Protesters allege Kern High School District corruption

Protesters allege Kern High School District corruption »Play Video
People protest the Kern High School District on Tuesday, June 25, 2013, over the firing of long-time employees John Fox and Clem Williams, in front of West High School in Bakersfield, Calif.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Protesters filled the sidewalk in front of West High School on Tuesday, accusing the Kern High School District of corruption.

The protest had its origins in a recent firing of two long-time employees, John Fox and Clem Williams. The pair worked for decades in the maintenance and operations department and claimed the district awarded roofing contracts without putting them out to bid.

The school district fired Fox and Williams on grounds of being incompetent, dishonest and falsifying information on the job.

Tuesday, protesters claims the pair were unjustly fired because they were whistle-blowers for corruption.

"Whistle-blowers have rights! Mr. Fox and Mr. Williams were discriminated against and have wrongfully lost their jobs, employee pensions and retirement," said Patrick Jackson, president of the Bakersfield Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, in a news release.

"Shame on the district for not correcting their injustice sooner. These gentlemen deserve compensation and we will protest on behalf of Mr. Fox and Mr. Williams to help their fight for what is right," Jackson continued.

Tuesday's protest followed a Monday night appeal to the Kern High School District Board of Trustees. Bakersfield Tea Party member Bill Lind came to the defense of Fox and Williams at the evening board meeting.

"There was a strong possibility of kickbacks, bribes or improper gifts being given by companies benefiting from these shady contracts," said Lind, speaking to the alleged school district corruption.

The district did not respond to Lind's remarks.

"Our attorney has advised us not to make any comment about this litigation, because it is ongoing," said KHSD spokesman John Teves.

Fox and Clemens are suing the school district, claiming wrongful termination. The case is expected to be heard later this year.