Comments by Nickdanny

Judge España goes easy on Southwestern College VP

I think the problem with the Zasueta case, which I watched quiet closely, is that it sort of laid the groundwork for all that has followed. With Zasueta and Reemer getting off with misdemeanors the precedent was created (even though the criminal actions were of a different character). I also do not think that it was a lack of "brightness," that plagued Zasueta and his ilk (in the same way that it was not a failed HR in Wilson's case or environment, as in Alioto's). It was arrogance, and on Zasuta's part, often cruelty. The first real case of getting rid of a tenure track faculty member at the college was under the leadership of Zasueta. This faculty member was disliked by some of Zasueta's minions, and an adjunct who was liked by the minions wanted the job. So, they worked to discredit him, attack him as often as they could, and even though he eventually won in court the climate supported by Zasueta and his cronies made it impossible for him to return. As I recall from the accounts of several faculty on the campus at the time, the adjunct did take his job once he was gone, and that faculty member is now in fact in management. There are other examples of the college honoring dishonest behavior that really has been problematic. At least two of Alioto's favorites were elevated to management (even though they were not qualified for the posts) and they remain in those positions to this day. As to the idea of corrupt, or more corrupt, in my opinion it really all links together to create an environment and an ethic that leads us to where we are today. As for Ms. Teri V., the employee coalition had a candidate, who dropped out of the race, and they did not get another challenger, from what I was told, until July of 2010 (3-4 months before the election). This college has four open seats in November, I wonder if they have candidates lined up?

Judge España goes easy on Southwestern College VP

Anniej, I did read about the harassment of the Sweetwater activists, and it was truly an embarrassment to our community. People who sit in seats of power (Board members, administrators who can fire and hire, and employees seeking promotion from those in power etc.) who silence opposition by characterizing those who speak out as "bullies or out of control," and painting themselves (those who really have the power) as "victims," is just absurd. Why do these people work to get elected, and then when pressed to take responsibility for their own actions, whine about how the people are abusing "them?" Just like Alioto and Wilson, "they cannot really be to blame because an HR person didn't tell them not to lie (Wilson), or they were just victims of an environment (Alioto)." I think it must have been a bit harder for the activist who was still working at Southwestern. All the little politics and people who supported or sought to benefit from these corrupt leaders (going all the way back to the Zasueta case with Prop AA) are in the face of this employee all the time; characterizing them and isolating them to protect/benefit themselves. I just hope, even though people have to go through a lot, that the honorable and honest people at those schools will continue to come forward and fight to protect our community against corruption and greed, even if there is a price to pay.

Judge España goes easy on Southwestern College VP

"Payne told the judge, “For me, this is a life sentence.” Payne pointed to the dusty corner lot at Southwestern that has absorbed millions of taxpayer dollars yet remains dusty."

Wilson, Alioto and all the rest of them have cost South County Taxpayers millions of dollars in bond payments. Parents voted to support these bonds because we believe in our schools and our local college. We took on the debt to improve the lives of our youth. These people on trial did everything they could to serve themselves at our expense. And this Judge thinks this deserves a slap on the wrist?

So, John Wilson is just a sad sack, who didn't know what he was doing because he claims the HR Office hadn't told him not to lie on his Conflict of Interest Statements. And Alioto is the victim of Southwestern College's institutional culture--What? And this from a woman who claims to feel so deeply about the community, a community she implies corrupted and failed these two crooks? Really Espana!

And people like these community activists who came forward (Payne, Marinovich, Brinkman and Kirkwood) have probably spent a great deal of time these past few years having to watch their backs, because there is no way that this corrupt behavior was "unknown" to others. It is just that the "others" just choose to hang onto these corrupt officials coattails and get what they could for themselves.

All these local judges and electeds do is use these issues to promote their own careers. It makes one pretty angry!

Thank you Susan for also being there for our community!

No tough justice for former Southwestern College official

Interesting when you compare the Reader reporting of the hearing and the UT's. Greg Moran wrote an article that made no mention of the voiced opposition by the Southwestern College faculty member, and he just seem to cut and paste the same old tired frame that they have used the past two years. Funny, the UT these past two years kept claiming that the DA began the investigation because of the UT reportage. Well, a read of this article sure pokes big holes in that assertion. I guess their "branding" gets in the way of their truth. And isn't Greg Moran, brother to Chris Moran, who was the Journalist for the UT that needed to be "relocated" from South County coverage during the Prop AA case? It appeared that he was replaced because he had such a "close" relationship with Zasueta, the college president that was brought up on charges for misuse of District funds during the Prop AA campaign. This town, really. Keep on reporting the truth Ms. Luzzaro, somebody has got to do it.

