Sweetwater scandal: Ed Brand’s claims contradicted

Did he or didn’t he ask for $40,000?

Bertha Lopez, Jim Cartmill, Ed Brand, Arlie Ricasa, Pearl Quiñones, John McCann
  • Bertha Lopez, Jim Cartmill, Ed Brand, Arlie Ricasa, Pearl Quiñones, John McCann

On May 30, the U-T published the testimony of Sweetwater Union High School superintendent Ed Brand, given to the San Diego County Grand Jury late last year.

In November–December 2012, the grand jury conducted secret hearings to inquire into the alleged corruption of trustees, administrators, and contractors in three South County school districts. Ultimately, 15 trustees, administrators, and contractors were indicted as a result of the proceedings.

Brand told U-T reporter Aaron Burgin on May 30, “If I knew what I know when they asked me to come back [as superintendent of the Sweetwater school district], I wouldn’t have done it.” (Brand's first stint as superintendent spanned 1995–2005; he returned in 2011.)

Brand also complained to Burgin that there was too much contractor influence in the district and that three trustees had asked him to go to the president of Seville Group Inc, Rene Flores, for campaign donations. (Seville Group Inc, or SGI, managed the district’s $644 million Proposition O bond until January 2012.)

The U-T reported: “He [Brand] said that within the first six to eight days of his arrival, [Bertha] Lopez, [Pearl] Quiñones, and John McCann asked him to solicit campaign donations from SGI President Rene Flores and Jaime Ortiz, the company’s bond manager.”

In the grand jury transcripts, deputy district attorney Leon Schorr asked Brand: “Did you ask him [Flores] on behalf of McCann, [Jim] Cartmill, [Arlie] Ricasa, Quiñones, or Lopez for any contributions?” Brand answers: “No. Never.”

But in another volume of the transcripts that have been officially released to the public (Brand’s were not) Flores tells deputy district attorney Schorr:

“I want to say something very quick. Dr. Brand in December asked me to give an additional $20,000 to both John McCann and Jim Cartmill and I didn’t do it right away during December for tax purposes. And so I didn’t do it. So he suspended us [SGI] without any reason…and subsequent to that there’s been evaluations done and we have been cleared — my company has been cleared of any wrongdoing.”

So, it seems there is a contradiction in the sworn statements.

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Well, well, well - funny how Jim Cartmills name was left out of Brands Grand Jury testimony (which I read), and Lopez and Quinines were inserted.

So what is the truth Mr. Brand???????

Brand threw John Mccann, Quinones and Lopez under the bus. Additionally, he inferred that Quinones is not very smart. Yet,,,,, he continues to protect Jim Cartmill and Arlie Ricasa. No doubt Jim Cartmill is still be holding to Brand since Brand helped to bail him out of the bankruptcy when Brand was here the first time.

WE TRIED TO TELL MCCANN and QUINONES ABOUT BRAND, but they would not listen

I am wondering just how long it is going to take a local IRS agent to read some of the PDF's and realize, 'if this bunch failed to report perks and gifts to the FPPC there is a good possibility they failed to report accurately to the State and Feds'.

The pdf's seemed to indicate that certain companies had their employees 'donate' to certain bard members campaigns AND to help them pay off financial debt.

Funny what you pick up when you go back and review the info on the SD Registrar of Voters website - and I am not just talking about donations, there is the 'debt' - very interesting, what was paid and how it was paid, hmmmmmmmm

As the old saying goes, "There is no honor among thieves".

Now that Brand has cast aspersions, implicating McCann, Quinones and Lopez, what is his next move?

It is as if Brand must have decided who is expendable and who still has something he needs. Jim and Arlie, hmmm, what makes them so special? They've been around since Brand's first go 'round as superintendent, so maybe they are privy to things Brand doesn't want to get out.

But then, Ed Brand likes to cultivate new friends, so he might have already moved on. I am pretty sure Bertha Lopez knew Brand would do his best to make her look bad. It isn't really a secret that she has been shown disrespect by Brand and the other board members. McCann and Quinones, however, must be wondering what happened. Unless Brand has convinced them that this is part of a complicated plan that will eventually prove them blameless in the end. Hope they aren't falling for that one.

Time for people to start telling the truth, and see where that gets them--for a change.

It must be another dance--the Fast Eddy Quick Step Two Step Side Step Skedaddle!

Well what a shock Ed is a liar!!! His whole life he has been a liar and a bully. Because he is so intelligent that is true. But is he smart? I think not..he has let his greed and ego convince himself he is unvinciable. What I can't figure out is why the other employees who have been around like me don't speak up more freely. The reason is we are afraid if he finds out we are toast. Believe me there are others that know things that are lying in the weeds. Long time employees.

How can we let this go on. This is a daily soap opera of embarssments. We all knew Pearl was a Princess. A former trustee Sandoval demanding a $400 plus pen!! Oh Ed you think you did not know this indemic cultural stuff was going on your first term. What a liar. You are the poster boy for a big fat hard turd. You may be a floater now but you will turn into a sinker right to the bottom of the toilet where you belong. Then we will flush you down into the sewer called a little George Bailey, Supervised Probation, mabye some Work Furlough, and personal embarassment. A convicted felon.

