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Janet Ryan’s parting shots make no sense. Here’s why.


Janet Ryan’s parting shots make no sense. Here’s why.

Janet Ryan is back with one last attempt at relevance.

Yes, Fresno Unified’s designated blowhard is at it again. The difference? This time, she’s lobbing accusations instead of running interference for the accused.

Sources told CVObserver that Ryan first raised the issue of subpoena compliance with The Fresno Bee more than a week ago. After her pitch was met with skepticism  from the Bee newsroom, she opted for a whinier near-threatening approach with the paper.

The move is part of a coordinated set of leaks instituted by Fresno Unified’s communications team to recapture the initiative after months of pummeling coverage following the launch of a Federal probe into district contracting.

The end result is the long-on-sensation-short-on-facts hit job that appeared in Sunday’s Bee.

Apparently, Janet Ryan, who is staring into the abyss of retirement, has opted for a tripolar existence.

It’s Trustee Janet Ryan, FBI evidence collector Janet Ryan, and attorney at law Janet Ryan.

Doctor Jekyll, Mr. Hyde eat your heart out.

Meet Janet Ryan, FBI Evidence Collector 

The gist of The Bee’s Sunday hit piece is this: Janet Ryan thinks that Brooke Ashjian and Carol Mills are not complying with a Federal subpoena because they are hiding their cell phones (something requested by prosecutors) from the Feds.

Let’s start with the basics: Janet Ryan is not a lawyer. Janet Ryan does not work for the FBI. Janet Ryan is not a link in the chain of custody of evidence of the Federal investigation of Fresno Unified.

For now, she is, in short, a nobody.

In fact, when Mills and Ashjian informed the Bee that they had indeed handed over their devices, Ryan’s only response was to figuratively cover her ears and scream at the top of her lungs.

To paraphrase Sen. Marco Rubio: Let’s dispel this notion that Janet Ryan knows what she’s talking about.

Meet Janet Ryan, Esq.

Like all things in this school district melodrama, context is king. It seems like eons ago, but the Fresno Unified board was embroiled in a fight over hiring private attorneys for the top three administrators at the district. The move was aimed to help CFO Ruth Quinto, but masked by also aiding Hanson and COO Karin Temple.

They voted over and over and over again. All but one time, Ryan voted in support of burning taxpayer funds for a lawyer to defend the “Big Three.”

In the same breath as she falsely accuses Mills and Ashjian for ducking the Federal subpoena, she decides that it’s time to shame them for having lawyers retained.

Mills, a lawyer herself, perhaps has the best grasp at the legal implications of the investigation into Fresno Unified.

Ryan’s excuse for shaming Mills and Ashjian but voting to spend taxpayer dollars for lawyers for Quinto, Hanson and Temple? The latter three were “accused” of doing “something.”

Wrong again, Janet. It’s amazing that, with her extensive training at Didn’t-Go-To School of Law, she failed to realize that no one at Fresno Unified has been accused of anything yet.

In case she wanted to know, being “accused” occurs when an indictment is issued.

Ironically, the person who could be indicted is Ryan herself. As poster child for Measure Q and a board member who approved the questionable contracts, she would face severely higher legal culpability than most.

The person who would face little-to-no culpability? Ashjian, who wasn’t a member of the board when the contracts were approved.

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego Carl Faller?

Severely lacking from the Bee’s piece is a particular character: Carl Faller.

Faller, the former federal prosecutor, has been put in the unenviable position of having to handle California’s most dysfunctional district during considerable Federal scrutiny.

Faller’s chief role as outside counsel for the district was to manage the Federal inquiry. The sheer irony is that – while Ryan talks like a know-it-all about the Federal investigation – Faller actually does know it all.

And where was his comment in the piece? I’d venture somewhere in the ballpark of Area 51.

His name wasn’t even mentioned in the piece a single time.

Begs the question: has Faller been benched by Fresno Unified? Is he being muzzled by the 14 spin doctors Or is this just lazy reporting?

Either way, there’s a troubling answer.

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Alex Tavlian

Alex Tavlian is the owner of Sultana Media. Views expressed reflect those of the author only. He can be reached at

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