Wanted: Sean J. Baggett

Wanted: Sean J. Baggett

Pasadena police urge tea party-endorsed school board candidate to turn himself in on $30,000 warrant after PI uncovers colorful past

By André Coleman , Kevin Uhrich 03/25/2011

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Police are urging Pasadena Board of Education candidate Sean J. Baggett to surrender on a $30,000 bench warrant stemming from a 2008 arrest on suspicion of drunken driving and subsequent conviction for reckless driving.

“We would strongly encourage Mr. Baggett to turn himself in to the Police Department to clear up this matter as soon as possible,” said Pasadena police Lt. Phlunte Riddle.

Baggett did not return multiple calls for comment on this story.

The outstanding warrant is but the latest in a series of personal run-ins that the 39-year-old Baggett has had with police and prosecutors since the early 1990s, offenses that include driving under the influence and petty theft.

But it has been Baggett’s more recent behavior — a 2006 charge of public urination at the Rose Bowl, a 2008 DUI arrest and failure to make payments on the fine levied for that offense, and a San Diego civil judge’s December 2008 order for him to pay a finance company nearly $14,000, which has not been paid, according to court documents — that has private investigator Larry O’Brien most concerned.

Father of small children attending Pasadena schools, O’Brien said it didn’t take very long for him to turn up Baggett’s criminal past and his problems in civil court. It also only took a few phone calls to determine that many of the job references and educational accomplishments listed on Baggett’s resume are not completely true.

Baggett, who was supported by the Pasadena Patriots, an affiliate of the tea party, came in second place in the March 8 election for Seat 6 on the Pasadena Board of Education, forcing an April 19 runoff against incumbent Tom Selinske, who received the most votes but failed to win the simple majority needed for outright victory.

“How he got away with it for so long is probably a sad commentary on us. It’s troubling,” O’Brien said of Baggett. “I think these are things that people should know.”

According to Pasadena Superior Court records, Baggett was arrested May 6, 2008, on one count each of suspicion of driving under the influence and operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol/drug level above 0.08. Baggett agreed to a plea deal that reduced the charge to “wet” reckless — a reckless driving charge pled down from a DUI. Baggett was ordered to complete a drug and alcohol program and pay $1,486.

Baggett completed the program and was given an abstract by the court to renew his driver’s license, which had been suspended. On April 8, 2009, Baggett received a 60-day extension to pay the fine. Neither Baggett nor his attorney appeared in court on July 17 to pay the fine, and Judge Gus Gomez, a former Glendale City Councilman, ordered a warrant for his arrest, setting bail at $30,000.

“If Mr. Baggett surrenders to the Police Department, he will be processed just as any citizen would be for an outstanding warrant,” said Riddle. “We have a protocol, and if he can post bail, he will bail out with a promise to appear. If not, he will be held over and taken to the magistrate on the next business day. If he does not turn himself in and he is stopped by a patrol officer in the course of his duties, then he could be arrested if the officer determines there is an outstanding warrant.”

This is not the first time in recent weeks that Baggett has been involved in a police matter.

The week before the March 8 election, a juvenile volunteer at a Highland Park continuation school was accused of making hateful threats against a gay couple ostensibly while making phone calls to help Baggett’s campaign. It was not immediately known how the teen knew the couple he was calling was gay. Baggett has denied any knowledge of the call. Police are currently investigating the incident.

O’Brien said he was shocked at what came up when he started checking Baggett’s name against public records.

“We have a tough enough time in the Pasadena public schools with fighting the misperception that the district is not performing well and all the infighting on the board,” O’Brien said. “It undercuts the good things that are happening, and I can just see the headlines now if a person with Baggett’s background is elected. It does nothing to help us.”

In 2006, charges filed against Baggett were dropped after he was cited for suspicion of urinating in public at the Rose Bowl. In a published report, Baggett said that he was with his dog near a wooded area near the stadium and couldn’t hold it any longer and was forced to use the woods to relieve himself.

Twelve years prior to that, Baggett failed to appear on another reckless driving case, which was also originally filed as DUI in Santa Cruz County. The year before that, in 1993, he paid a $250 fine after pleading guilty to petty theft.