Well, so that's both sides of the fence saying John wants money...I guess by all accounts John had his palm out. The purest form of politician. Better get to reading the transcripts or I won't be able to join the conversation at work in the morning.

Sounds like SGI didn't get the money quick enough and lost their jobs over greed. I always thought they were too expensive to use,I guess we know why now. This means Brand lied to the Grand Jury.Oh, what a surprise. It makes better sense that Cartmill and McCann had their hands out because Pearl certainly did her own asking without any shame as the transcripts have indicated. She didn't need anyone's help to get what she wanted. I wonder what Mayor Filner is thinking now about his Princess. McCann wiould be better served running for dog catcher than City Council or mayor. Cartmill's claims about being indicted for a charitable cause we always knew was bull. Both John and he wanted their campaign debt gone at the expense of SGI. The extra monies could be used for new campaign runs like the City Council race. Greed with Brand ingratiating himself deeper into their souls. Brand is not an elected official the board can get rid of him anytime. Dare I hope McCann has woken up.

Your make many interesting points. I, too, wonder what Filner thinks. That "princess" bit was so bizarre--I almost think it had to represent some kind of alignment or pledge of support. Filner, being the rather smart politician that he is, must have seen all these people for what they are, and what they aren't...I wonder if he is worried about all sorts of South Bay regional political scenes being destabilized by what we are learning?

The ramifications could be extensive, so I am sure all those sitting in their political seats are hoping for containment, as if this were a shaky nuclear facility about to blow...

So McCann, having given away the store to Gandara when Gandara could have been removed for cause, brings back Brand. McCann then thinks that Brand must owe him, so Brand needs to find a way for McCann's campaign debt to disappear...now that Brand has revealed McCann's demands, McCann appears to be cut adrift. What can he salvage of his political career? You say you hope that McCann has awakened--a sober analysis of his options should include telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But many times people have memory difficulties, especially when it comes to further implicating themselves.

Another old saying is "When you swim with sharks, you can get bitten." I have to think that McCann didn't really think that Brand would turn on him. But as many have been saying, Brand has been a bully out for himself his entire life. The only reason he would continue to cover for or protect someone is either if he had something to lose or something to gain by his action.

Which is it with Cartmill and Ricasa? Will Cartmill and Ricasa go down on Brand's sinking ship, or will they jump and save themselves...

Maybe we will need a Coen Brothers movie a la "Fargo" to tell the tale.

But right now we still need more people to stand up and tell what they know to be the truth.

"So McCann, having given away the store to Gandara when Gandara could have been removed for cause, brings back Brand. McCann then thinks that Brand must owe him, so Brand needs to find a way for McCann's campaign debt to disappear..."

This comment by you triggered a thought. Since we all know John McCann has aspirations to get back on the City counsel, and/or the Mayors office, it would make sense for him to cozy up to Edward M. Brand so that Brand's connections to the construction companies would continue to be a highly valued source of donations to John's future campaigns. John doesn't seem the sort to directly ask vendors for money, but if some other influential person would, I doubt he would turn it down.

It is sometimes handy to have someone else do the dirty work--unless that person ends up doing you the dirty...

Do you think McCann is going to respond to Brand about this? What do you think the next Board meeting will be like? Will everyone be in a state of polite denial, or will the cracks start to show?

Maybe he could send Pearl onto a job site with a mini skirt and spiked heels to get 20 bucks for him.....hey, it's a start! Hmmmmmmm, wonder if she claimed that or put it in her pocket??

Isn't lying to a Grand Jury a serious offense? So, what do you think will happen now that obviously someone has?

erupting: she was not his princess, she was his 'queen' - and HE was her 'king'

now let me find the pepto, feeling a bit nauseous

Right you are, anniej! Kind of makes me want to start singing "what a long, strange trip it's been" except that the trip isn't over yet...

Brand a LIAR!!?? Well, what a shocker - that is just his brand - it's been said by someone in the know, if his lips moving - Yep - his nose is growing - 5 Pinocchios to the Superin-pretender!! Keep on exposing this shameless pathetic knuckle dragger!! Sorry - I have no adequate words to fully express the depth of collective digust and disdain owing this snake. Should not he be reduced to crawling back under his rock to shed a few skins? And maybe take McCann and Cartmill along with him since they neither have the decency nor synaptic brain function to raise their own knucles off the ground..

And to think that they recently released only a part of the GJ testimony. Stay tuned to the next exciting episode of "As the Slimeballs Twist and Turn."

Will John and Jim turn on Ed? Will Bertha be able to prove her innocence? Has Pearl given up all hope of redemption? And, will Arlie stop living in denial? Tune in tomorrow to find the answers to these and many more questions.

As the Slimeballs Twist and Turn is sponsored by Donovan License Plates, Folsom Rock Crushers, and the Alcatraz Swimming Club.

I have to say--that bit about a home that is in the name of Arlie and her brother being given as the "local" address for a construction company from out of town...that's just the type of detail that makes it all real. Way to work the angles, members of Sweetwater's Board of Trustees.

