filing charges against them soon is without any basis in fact. The District Attorney’s office does not comment on or speculate on whether charges will be filed. I invite the Courier to contact the District Attorney’s office and ask if charges are imminent. I can guarantee the only answer you will receive is that the matter is under investigation. They will not tell the paper, nor Ms. Cooper what their intentions are. Her claims of insider knowledge are simply an improper and unethical attempt to further muddy Dr. Hutchings’ and Dr. van Pelt’s name. Shame on her for such behavior.

    Craig Renetzky

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