The Santa Clara County Board of Education filed a lawsuit against former County Superintendent of Schools Charles Weis Tuesday.
The board is seeking $952,000 in principal and interest it says Weis owes taxpayers, and asks the court to foreclose on the luxury two-bedroom condominium he purchased with county Board of Education funds.
Not only that, it wants the light fixtures and ceiling fan back that Weis allegedy removed from the downtown condo on San Pedro Square when he left town June 30, 2012.
The lawsuit, filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court, stems from the housing loan that was provided to Weis by the board in 2008 as a part of his offer to take the helm of the Santa Clara County Office of Education, according to a written statement released by the board.
The board gave Weis a housing loan in the amount of $915,000. Weis used some funds from that loan to purchase a condominium in downtown San Jose. Following his retirement, Weis expressed his desire to relinquish his ownership in the condominium and convey it to the Santa Clara County Office of Education without offering to make further payments on his loan, according to the statement.
The property now is believed to be “underwater,” valued at considerably less than the original purchase price and the amount currently owed on the loan by Weis.
Weis removed light fixtures and ceiling fans before he vacated the luxury unit, that rises over San Pedro Square in downtown San Jose.
"The Board has attempted unsuccessfully to reach a negotiated resolution with Weis that would protect the financial interests of the taxpayers and have Weis making payment to the Board to make up for the loss of value in the condominium," the statement said.
"The Board instructed its attorneys to pursue alternative remedies to give Weis the opportunity to voluntarily honor his obligations under the loan, but none were accepted."
The county claims that Weis defaulted the terms of his loan because it was made in order for him to purchase a primary residence, and the loan is now due and payable. Weis used the condo only intermittently, the suit states, while maintaining his custom, beachfront home on Ocean Drive in Oxnard, in Ventura County.
The suit says the Weis now owes $952,409.69, reflecting the principal of $915,000, plus 3 percent simple annual interest on $415,000 of that amount accruing since 2008, according to the terms of the loan.
Weis has also not paid and refuses to pay taxes, assessments, condominium obligations on the property, the suit contended; property tax payments were due Monday. Weis has not maintained hazard insurance on the valuable property, the suit said.
The board has been heavily criticized by the public for extending such loan terms, which are almost identical to those given to the new superintendent, Xavier de la Torre, according to reports in the San Jose Mercury News.
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