Dominic Caserta was ousted years ago from elected office, campaign trails and high school civics classrooms, but he’s still navigating through Santa Clara County’s courts.
The disgraced former City of Santa Clara council member in September quietly revamped the $38 million lawsuit he filed in April 2019 against the city and the Santa Clara Unified School District. Court filings reveal three previously anonymous defendants in the alleged “Witch Trial” to “destroy Caserta’s life almost overnight” have been identified.
Caserta alleges SCUSD employee Nora Dipko mistakenly distributed his personnel record in May 2018 to the district’s 1,600 employees.
The files featured sexual harassment allegations dating back to 2002—sparking an avalanche of claims, including Caserta running his hands through a student’s hair, giving unwanted massages and conducting campaign business wearing only a towel—that were forwarded to a local journalist by Gina Perez, another district staffer.
In September, three of the “doe” defendants were served and named: Santa Clara High School librarian Seana Shelby, SCHS athletic director and head boys basketball coach Anthony McGilvery and Westwood Elementary kindergarten teacher Rene Coleman.
Notably, Coleman is the sister of Mayor Lisa Gillmor—the first of many elected officials who pushed for Caserta’s resignation in May 2018, months after their political relationship began crumbling.
The newly named defendants may appear in the 10-day jury trial Caserta has requested, as he pursues claims of negligence, breach of contract, public disclosure of private facts, intentional infliction of emotional distress and conspiracy.
Caserta’s next case management date is set for Feb. 1.