City Attorney Dennis Herrera Seeks Preliminary Injunction to Stop City College Closure

Herrera back on the offense.
Though it's beset by budget woes and facing imminent closure, City College of San Francisco doesn't suffer for a lack of allies. The most prominent, of course, is our ever-politically astute City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who ramped up his legal offense against the Accrediting Commission for Junior Colleges this morning.

In August, Herrera sued the commission, arguing that its move to shutter the school amounted to political retaliation, disguised as rational enforcement. In his complaint and subsequent spate of press releases, Herrera pointed out that Accrediting Commission members had long opposed City College's "open access" policy to accept any applicant, regardless of income or ability. He and other critics have painted the de-accreditation campaign in class-war terms, since it would deny thousands of students their fair shot at an affordable college degree.

And now, Herrera says, the Accrediting Commission is dragging its heels in the legal skirmish, as well.

"It is obvious to me, and should be obvious to the court, that the ACCJC's legal strategy is to run out the clock," the city attorney said in a press statement issued this morning, shortly after he sought a preliminary injunction to halt the termination proceedings. Noting that the private agency's lawyers had ignored discovery requests, and waited a month to try remanding the case to district court -- on grounds that were ultimately rejected by a judge -- he argued that the commission was trying the equivalent of a Congressional filibuster.

"It seems the only thing the ACCJC doesn't want delayed is City College's termination," Herrera concluded.

ACCJC staff parried with a press release of their own, insisting that the lawsuit is baseless, and that it expects the court to rule accordingly. In July, it voted to revoke the school's accreditation for the 2014-2015 academic year, arguing that City College had failed to meet state standards for academic programming and fiscal management.

Naturally, Herrera would counter that the ACCJC flunked his lawsuit.

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