SANTA CLARA (KPIX) — A former Santa Clara city council member is setting the stage to file a lawsuit against his past and current employers by accusing them for his fall from grace.
Dominic Caserta resigned from his position last year and halted his campaign for Santa Clara county supervisor, after more than a dozen of his former staffers and students accused him of sexual harassment.
Now Caserta is accusing the Santa Clara mayor and the city of forcing him to resign. Caserta filed a claim alleging he was “publicly and purposefully humiliated…(and) suffered severe damage to (his) reputation.” He has six months from the day he filed that claim to file a lawsuit.
“When I first saw the claim it was a real head-scratcher for me because I asked him to resign after all the accusations came forward from the young people and he voluntarily submitted a written resignation,” said Gillmor. “We will vigorously fight that claim.”
Caserta has also filed a claim against the Santa Clara Unified School District, where he remains on paid leave as a Santa Clara high school teacher pending the district’s own investigation into sexual harassment claims.
Caserta said in the claim against the district that he was “extremely embarrassed” and has “suffered … (the) ability to obtain future employment” after a district worker mistakenly sent his personnel file to staff district wide. The file included the allegations made against him by students.
A district spokesperson told KPIX they are also rejecting his claim.
“It’s always sad to see a grown man throw a temper tantrum,” said Savannah Nunez.
She was among the young women who publicly stepped forward against Caserta last year. Nunez accused Caserta of stalking and harassing her while she was his student.
Despite the numerous claims of misconduct, the Santa Clara District Attorney’s office announced last fall that there was not enough evidence to charge Caserta with a crime.
Nunez said she doesn’t regret coming forward and that Caserta doesn’t deserve any money.
Mayor Gillmor said she agrees.
“No, he doesn’t deserve any money from the city of Santa Clara,” she said. “He voluntarily resigned as a council member. He’s caused his own issues.”
A call to Caserta’s attorney has not yet been returned.