Also, McCann's quite odd wording: referring to individuals as 'Boards of Trustees' rather than trustees, or members of the Board. Boggles the mind. Some of these graduates from Sweetwater schools must have been less than scholarly during their school days. Odd syntax...if their English teachers are reading this, it must be very disappointing. For numerous reasons.

Hahahaha Brand is lying again that is too funny. Wasnt this dude investigated before by the grand jury. This clown knows how the game is played all to well so acting stupid doesnt work. What now he wants to be snow white, well sorry you are more like the ogre. And you made sure you are free and clear so you threw everyone else under the bus. How lame is that, well sir you sure have big b---- since they can fire your ass if they want. You are a liar, cheat and poor excuse for a leader. you are not respected or wanted here, leave!!!

How much deeper can the hole get for these people, these idiots who act like they are better than everyone else. Who sit on their throne and don't listen to a word people say when all along they have been right. I hope you idiots feel really stupid now that the tax payers know even more of your ugly deeds.

Cartmill you couldn't lead a fish to water, your out there in the public telling everyone your so innocent and it is all a mis understanding, yeah right, when your lips are moving your lying just like Brand!!! you're so pathetic as a leader and you let Brand do your bidding. Well here is a thought take Brand by the balls and lead him out of the same door he came in. Maybe now that McCann has been shoved under the bus he will wake up. Brand just ruined your chances for Mayor and City Counsel, what a shame. All this time you sold your soul to the devil with your votes and look what he does, he leaves skid marks on your back. To bad johnny boy your name means less now than it did before.

Pearl the "Queen" Brand really thinks your too stupid to function and make decisions. Remember your his boss and revenge is sweet.... will you be smart enough to take him on.

Arlie your not out of this either you are soooo screwed its not funny. You lecture everyone about ethics and shit and look at you. Where are yours, Ill tell you where up Brands ass.

Oh well like JM Brickley said stayed tuned for the next episode "As the Slimeballs Twist and Turn."

At the risk of appearing callous, here is an interesting website:


Might be good to remind people.

Brand told U-T reporter Aaron Burgin on May 30, “If I knew what I know when they asked me to come back [as superintendent of the Sweetwater school district], I wouldn’t have done it.”

So, I can see how he made a commitment to stay as "acting superintendent" for the year. But, if he was so disgusted by the trustees behavior, why did he stay on, signing a new contract after resigning?

Exactly. What Fast Eddy says never really adds up. The only thing that adds up is what keeps going into his bank account.

Oh dbdriver, he also said he wanted full support of the Trustees. Lemme guess, think he signed on for the $$$$$$$? Naaaa, it's all about the kids. From my perspective, he does everything he can except get schools out of Program Improvement and raise the test scores. He should have been hired as a rain maker, his film flam plans and ideas are cause for major concern, particularly with the axing of essential programs.

Now.......where is timtim? Hope his calls are being answered by the good Doctor. One of the many things I noticed in the testimonies, and that is some folks need extra time to think about their lies, UM, UM, UM, UM, UM, UM. Among others, one of the better lies..... I didn't know my bride worked for blah blah, musta been while I was in Iraq. What a waste of taxpayer monies.

Brand thought this all would go away, I'm sure. He could have his fat paycheck for a few more years and get to be the bully and liar on a large scale. I doubt that he figured that he'd be in front of the grand jury giving sworn testimony. Testimony about things like "he said, she said" is hard to disprove, especially if you preface the comments with things like "I think" or "as I remember." But lying to a grand jury is a very risky thing to do, regardless, and I'd hope he was smart enough to avoid it. But then, not lying isn't the same as telling the truth. (It's what you leave out that can mislead just as much as outright falsehood.)

The above could be compared to a 'perp' walk.

We sit here a proud community, each of us doing what we can for our children in hopes that our efforts will afford our children to have a better than life we did. We raise them with words like integrity, honesty, compassion, community service, hard work - then they hear us at the dining room table talking about our frustration as it pertains to the alleged corruption at our local middle and high school district.

These PDF's are the talk of the freakin' San Diego City and County. Our board members are being villianized Brand has painted a self portrait of liar. The gall, the greed, the self righteous attitudes; beyond comprehension.

These board members have shown us who and what they are all about, their votes define them.

Let us all make a pact that we will educated as many persons as we can, even if it is only to point them to The READER for the facts. Let us all pledge to do our parts to send Jim Cartmill, Arlie Ricasa and John Mccann packing at the next elections. And please let us send the clear message to our Republican Party MCANN WILL NOT WIN, do NOT BOTHER backing him. Surely there is a candidate whose promise, whose word stands for something John Mccanns' - do NOT. He spoke mistruths when he pledged to clean up Sweetwater, he jumped right into the Jim Cartmill, Arlie Ricasa, and 'the gandara' canoe. And now Brand tells us and the Grand Jury that Mccann was begging for money from contractors within 2 weeks of Mccann bringing Brand back.

The elections of 2014 provides us the opportiunity to take our district back, We owe it to the students........we owe it to ourselves!

JmBrickley - that is about the funniest comment I have EVER read. Thank you for interjecting some humor, goodness knows we have to laugh, the only option is crying for all of the good things that were lost due to this bunches greed.

