New Southwestern Affidavits Released

Email from Henry Amigable to Jeff Flores, dated May 22, 2009
  • Email from Henry Amigable to Jeff Flores, dated May 22, 2009

The district attorney’s office raided two more homes March 22 in connection with the South County school district’s scandal. Affidavits, signed by district attorney investigator Vincent Giame, provided the basis for searching the homes of former Southwestern trustees Yolanda Salcido and Jorge Dominguez.

The affidavits released on March 29 once again provide accounts of so much “wining and dining” that some people in South County profess to losing their appetite for scandal. One email, excerpted from the recent affidavits, suffices to remind that the meals and the intrigue is far from over.

The email is written from Henry Amigable to Jeff Flores. Amigable was the program manager for Sweetwater’s Proposition O construction and then the program manager for Southwestern College’s Proposition R construction. Flores was the CEO for Seville Construction Services, Amigable’s employer, and the program management company for Southwestern.

The email not only mentions Southwestern’s former president, Raj Chopra, it also calls attention to the interweaving between Sweetwater Union High School District and Southwestern College. Jorge (or George) Dominquez was a former Sweetwater employee and a former Southwestern trustee. Greg Sandoval was a former Southwestern College employee and a former Sweetwater trustee.

It is important to note that this email was sent four months before Southwestern even put out a request for proposal for a program manager.

Comments

What a revealing email. Is this business as usual in the public sector as well as the private sector?

many of those who have followed my posts both on the ut (before i was banned for failing to admit my true identity and after a complaint by a certain board member) know how passionate i am regarding ridding the educational system (sweetwater and southwestern) of the pay to play aka corruption culture.

i must say when i read this article my stomach actually turned and became upset. this expense report was submitted by amigable to his bosses - this is proof positive of exactly what was going on at both educational districts and it is nothing short of repulsive. this is proof that jeff flores knew EXACTLY WHAT HIS EMPLOYEE WAS DOING AND WHAT THEY (FLORES) WAS PAYING HIM (AMIGABLE) TO DO.

dominguez (george/jorge), amigable, sandoval, 'the gandara', bunton - all of them in positions of power at sweetwater.

keep in mind my fellow neighbors, this and other evidence we are able to review is ONLY the tip of the iceberg - i can only imagine the evidence they must have on quinones, ricasa, 'the gandara', and sandoval.

if this does not empower you to show up, stand up, and speak up against this nonsense i simply do not know what will.

for whatever reason, possibly more corruption than one mind can handle, i had not read the 160+ page pdf on the recent ut article. well, i just did and i am compelled to bring the document to everyones attention. IT IS A MUST READ.

what jumps out at me as i sit here is the absolute gall of these wheeler and dealers that were allegedly buying the contracts at sweetwater and southwestern via gifts, lunches, dinners, tickets, hotel stays, scholarships, beauty pageant entry fees, jersey boy tickets, humidors, golf trips and much much more - NOT TO MENTION THE $80,000.00 worth of campaign donations for board members from the company jaime ortiz works for. one of the ways they were using their financial backing was thru campaign donation contributions. i am not talking small change here - the affidavit in the ut clearly lists the thousands upon thousands that jaime ortiz's company poured into the coffers of those 'special' persons running for board seats, and please note those of whom i speak are not only the democrats - what needs to be questioned is why jaime ortiz company chose to donate the thousands that he did to jim cartmill or should i say 'friends of jim cartmill' and also to john mccann. both of them received/are receiving donations from 'certain entities' to help them pay off their campaign debt (i guess the vitamin business and the 'it' business are not reaping in the profits). while i have questioned it before i will question it again, why would any company donate money into a board members campaign coffer to assist them in paying off their campaign debt? for verification please visit san diego registrar of voters web site and type in the last name of the candidate - there it is folks ALL OF IT PUBLIC INFORMATION................................

while i have called for ricasa and quinones to go - just go away - step down and move on. i am now calling for jim cartmill and john mccann to do the same. while it is true that board member lopez did receive campaign donations from some of the same entities the others did, the one thing that sets her apart from the others is her voting record and her constant remarks demanding 'answers'.

in closing, it is my opinion that the sweetwater board MUST BEGIN A SEARCH FOR A NEW SUPERINTENDENT ''''''''''''''IMMEDIATELY''''''''''''''''''''''. brand has got to go. his involvement with the prop bb grand jury investigation as well as many of the recent events such as 'funds for education' has caused the community and taxpayers to loose faith and favor with this interim superintendent. not to mention that it is rumored that he was hand picked by john mccann to do mccann's bidding. that alone is reason for him to go.

just my humble opinion

Totally correct anniej. It is past time for Brandera to move on. We know now why he was chosen by the majoritynof this board to replace Gandara. It was to keep business as usual.the board did not want change. They were forced into it. Now it is time to get rid of Brandera and the corrupt majority of this board.Iam so glad to see that Domingueze has been finally caught. He was my principal for a short time and the teachers never saw him because he was with Gandara not on site he was dubbed Daisy Dominguez because he was Gandara's chauffeur. No joke.now everyone knows he was as greasy as his hair.

