CaliforniaALL, a Section 501(c)(3) charitable entity, came about as a result of a San Francisco restaurant meeting between Ruthe Ashley (a Diversity Officer at CalPERS and Vice President of the State Bar of California) and Peter Arth, Jr., Chief of Staff to CPUC President Michael Peevey. Also present at that meeting was Professor Sarah E. Redfield.
CaliforniaALL's alleged purpose was to award grants to entities that would increase minority participation in the "pipelines" that feed into industries such as finance, technology, and law.
Donations to CaliforniaALL came primarily from utility companies (including AT&T, Sempra Energy, and PG&E). In its brief existence from 2008 to 2010, CaliforniaALL collected close to $2 million, including an unusually large sub rosa contribution of $780,000 from the State Bar of California Foundation in 2008. CaliforniaALL was abruptly dissolved in July 2010.
According to confidential sources, an ongoing multi-prong inquiry is continuing, with "major breakthroughs" the sources describe as "alarming."
A source maintains that one aspect of the inquiry involves grave misconduct surrounding the circumstances by which the public was misled to believe that CaliforniaALL was responsible for the creation of the Saturday Law Academy (SAL) at U.C. Irvine (UCI) in 2009 when, in fact, the SAL at UCI has actually been in existence for many years.
These sources maintain that the inquiry involves personnel at CaliforniaALL, the State Bar of California, and the California Bar Foundation, as well as University of New Hampshire ("UNH) School of Law Professor Sarah E. Redfield, who falsely took credit for the project.
A 5 Year Visit to Sacramento
Ms. Sarah E. Redfield is a tenured law professor at the UNH School of Law. She is an expert in the area of education, education jurisprudence, and matters relating to diversity in the legal profession.
Ironically, as one can see below, the faculty of UNH School of Law is approximately 98% Caucasian. See below a representative sample photo of the faculty. Either to maintain privacy or to make a statement, Prof. Redfield is camera-shy, and the below photo is as it appears on UNH's website.
Between 2004 and 2008, Professor Redfield served as a "visiting" professor at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. From 2008-2009, she served as interim Executive Director of CaliforniaALL, as well as program director. Professor Redfield was paid $157,763 for her services while she was misclassified as an "independent contractor." See http://tinyurl.com/Portia-Balthazar
At and around the time that Prof. Redfield was serving at McGeorge, Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker served as the law school dean, and currently remains in that position. According to Dean Parker, because the pool of available minority students was not large enough, law schools were "competing" amongst themselves for each qualified minority student.
Parker, former General Counsel of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), took matters into her own hands to create her own supply of well-qualified minority students from minority neighborhoods in the surrounding Sacramento area.
As circumstances presented themselves, particularly with the election of former NBA player Kevin Johnson as the mayor of Sacramento, an idea surfaced that McGeorge (and other law schools in their respective communities) would create their own supplies of qualified minority students by actively engaging the community of potential future students as early as junior high school. Activities would include mentoring, speaker series, field trips, on-site visits to the law schools, Saturday law classes, and the like.
Thus, with visiting Professor Redfield an expert in the area of education and education law various programs came about, such as Wingspread P20 Consortium. At McGeorge, a local program known as the "Pacific Pathways" was created by Professor Redfield. See below.
Also employed at McGeorge as Assistant Dean for Career Services was Vice President of the State Bar of California, Ms. Ruthe Ashley, as well as State Bar Deputy Executive Director, Mr. Robert Hawley.
Ashley and Redfield were also involved with diversity-related matters within the State Bar of California as part of its council on access and fairness, and as the head of a working group referred to as "Education Pipeline, State Bar of California.
Shortly, thereafter, Ashley left McGeorge to work at CalPERS as a "Diversity Officer" for External Affairs. As previously mentioned, Peter Arth, Jr. invited Ashley and Redfield to dinner, whereupon the idea for CaliforniaALL (initially known as Ca AAL) was memorialized on a paper napkin in approximately July 2007.
By the end of 2007, the State Bar of California, the CPUC, and CalPERS all agreed to enter into a partnership with CaliforniaALL, and to otherwise endorse the organization which had its first board meeting in November 2007. Two noted board members who were with CaliforniaALL from its inception until it was dissolved were James Hsu and Pat Fong-Kushida.
Fong-Kushida is a longtime acquaintance of Ashley, and served as President of the Sacramento Asian Chamber of Commerce. Fong-Kushida, along with Board of Governors member Gwen Moore, are both members of the California Utilities Diversity Council.
Similarly, James Hsu a corporate attorney who advises companies regarding off-shore transactions and has a "China Specialty" was actively involved in efforts to diversify the California workforce by attending CPUC meeting relevant to the matter.
Ms.Ginger Bredemeier(right), from May 2007 to May 2008 was employed at CalPERS as Administrative Assistant, Diversity Outreach Program. From May 2008 to August 2009 she was a "Writing Projects Manager Human Resources and Grant Projects" at CaliforniaALL. Ms. Bredemeier was elected President of the National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (NAPALSA) while a law student at McGeorge, and is seen here with Ms. Holly Fujie who in 2008 was serving both on the Board of Governors and the California Bar Foundation, participated in a scheme along with Ruthe Ashley, Patricia Lee, Judy Johnson and Leslie Hatamiya relating to the transfer of $780,000 in "hush-hush funds from the California Bar Foundation to CaliforniaALL. (Photo :courtesy)
The Make-Belief Launching of SAL
In mid 2008, CaliforniaALL was ready to rock and roll. It had just obtained Section 501(C)(3) approval, Ruthe Ashley was hired as a CEO, a sub rosa transfer of $780,000 had been received from the Cal Bar Foundation, and close to another million dollars from utility companies poured in.
In addition to having and employing "best practices, CaliforniaALL was fortunate to have on board talented and dedicated staff such as Sarah E. Redfield, Program Director; Consultant Larissa Parecki, office manager; Ginger Bredemeier, Writing Projects Manager, Human Resources, Grant Projects; and Matt Cumida, executive administrative assistant.
According to Professor Redfield's CV, between 2008 and 2009 she "launched" CaliforniaALL, participated in RFP, and "launched" the Saturday Academy of Law at U. C. Irvine.
Similarly, CaliforniaALL's own publication indicates that with CaliforniaALL's grant funds, U.C. Irvine developed and implemented the Saturday Academy of Law, and that by 2009 CaliforniaALL's mission was visibly at work through the program. See below.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Instead, as most transactions involving CaliforniaALL, the California Bar Foundation and the State Bar of California, it is imbued with fraud and egregious acts dishonesty and deception.
Specifically, the Saturday Academy of Law has been in existence for many years, and is part of the University of California Irvine's Center for Educational Partnerships (CFEP), which has many programs to benefit the community, such as "UCI Saturdays with Sciences," "Saturday Academy in Mathematics, and the like.
For example, as part of a field trip to law firms, the photo below was taken in 2005 when the UCISAL group visited the law offices of Sheppard Mullin.
In 2007, UCISAL paid a visit to Allen Matkins. (See below.) We have intentionally blurred the photo to maintain the students' privacy. Seated on the right is Robert Hamilton. On the far right is Karina Hamilton, a former Allen Matkins associate, wife of Robert Hamilton, and Director of UCISAL.
Please double-click on the photo for full view.
In fact, UCI's own literature gives no credit to CaliforniaALL. (See below.)