When you have a superintendent who doesn't want to be in his position and has so much contempt for his board members--time to pack it up--this is an untenable situation.

Don't worry about Jim Cartmill running for mayor. There's someone else in CV who wants the job, and he has integrity and name recognition. I hope he makes it public soon.

Many people with integrity have run for public office in the south bay. Unfortunately, very few know how to conduct a campaign. When you are running against incumbents you need do more than be a good person. When I first started investigating our campaign finances I was amazed by three things. The first was the fact that only district employees and those doing business with the district were making contributions. The second was how little of the money was being spent on actual campaigning. The third was the fact that these board members would make contributions of their own campaign funds to other politicians who were farther up the food chain. Of course Filner backer Pearl! She used other peoples money to contribute to his campaigns. He probably didn't know that, or didn't care. Money is money. Imagine what would happen if someone were to actually mount a real, live campaign in south bay. You know, kiss babies, march in parades, stand on street corners with those stupid signs, seek the endorsement of every Rotary Club and political action committee on both sides of the aisle.

I guess Brand decided he no longer needed Mccann or Qunones and that is why he decided to turn on them. McCann was there for every vote - voting as Brand instructed him to do. Pearl voted the company line most of the time. I guess the two of them are simply two more added to Brands list of 'what are you going to do for me'?, now that he has gotten his way, in his mind, it is WHO CARES ABOUT MCCANN or QUINONES. Yet Brand continues to play his far haired favorites - Jim Cartmill and Arle Ricasa. Little do Jim Cartmill and Arlie Ricasa realize the damage their partnership with Brand is doing to them.

Think about this - the PDF's - for all of the info that was shared, IT IS NOTHING COMPARED TO WHAT WILL BE SAID DURING THE TRIAL, NOTHING!!!!!! If I were in their shoes I would end it now, bow out, save themselves the humiliation. Not only will Mrs. Ricasa's alleged efforts to use be exposed, just laid out there for all to see, but allegedly so will Mr. Ricasa's efforts to use her position be exposed. All of the contractors, one after another will step forward and tell what they know, tell what they were asked for - and think about this, they will have more than 3 minutes, OH MY!!!!!

Reader 2 - did you mean John Mccann vs. Jim Cartmill? Hopefully the person you refer to is NOT John Mccann, let us not forget the words of Ed Brand, 'within weeks of me coming back Mccann came to me and asked me to ask the contractor for money.' And the PDF's contain testimony that Brand included the names of Jim Cartmill and Arlie Ricasa in that request.

Votes to eliminate ROP and Adult Ed, votes to pay for Sweetwaters elementary charter school, votes to bring in Alliant, approval of expensive change orders, 'the gandara's' sweetheart goodbye package, bringing back Brand - these were all YES votes of John Mccann. Votes to clean Sweetwaters house were not cast by John Mccann, he chose instead to follow Brands mandates. The City Of Chula Vista does not need a weak follower as its mayor, we MUST HAVE a strong leader who is NOT part of the Mccann camp.

The real Jim Cartmill has been exposed as for Arlie Ricasa I can think of a new title for her, you fill in the blank: __ of the Year

No, not McCann. He'll announce it next month. I think you'll be happy. Sorry, I shouldn't have mentioned it but I was excited.

Reader 2 - please, please do not tell me it is Burt Grossman, I just bought a new bottle of pepto and really do not feel like emptying it so soon.

Greenville: WOW, think you about summed it up very nicely, AND you wrapped it up and put a pretty pink bow on it.

YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD. The majority of these board members have phoned it in, in other words they have allowed mailers to speak for them. What do we really know about them, their philosophies, their past votes, their vision for the future. Other than the cookie cutter picture with the spouse, their children and the family dog/cat NOT A THING. Whatever did happen to walking and knocking on doors, introducing ones self? Listening to the concerns of the taxpayer.

You have given the community something to consider.

“If I knew what I know when they asked me to come back [as superintendent of the Sweetwater school district], I wouldn’t have done it.” (Edward M. Brand)

Nobody's holding a gun to your head Ed. Do a favor to yourself and the rest of us as well, and just leave. Just walk away. You have more money for having put in the time you did, but anytime you feel like you have taken enough, just go.

Ah, but you won't. So, that only makes your own words a lie. You're in it for the money. John McCann got you the gig, and in a little over a week, he got you to go hustle up "twenty large" in campaign money as repayment.

“I want to say something very quick. Dr. Brand in December asked me to give an additional $20,000 to both John McCann and Jim Cartmill..." (Rene Flores)

You two ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

One other thing...

Dr. Brand testified that...

“He [Brand] said that within the first six to eight days of his arrival, [Bertha] Lopez, [Pearl] Quiñones, and John McCann asked him to solicit campaign donations from SGI President Rene Flores and Jaime Ortiz, the company’s bond manager.”

Yet, Rene Flores says...

"I want to say something very quick. Dr. Brand in December asked me to give an additional $20,000 to both John McCann and Jim Cartmill..."

So, are we to infer that Bertha Lopez didn't ask you to go solicit funds for her, and she is just an innocent bystander in your schemes? Is it possible you are being untruthful?

NEWS FLASH! Randy 'the Duke' Cunningham is being released today - his cell is now being prepared for Jesus 'the gandara'.