Wasn't this email written at the time when the Southwestern campus was in turmoil over class cuts, free speech rights, etc.? Dr. Raj Chopra, president of the college was taking a lot of heat from the faculty, students, and public, and deservedly so. At this same time, board member Dominguez, instead of supporting or at least showing interest in the public's legitimate demands, chose to "support" Chopra and his wrong doings (I believe he even fell asleep at one board meeting when concerns were being voiced). So now we know why he opposed the public he supposedly represented; it was in exchange for contracts for his pals and to please his Sweetwater boss, Sandoval.

can you imagine the movie all of this would make?

there is an outstanding movie out currently about bullying, what taxpayers need is a movie about pay to play/political corruption.

Oh my my, let's see if I can put the puzzle pieces together.....

SWC - Dominguez is Raj Chopra's boss Raj Chopra is Sandoval's boss

SUHSD - Sandoval is Gandara's boss Gandara is Dominguez's boss

Ok, so much for that, now Dominguez is "driving Miss Daisy" (Gandara) and instead of chatting in the carriage about student achievement and how to support staff, I wonder if their conversations drifted to, oh let me guess, who can show them the most love via the $$$$$.

Along comes Henry, Paul and Jeff to the rescue to pander to the greedy, and abracadabra, guess who gets the jobs, all the while the taxpayer, students and staff are the only victims in this whole scheme of greed. This just continues to get worse and worse, and the fact that everything is in writing only shows that they thought they were untouchable.

well SydneyJean, i think you about summed it all up in one little neat package. i would love to see your spin on sweetwater.

Ahhhhhhh, well let me attempt to sum them up....wasn't it Dominguez (driving miss daisy) who retired in June, 2011, took the handshake offered by the District, with a "wink wink" from the gander to bring him back as a "consultant" ? Wasn't this the same Board that protected the gander when they let him go? Wasn't this the same Board that listened to Bonnie Garcia on how to craft a settlement agreement with the gander? And yes sireee folks, this is the same Board that ate on the ganders credit card they issued to him so he could do "community outreach"' and the same Board that led the good life with the management companies and contractors. With the exception of Bertha Lopez, they all should be arrested. Their greed and arrogance is unbelievable. John McCann needs to grow up and be a man Instead of wanting to be the "main attraction" his bizarre antics at Board meetings should be a wake up call to every voter in the South Bay.

SydneyJean: WOW, i think you about summed it up, isn't is a shame that we are all living and breathing this mess??????????????

The whole affidavit, available on UT site, is worth the read. I get hungry just reading the restaurant receipts. Lobster scampi....cannolis. Then there are the beverages...

When Mr. Amigable changed his plea, his attorney reminded the assembled media that the money spent on gifts, etc. was not the taxpayer's money...

Susan you are right, Mr. Amigable's attorney is trying to do a good job of putting lipstick on the pig. The trouble with this spin is.....prior to the bid opening, officials at SWC and SUHSD were pandered to the maximum. The way the company could recoup their monies is in the bid pricing, which they won. They added their "entertaining" to their bid pricing, which was also padded for future "entertaining". Knowing how lustful their clients were, they were well aware of the $$$'s they needed to recoup. Now it affects the taxpayer, who is paying for the bond monies, which in turns pays the management companies and construction contracts, AND.....all the players, employees and board members.

Exactly! The original bid includes the money they will spend on bribes. In Mexico it is usually 10%. I am not sure what Gandara and friends asked for here but it all points to the same system. If I remember correctly many of these contractors didn't have the lowest bid or were selected by the district committees yet they were still selected by Gandara and the Board. Do you wonder why?

i, with all due respect DISAGREE with mr. amigale's attorney - those bond monies are our tax dollars, contracts that are assigned to contractors due to pay to play, i believe that they are our tax dollars. that those gifts, tickets, contrlbutions are built into the costs, used as write offs on their taxes. hopefully the feds are looking into this as well. we are talking about a whole lot of corruption here, sweetwater alone had 644 mill to be handed out.

after reading all of the affidavits a question that continues to run thru my mind is why aren't these management companies being indicted? they were essentially buying their way into bond contracts, and i believe that is illegal.

anniej: I agree with you. That money they were throwing around was ours. These companies budgeted for those gifts when they calculated their bottom lines. If convicted, their fines for their crimes should be earmarked for repayment to the taxpayers for all of the money they stole.

joepublic: and since, based on the comments in the emails the da has released - sweetwater's board members greedy nature was well known, ANY and ALL of them should NEVER EVER win another contract that involves tax payers monies. just let them try and give a future contract to one of them, something tells me all ----h, e, double l---- with break loose.