From the outset, Baggett’s campaign has been filled with half-truths about his affiliation with the tea party and his employment history. In an interview with this newspaper, Baggett stated flatly that he had never been arrested or charged with a crime.

For months he claimed he had no affiliation to the tea party, despite employing Amy Ellison, who heads Pasadena’s TeaPAC, as his media director. Baggett also claimed he was an adjunct instructor at Pasadena City College, a track and field strength and conditioning coach with Caltech and an adjunct professor at Cal State Sacramento. According to documents obtained by the Weekly, he has not worked for Cal State Sacramento since 2005. In addition, he was a stipend employee at PCC, making only $1,000 for 10 months of work. Baggett was actually a volunteer at Caltech.

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There is NO bench warrant. I called today at 12 noon to verify and No bench warrant.

posted by Sean J. Baggett on 3/25/11 @ 05:02 p.m.

Mr. Baggett, since you are still around, but unavailable to the press, could please explain these allegations to the rest of us?

posted by Eric Mulfinger on 3/25/11 @ 05:41 p.m.

Mr Baggett, most certainly knew about the call surrounding the hate crime. The Detectives at Pasadena Police linked the call to him and stated that Mr Baggett was most cooperative and realized the mistake that he had made. He also clarified the issue in an interview with Tammy Devine on Crown City News which aired on February 28th. How do I know this? I’m the one targeted in the phone call. What inaccuracies are left to be discovered about this man – that his name is not Sean Baggett?

posted by SC LIPIRA on 3/25/11 @ 07:20 p.m.

It is very disappointing that these serious misrepresentations, especially about Mr. Baggett's academic and professional record, were not better researched in the handful of news articles written about him before the election. (See http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_...) It is shocking that a candidate would think it is okay to flagrantly lie about his credentials and resume. It also appears as though Mr. Baggett misrepresented himself to at least one journalist who reported that Mr. Baggett was the LA County Office of Ed (LACOE) director of special education for community day schools. In reality, Mr. Baggett has been employed with Soledad Enrichment Action Charter High School, one community day school with 19 small sites around Los Angeles County which has struggled with low student achievement and high turn-over of special education staff under his "leadership" of that department.

posted by lrs893 on 3/25/11 @ 10:46 p.m.
posted by lrs893 on 3/25/11 @ 10:46 p.m.

Is this what our school system needs and what our children deserve? With more budgetary pressure on our schools this guy is the last thing we need. My goodness, look at the response he posted--covering lies with more lies. No bench warrant? Really? Does he think he's above the law? How did this guy make it to the run-off? I read his excuse for his DUI charge in the Star-News which just doesn't square; liquid benadryl doesn't impact your BAC so why would you refuse to blow if you weren't drinking? (You should have looked that up Mr. Baggett!) Is he even a resident? Is there anything true on his resume? Has he ever taught as claimed? If he was ever in the classroom or a principle as "claimed" I pray for those poor kids and parents. How sad and pathetic. Everyone, make sure to vote on April 19th. This is too important to ignore.

posted by pasparents282 on 3/26/11 @ 09:57 a.m.

I was told on two occasions by the Pasadena Police Department that the only way they will verify the status of a warrant is IN PERSON - never over the telephone. The reason they do this is verify that the person asking is the person listed on the warrant.

posted by Lobrien on 3/26/11 @ 12:45 p.m.

The death threat call that we received was from Soledad Enrichment in Highland Park during an afterschool program. It showed up on our caller id and we Googled and made the connection. He told the Police that he paid the students to make the calls. Was a good idea to hire at-risk students and give them responsibility but why not utilize the students in the district you wish to represent. Sounds like Carly Fiorina. We got word today that the DA has filed criminal charges against the student who made the death threat. Another story, another time.

posted by SC LIPIRA on 3/26/11 @ 03:14 p.m.

He's also listed as a track coach at Caltech - for the past 20 years. . . Or is he?

posted by SC LIPIRA on 3/26/11 @ 04:22 p.m.