@JM Brickley could it be that Brand just wants to shut up that Bertha woman for getting in his face all the time. Most of the time she is right on the money. Remember lying is just a part of Brands makeup that is why he fits in so well with McCann, Cartimill and Ricasa, when their lips move they lie. Kind of like the Shakira song her "hips don't lie" but our board members always do.

Get of of dodge Brand there's the door, all of these problems you have to deal with. We know you hate the press and the badgering of the public and it's going to get worse. You are the joke of the state and hopefully the entire country will know about all the crap you are doing. Dont let the door hit you in the ass on the way back to North County.

Tic toc, tic toc......... That is the clock ticking on McCanns political career, Brand sold you a one way ticket to nowhere land, and he couldnt even send you first class because you cut up the credit card (or so you thought). Who would want to invest in your greediness now, uhhhhh nobody thats who. BTW your testimony was a joke also you really want the public to believe that you had no idea where your wife was working. There you go again assuming that everyone is as ignorant as you.

Hey, I would like to read some of the transcripts, can anyone send me to the right place to find them? This, or give me the Case number so I can look them up. BBQ

Angrybirds: Where does McCann's testimony appear? Does that mean he was also a witness in the Grand Jury investigation of SUHSD corruption? Thanks!

To read the Grand Jury testimony, go to the U-T's Watchdog page, then look for Sweetwater articles. There have been three, which give a total of 4 links to PDF files.

Thanks for the info. I know its my computer monitor but everytime I open this article, Ed's face in his picture gets redder and redder, Dorian Gray??? BBQ

Maybe it's a variation on the old thermometer as fundraising graphic--the redder Ed's face, the more the public is tracking his misdeeds.

Here is Brands: http://media.utsandiego.com/news/documents/2013/05/30/brand.pdf

You need to go onto signonsandiego.com to the watchdog and click on all the articles that have to do with SUHSD and you will be able to see the PDF's for a lot of people....Happy reading!!! Have a garbage can ready because you will be sick to your stomach when you read what is going on....Holy Crap!

Thanks. I found McCann's testimony in PDF attachment to Ricky Young's story of May 31 titled "Contractor: Gandara took check...." It is Volume 21 of the transcripts, pp 3149-3334.

It is unlikely that all of the transcripts are posted on the UT page, however.

Those that are do make insteresting, if nauseating, reading.

Tales of backstabbing, SUHSD board intrigue, high drama, fitting for angrybirds' soap opera, "As the Slimeballs Twist and Turn".

Well folks, just when you think you have heard it all - whispers on the street are Indicating that Burt Grossman is preparing to run for the City Council.

Just what we need someone who does not value women, someone who will drop the 'n' word at the drop of a hat and someone who has an issue with gays and lesbians. For verification check his book out of the library - out of his own mouth.

Chula Vista residents, no doubt he will use his x NFL days as a selling point, steroid driven defensive lineman is not a prerequisite for city councilman. Let us not forget we are in the process of cleaning up politics in the South Bay, not adding to the negative perception. Let us also not forget who allegedly supported Grossmans run for school board, Ed Brand. Rumor has it John Mccann was quite enamored with hanging around Grossman.

Let us pray that the whispers are wrong, if not HERE WE GO AGAIN!!!!!!!

Yes, I was suspecting something like that might be happening.


Can we find some people to run who might actually have the best interests of the community in mind?

Heres one of Jaime Ortiz's testimonies,


holy crap a 16 million dollar contract voted in under the consent calendar. No questions from any of these clowns nothing, zero, ziltch nada. No wonder why they get frustrated when all those people stand up and ask questions they don't know the answers either. They refer to Brand and he spits things out in circles, makes no sense and then respectively submits all the manure that just came out of his mouth.

Cartmill says in an email to SGI for your eyes only because he is getting ready to ask for campaign contributions. Whats the matter Jimbo you couldnt hit the pavement and work hard like the rest of us. Arlie all those expensive dinners and all those contracts awarded, lets see 2+2=4 hmmm you really need ethics training.

New PDF on the UT - this bunch needs to resign and NOW, as well as BRAND!!!!!!!!!

Rene Flores - ' so my sec'ys told me that Jim Cartmill phoned. He wanted to go to lunch. I had never met him but figured he wanted to meet with me and "PUT THE BITE ON ME".

Funny, according to Mr. Cartmill "all I ever did was ask for a table in the name of a charity"

NEWS ALERT - much to the communities astonishment folks, I kid you not John Mccann, has school board signs up on Main Street as I type. Here is the peculiar thing when the 'antagonists' were looking to RECALL John Mccann he drove up, rolled down his window and snapped pictures and then allegedly called a contact of his at Chula Vista and the signs were taken down. When the antagonists went to pick them up from the City guess who was there THE SUHSD BOARD SECRETARY. WHY???????????? Why was a paid district employee out collecting RECALL signs????????????

So Johnny Boy, why is a law biding citizen like yourself breaking the law by putting your signs on city property? While the antagonists did not know better, YOU DO.