La Lucha: ALL of what you say is TRUE, unfortunately.

we the taxpaying voters of the south bay are responsible, myself included. for far too many years i voted and believed that those i voted for would do as they promised - they broke all of their campaign promises and now we are all behind the 8 ball doing all that we can to weed out the corruption and incompetence.

cartmill and mccann sitting on the side lines, hoping the winds of indictments and pleas will pass them by - but it will not, the thousands poured into their election coffers has painted the picture of who and what they are all about; and more and more voters are learning of it weekly - with each and every story - with each and every pdf.

If we had some sort of royal court to oversee things, and if it were actually trying to do things correctly, the result would be that ALL of these intertwined miscreants would be rounded up, tossed in a dungeon, and the king would have as long as necessary to gather the facts. Then at the king's leisure, he would bring them out and interrogate them, and they being utterly terrified would spill their guts. Then the punishments would be meted out. Freedom for a few, years in the dungeon for others, beheading for the worst. Ahh, but I'm talking about a comic strip and not real life. If they are careful, most of these creeps will escape prison. But that doesn't mean the local So Bay voters should keep reelecting them, and if there is no real change in voter attitudes there, that could happen.

The So Bay needs to wake up and now. But being so close to Mexico and so far from heaven, I doubt that it will.

i do not believe that our close proximity to the Mexican border plays a role. take for example ricasa - not latino. take for example mccann, cartmill, and brand - while none of them are under indictment - consensus is they are part of the mess (based on campaign contribution sources and brand being brought here by ???) - not latino.

as for those who are of latino origin, a REAL DISGRACE to their heritage - i am sure that none of their mothers or fathers looked at them the day they were born and said " future crook ".

just my opinion

anniej, we now live in a "multi-cultural" society, meaning that we have many cultures represented here in the county. One of those cultures is that of Mexico, and this sort of corruption is a feature of that culture. My comments were not an ethnic indictment, but rather a comment on how the influence of a society a few miles to the south across an artificially-drawn line can come across and bloom here.

Now, I think that many of us are in a state of eager anticipation waiting for the next shoe to drop. Who will cop the next plea bargain and start ratting out the others? I'd guess that will come sooner rather than later. In fact, there might be news this week.

Visduh: yes, you are correct, this nation, this world is 'multi' i often question, with my polyanna mind, why have we not been able to take all of the good from our blood lines and become super individuals? i know, i am living a fictional dream.

there is much to be said about amigable copping the plea, he is one of the keepers of many secrets, but there are others, several who have been mentioned, but not indicted, who are most likely sharing the dirt with the da.

a year ago i would have told you "IF WE COULD JUST RID OF OURSELVES OF 'THE GANDARA' WE WOULD BE ABLE TO GET BACK TO THE BUSINESS AT HAND" however mondays board meeting has proven that past opinion to be false. brandara is just another 'the gandara' - wearing a different colored frame and smarter, but in reality no better. all about the money - and brandara is up to his old bb and failing 'bank' tricks.

i was told about an L Street project that was referred to by a speaker at that meeting, from what the audio presented it sounds as though this is being seen as a money maker, but for who?????????? (over a million and a half simply thrown away the speaker indicated) if it was all above board one would think it would be out in the open. but alleged secret meetings, alleged promises of political backing seem to indicate the 'certain' persons are of the opinion that they are smarter than the dummies who got caught. little do they know......... "oh the webs that we weave when we practice to deceive!"

there is a 'secret society' out there - they have reached out and been reached out to - gathering up all of the nuts of corruption - dotting their i's and crossing their t's vetting all info.

hopefully in the end sweetwater will be spoken of with words of respect and integrity vs. labels of corruption and deceit.

while i value your commentary to this blog, i sooooooooooo wish you were a part of the south bay, we need more like you down here.

We definitely still need to learn more about all of this. Who can look into the L Street Project?

Log in to comment

Skip Ad