No tough justice for former Southwestern College official

This is evidently not the first time that Southwestern College administrators have been charged for criminal behavior related to financing, advertising and contract rigging on Public Bonds. Wilson was at the campus during the entire Prop AA legal case (2001-2006) and from what I understand from a faculty at the college, Wilson himself was required to give a deposition to the FEDS in that criminal case, a case against the then President Zasueta and some corrupt political consultant--Reemer. Wilson was also the college's point man and worked directly with the construction company (Maas) hired to be the project manager of the Prop AA construction projects. And yet Wilson, and this Judge can act as though he had no clue, he just made an error in judgement, he did not understand what a conflict of interest was in these matters. BS! Well, it looks like there is another opportunity to stand up and speak out on these weak charges and an even weaker judge. January 30th is Alioto's turn and hopefully the courtroom will be packed and the judge and court should be inundated with letters that demand jail time and no reduction in charges. That college did suffer our community suffered. They need to pay!

Southwestern College Foundation's Nathan Fletcher connection

SameOldSWC, I don't actually think it is the Labor group in San Diego that is the problem. I think the faculty and staff thought having people on the Board who understood the classroom staff, would be a good thing. It's people like Gonzalez and her side kick McLaughlin whose blind ambitions are the real problem. They got in with the old teacher's union president, (who I heard is now an administrator at another college--) and pushed their self promoting agenda. That is the problem. I bet that labor group is going to find out a lot of shady deals were made that were not passed through proper channels. They are probably relieved to have the two of them gone. And the "Gonzaperaza" team are now our problem, doing shady stuff in our community. We need to all attend School Board meetings, on this SameOld, you and I are in total agreement.

Southwestern College Foundation's Nathan Fletcher connection

I think it is called Southwestern College for a reason, it is a COLLEGE. It is not a place to promote incompetent, petty politicians or to provide money to huge construction companies. It is also not a "photo op" for this or that traveling show. It is a College. We pay out of pocket for that place to do one thing and one thing only, teach our kids.

Southwestern College Foundation's Nathan Fletcher connection

Strong stuff SameOldSWC. I heard recently from employees out at the college that Peraza was put on the Board back in August 2011 by then Labor Council leaders, Gonzalez and her right hand guy named Evan McLauglin (I looked him up and found out that he is now Gonzalez's Head of Office in Sacramento but he is on leave right now so he can work with this guy fletcher, as a manager in his campaign office in San Diego--that is just strange and if it is true the political incest in this whole mess runs knee deep). Evidently back in August 2011, these two Council (Gonzalez and McLaughlin) bosses contacted teachers in the union at the college, and told them that they wanted this Peraza guy to be on the Governing Board ( a Board member had to step down due to illness and they needed to fill the vacancy). And that is how Peraza got on the Board in the first place. People describe him as pretty immature and sort of adolescent in his leadership style---everybody's wrong and he is right--sort of childishness. I think I will talk to some community members and start attending these college Board meetings. Time to start watching these manipulators.

Southwestern College Foundation's Nathan Fletcher connection

We owe our Veteran community, particularly those who are struggling to keep their heads above water financially, honesty and transparency. They are the ones who have put it all on the line to save real democratic values and there should be no (or even the appearance of) shakey-dealings. Are we going to see more of this in the So. County on the political front? Just reading through other comments above: This guy Peraza was Filner's District Director from 2004-2009! So during the time that a lot of the women who stepped forward said Filner was harassing them, this guy was his District Director, and he claims he did not know anything! And I read that this new assemblywoman, who supported Filner for mayor and got him to back her, claims she never knew anything was up with Filner either? And now Peraza is her District Director, and they have endorsed this fletcher guy, and we are suppose to believe that they know what a good candidate for the position of Mayor in San Diego should be? I guess people really do think all of us down here are stupid!

Southwestern College Foundation's Nathan Fletcher connection

Why do we have an elected official who is on the payroll of another elected official leading this college? And make no mistake, Veterans issues are so important to our community, and we have purple heart and bronze star veterans throughout South County. It is who we are! It will be interesting to see if anyone tries to make this out as an attack on Veterans, rather than how decisions are made. After Chopra, most residents are no longer surprised by what is said to make a cover up. I guess we will see paid staff for some of these officials partaking in these comments and squashing dissent, as well. I think that happened in the Chopra era as well.

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