You could NOT be elected as dog catcher after reading what Brand and Rene Flores said about you. Will there be more who testify about John Mccann begging for money at the trial - himmmmmmm

Why on earth would McCann, or anyone for that matter, put up signs when there is no election going on? Assuming these are his left-over signs from 2010? How is it that he has so much free time, anyway? The transcript of his 'interview' with the Grand Jury has him stating for the record that he works for Sharp Healthcare?
I still wonder what he does for a living to support Mrs. McC and the four little McCs...(besides being in the Army Reserves, of course). His bio from 2010 claimed that he was some sort of independent buisness technolgoy consultant...anyone know how that worked out?

oskidoll - word has it Mccann is free of employment at the present time other than the Reserves. He is plotting his next run for office, in Mccanns world 'he is a contender'.

With all of the truth that is being exposed I hope he is recycling, (they are paying .99c a lb. I hear) - if he really hustles he may earn enough for his first defense attorney visit.

Thank you for confirming what I have long suspected about McCann being 'free of employment' (does that mean unemployed????). That would make him even more dangerous and even more subject to bribery. The Mayor's job in CV pays pretty well, I believe, more than $100,000. that must look pretty enticing to Johnny Boy, who does have a family of six to feed, even with comissary privileges.

I believe McCann has signs up for name recognition only. I think the negative press has hurt him. He now has to try and be the reformer to salvage his name. He will attempt to be the hero and get the district in order probably with the help of Cartmill. He then can say look what I did to the public,and then run for City Council or the Mayoral race. Too little to late. I wouldn't vote for him to be dog catcher. The McCann saga has only just begun. Watch out folks the new man McCann is on his way.

If he is working on reinventing himself--maybe I would have bought it a couple of years ago. But people have pleaded with him to step up and do something, and he did nothing.

Cheap opportunism is about all we can expect from McCann. There is no depth of character. There is no 'there there'.

I have said it before--for a politician, he has such a tin ear that I cannot imagine what he is even thinking. All those ridiculous and off-base stories he planted in the SD Rostra...and then when he was completely schooled there, he didn't learn a single thing from it. All that attempting to smear Bertha Lopez--and then continuing to bring up her name again in this blog via his persona as timtim.

What is his problem?

new man Mccann??????? - many fell for his devious politics the first time around. As he stood there, in those Eastlake living rooms pledging to clean up SUHSD and not take contractors dollars, little did the attendees know he had already done so. The Grand Jury testimony of Rene Flores details the meetings and money of Mccann with SGI and its representatives BEFORE the campaigning began. It appears that Jim Cartmill recommended John Mccann to 'the gandara', they needed another vote for their secret PAC, and the rest folks is the past history we have had to endure.

On a positive note Mccann, due to the Grand Jury testimony that reflects Mccanns forked tongue - he no longer is being viewed as a viable candidate for any office here locally. But as shared with me by an insider "he just doesn't get it, he seems to think this will all blow over". Yes there are some "stringing him along", as was the case with Ms. Quinines in her desire for a Sacramento position (see Rene Flores testimony) - It is not going to blow over, his failure to protect our children's education, his lack of fiscal responsibility - WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN!


Eastlaker - John Mccann is a bit off center, all of the incidents well known at this point and are an albatross for him.

Ya just can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear!!!!!!!

"Ya just can't make a silk purse out of a McCann's ear!!!!!!!"

There, I fixed it for you.

Oh Mr. McCann dude you have ridden in your last rodeo and you have nobody to blame but yourself. When you are sitting in your living room saying should of, could of, would of and giving yourself a huge belt in the head (like the V-8 commercials) saying maybe all the people were right. But see you got your hand caught in the cookie jar and it is all out there for people to see what a slime you really are. Nobody wants to be near you or associated with you anymore. I wonder how you are going to spin this one. Will it be everyone else fault? Will it all be a misunderstanding? Is it that we are all too stupid to actually understand what you were doing?

You want everyone to believe your a freaking war hero and a savior, I wonder if you stole from the military like you did from the students. If you act now, which I think you probably will you will be seen as nothing but an opportunist. You see now the public has you Mr. McCann by the balls and we are squeezing tight, so wipe that stupid smile off your face. To quote the song "lies lies lies" "you say you'll try harder but i think it's just too late well, the car is revving in the drive,and i'm not the sort to wait" We are tired of waiting McCann for you and Jimbo to get your act together. You all should leave!

There is opportunity left - since the investigations are ongoing and others may be snared who knows

There is continuing education in the Fed and State pens, maybe he could start a school board there; and run for that seat.

Food for thought, anniej.

With the news of the FBI raid on a Latino political organization with links to quite a few Democrats in office in this area, some of these individuals might be thinking that telling the truth is starting to look good! (I say this as a registered Independent with no ax to grind one way or the other).

I have come to the conclusion that when it comes to electing representatives from our community, we need to really hear what they say. What they are capable of saying, what they believe in, what they hold themselves to. If they are unwilling or unable to specify, enumerate, and clarify who they are, then they should not hold public office.