Oh, and I bet his dog is named Checkers too! Ha!

posted by pasparents282 on 3/27/11 @ 03:26 p.m.

This man is a bully. As my previous supervisor, he would throw temper tantrums during staff meetings if anyone questioned the validity of his information. He currently runs a company that provides special education services to charter schools, and all he cares about is his image and not the kids. His company was being investigated for tax fraud this past year and for trying to fix legal special education documents illegally in order to cover up a major disorganization of records. As an "administrator" he once showed up at an Individualized Education meeting late and dressed in gym clothes because his priority was to go to the gym afterwards that day.

posted by specialedteacher on 3/27/11 @ 05:09 p.m.

There's another side of this story:


It's disappointing to me that Mr. Coleman and Mr. Uhrich only seem interested in telling Mr. Selinske's side.

posted by Teacher1 on 3/28/11 @ 05:53 a.m.

There is little doubt that Selinske's surrogates have launched a smear campaign against Baggett. That the Pasadena Weekly would be a willing accomplice to this comes as little surprise. This is how the power structure in Pasadena maintains its control. Through lies. character assassination and the assistance of third rate hacks.

posted by Bill Williams on 3/28/11 @ 07:24 a.m.

It looks like Sean went in and cleared up the $30k warrant Friday. It had been outstanding since July 2009. He will be now back on criminal probation for alcohol related reckless driving. In November 2006, he got cited for urinating in public at the UCLA Stanford Football game. He also misrepresented his academic history on his campaign fliers. Is Selinske so bad that we are better off with guys like this making decisions that affect our kids?

posted by pusd papa on 3/28/11 @ 10:25 a.m.

You know what I think? I believe most of the posters on this blog are somehow employed by the PUSD. And realize that should the likes of the eminently corrupt Selinske get the boot, the gravy train might come crashing to a halt. I can only imagine what a rancorous and unpleasant bunch of people you must be in person. Your words are your mirror. Bask in your ugliness.

posted by Bill Williams on 3/28/11 @ 12:33 p.m.

I don't work for the pusd. I have never met Selinske. My kids are in a pusd. I only cited facts in my post. Baggett would embarrass us all if he were on the board. Those out to get Selinske need to find someone else.

posted by pusd papa on 3/28/11 @ 12:55 p.m.

pusd school (sorry)

posted by pusd papa on 3/28/11 @ 12:56 p.m.

Dear Andre and Kevin,
It appears two writers from Pasadena Weekly are in bed with Tom Selinske. I thought journalists were suppose to be unbiased? How are people going to get the full story with slanted articles like this coming out? Pathetic how anyone can be a journalist these days.
Obviously these warrants were nothing more than citations and anyone could make these mistakes. These could be nothing more than court errors that more often than not, gasp, do happen in the system. Ever think to look into that? Or how about this "dui?" It was blown so low on the scale that it could have been caused by cough syrup. Or urinating in the woods??? I am sure he is the first guy to ever do that. And last but not least, that phone call?! The president told me to write this comment to your article, do you believe me? Maybe Selinske paid that kid to call that couple, or would that be out of the question? Don't you have anything better to give us?
Oh, and by the way WORK IS WORK despite how much you made or how long you did it. Even if you work for free, you are still allowed to say you worked hence the reason college kids take internships.
Lets be real here. Do you not want children to learn honesty and integrity, and to stand up and face their mistakes? At least Sean Baggett is doing this, even though they are for ridiculous things. It seems you would prefer they learn to hide and lie about their shortcomings. Or just pay people to slander others.
Now lets talk about things that actually matter here. Sean Baggett is an excellent public school teacher who has a vested interest in seeing PUSD succeed. Tom Selinske doesn't even use the Pasadena Public School system!!! His kids go to private schools!!!!
Great job on bashing Baggett, plan on writing one about Selinske? I mean it is only your duty as journalists to be fair.

posted by informed2011 on 3/29/11 @ 08:50 p.m.

Oh and LoBrien, you can call in to find out about warrants. They are public records.

posted by informed2011 on 3/29/11 @ 08:56 p.m.
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