We cannot rely on glossy family photographs, lists of organizations who have given their support--or simply ethnic background.

o Do we have candidates who can rationally examine a situation and come forth with solutions that are reasonable?
o Do we have candidates who will not just use their position as a platform to hire all their friends for cushy consultant jobs?
o Do we have candidates who actually have a concept of what the job at hand consists of?
o Do we have candidates who are capable of thinking their way through complex issues, or do we have candidates who are stymied at the 'wet-paper-bag' level?

People, if you want a really good Political Action Committee, make sure it adheres to the rules that govern it. Make sure it doesn't try to subvert the laws under which we live. And try to keep improving these committees and the communities which represent them.

Corruption is NEVER 'our friend'.

eastlaker - someone, I mean something tells me the FEDS are beginning to match the dots......... Who on the board is next? Mccann, Brand?

Hear, Hear eastlaker, if you would go back through my many entries into SUHSD blogs you'd hear very much the same thing. I will reiterate some of my thoughts;

  1. Determine the public's opinions and goals for SUHSD
  2. Develop a series of steps and timeline required to achieve those goals
  3. recast those goals into a series of meaningful questions that each and every candidate for the Board be asked to answer.
  4. Publish those answers in the Reader and UT allow the people to really determine the viability of a candidate.

I believe that this type of format would allow a newcomer to enter the process without a big budget or war chest. This would allow uninfluenced people to serve the community. I also feel that the political alligence of the Board candidates should not be a part of the overall process for a position like Trustee.

It sounds so simple but it takes a big push to change a system, especially a corrupt one. Slogging my way through the Transcripts, BBQ

I just finished my community service for the month - I went and took down all of the ILLEGAL SIGNS John Mccann had put up.

It feels good to serve!!!!! !

What signs? I thought your were removing trash from the roadway.

anniej I saw a couple of McCan't, I mean McCann signs reciently posted on Olympic Pkwy, near Otay Ranch High School. I have not gone by Olympian or Eastlake, weren't Graduation Activities at Sleep Train Pavillion This week? What a Sneaky little/short man, I'll bet he spoke at a couple of the school activities, about how pure and great his actions on the board have been, oh and that he's a hero military man. BBQ

I had a blast today helping anniej get McCann signs off the street. I mean payback is really everything they say it is. I know I should be ashamed but maybe tomorrow. Iheard McCann did his eight min.speech on how wonderful he is and yes of course his military prowess was mentioned.

BBQ, and anniej, please let me know where I can pick them up....I need to line the bottom of my cat box. What I am taking away from this, is the Board of Trustees not only garnered favors for themselves, but for their family members as well.....

Pearl - asking Jaime Ortiz to talk to her son about being successful. Charger and Padre games....

Arlie - having her husband talk to SUHSD contractors about helping his business out. Having contractors donate money for her daughters conference. Oh yea, let's not forget "use my address to show you are a local minority contractor".

Greg - Charger playoff tickets, Padre tickets, Laker tickets, Rose Bowl tickets, my head is spinning.....too many to name...greedy, greedy, greedy.

Jesus - I am not worried, he told his attorney he has proof he reimbursed the contractor. Hope he has them for the extra meals he took home.

Jim - pay off my campaign debt, at least you didn't ask for favors for your family.

John - "musta happened while I was in Iraq"

Bertha - timtim, here is where we need help....

Last but not least....Ed "I stand by my word" Brand. You don't have full Board support, time to leave AGAIN, and don't come back. Quit trying to game the system for more money. We are disgusted and fed up with ugly greed. The next phase will be to clean up the mess you created. Bring in Jaime Mercado, who pays for his own coffee.

This months board meeting, how does the audience sit with a straight face and watch ths cast of characters.

Jim Cartmill - you too were part of the group that asked for money from Seville

John Mccann - allegedly you were begging before you ever announced

Arlie Ricasa - it appears you were trying to make this a family affair, USING your office. Bank Mgrs. don't they answer to corporate other financial institutions as well?

Pearl Quinones - no words to describe the Grand Jury testimony we are reading

Ed Brand - it appears you may have perjured yourself. Jaime Mercado testimony, WOW - and you can't dispute it seeings how the contractors clearly state he would not even accept a freakin cup of coffee.

Interesting isn't it Mercado would not accept a paid for cup of coffees yet we have Jim Cartmill, John Mccann and Arlie Ricasa ASKING for and RECEIVING many, many thousands.

With every day more and more are learning the truth. With each day transcripts are being dissected - I understand the IRS pays what is akin to a finders fee. Large corporations do NOT , will NOT tolerate negative publicity - bad for business and all; especially financial institutions.

The icing on the cake, Brand, Cartmill, and Ricasa kicking John Mccann out of the group. Brand telling the DA 'John Mccann came and asked me to go to SGI for MORE money'.

The rumors are true evidently, they fear he is 'a loose cannon'. Mr. Brand had better be careful, Mccann allegedly attempted to run someone over in the City Hall parking lot, and we are all familiar with the temporary restraining order he tried to take out at our expense.

John Mccann, is it true a plumber gave you a thousand dollars in 2012 as a contribution? If so WHY??????? You took office when???? Is he doing business with the district?????

It must be time for sharing hour. Here are a few of my "favorites"...From Rene Flores, day two of questioning, p. 1689 ongoing from line 4. In an email from Mr. Ortiz to Mr. Flores, a lineup of how Sweetwater's board is going to vote on a Project Labor Agreement. The email states it will be a "no" vote at this time, but that may change in a year, because of upcoming elections wherein it may be beneficial to let labor organizations know the board is in favor of the PLA. Of course, this is PRIOR TO the board meeting.

Pretty much proves to me that decisions are made ahead of the meeting. The fact that it is discussed in such a straightforward manner indicates to me that this type of thing is not out of the ordinary, in fact is the way things are done. Ergo, votes are predetermined.

Brown Act Violation, in spades?

Mr. Flores' testimony, P. 1779. The district received $55 million from the state, which is for construction projects--actually is for projects that the state approves, some sort of special reimbursement from the state because the state had inspected and found certain completed construction projects to meet some standards. So--this $55 million is again supposed to be used for more construction, but instead was put into general funds. Flores and company pointed out that should not be done, in fact the testimony indicates they pointed this out in a public meeting--and it was after this that the company was suspended from working on Sweetwater projects.

How many times have we spoken out saying that Sweetwater's finances need forensic auditing? Many, many times. This sort of thing is one of the reasons. CLEAN IT UP!!!

And my final favorite of the evening, from Mr. Amigable's third day of testimony, p. 563. Gandara (he of the double meals and all sorts of tricks) would BUY Mr. Amigable's Southwest Air frequent flyer vouchers at $100/round trip, using them to fly to destinations in northern California and Texas. Wow. The man was making good money, and he needs to chisel out more by misusing a frequent flyer program??? I guess some people are not happy unless they are running a scam.

Well, here's to their new, scam-free lives...

I have read all Grand Jury testimony released to this point. Mercado would not accept bribes or the philosophy of " pay to play ". Gandara and Sandoval wanted this honest and courageous man replace by someone who would " see things their way ", hopefully someone as corrupt and lacking in values just like them. Well, they found that person...BERTHA LOPEZ. Grand Jury testimony from a number of witnesses confirm that she not only accepted money from vendors, but personally sought such donations. Once elected she quickly joined others to feed at the trough of corruption. Bertha took out Mercado in partnership with Gandara and Sandoval.

O.K. I get it. Brand is hated and dispised. BUT, this is about those under indictment, four of which are current Board members { could well be all 5 }. I can not for the life of me understand why some want Brand fired now, to sit at home and collect his salary, AND HAVE THE CURRENT BOARD SELECT A NEW SUPE ? Do we hate so much that it interfers with logical thinking ?

Brand and the current Board will serve until the voters throw them out. Until then, IT IS WHAT IT IS.

"Gandara and Sandoval wanted this honest and courageous man replace by someone who would " see things their way ", hopefully someone as corrupt and lacking in values just like them. Well, they found that person...BERTHA LOPEZ. Grand Jury testimony from a number of witnesses confirm that she not only accepted money from vendors, but personally sought such donations. Once elected she quickly joined others to feed at the trough of corruption. Bertha took out Mercado in partnership with Gandara and Sandoval."

No disrespect, but will you please show where in the Grand Jury transcripts you found the testimony that supports that contention.

jibaro, unfortunately I have to agree with you about immediate change of the Superintendant and board, what we really need is to have some of the decision making and spending controlled through out these criminal proceedings. Where is the County Board of education censoring the actions of this rogue board and out of control Superintendant?

As for other references to the Brown act, I keep looking for meetings in the transcripts where more than two people on the board are in attendence and really have not seen one, maybe at the Butcher Shop after the Board Meeting? I have not read the part about the tied up vote for the PLA yet, but it is clearly obvious at a board meeting that the "fix" is in for all votes.

Sorry Bertha, even though at this time you try to stand up to the Junta, it's too late, play with the Devil you get burned.

John McCann, you are the lowest of the low, a liar a theif and a disgrace to all of your fellow Service Men, standing on their hard work and sacrifice, the Hero McCann, then you poop on them with your self serving, um, "Public Service" um.

Obviously reading the transcripts, there is no honor amongst theives at SUHSD.

Please review my previous Comment about starting to develop questions or response audit for the existing and future Board members, perhaps it would be a good start to the new Superintendent Search process.

Pay to Play in this district has a double meaning, from pure greed to shakedowns for "Contributions" to selling your integrity not to mention soul to be part of the "Gang of Sweetwater".

Best to you all, in your final come-upence (sp) BBQ

You can talk to Ben Hueso face to face. He has office hours in Chula Vista today, Thursday from 4-7 PM- call 619-409-7690 to RSVP. If you can't make it, at least leave a message stating your outrage at this flagrant abuse of power (past, present and ongoing) Also, Shirley Weber (Assembly member for parts of CV) will have a Town Hall meeting this Sat and a Coffee Chat the weekend before the next board meeting. Hueso -http://sd40.senate.ca.gov/sites/sd40.senate.ca.gov/files/outreach/20130606OpenHouse/sd40-20130606-OpenHouse.pdf Weber - http://asmdc.org/members/a79/district/upcoming-events Sign up for updates -https://lcmspubcontact.lc.ca.gov/PublicLCMS/NewsletterPopup.php?district=AD79

jibaro - bbq

While I have valued both of your comments on the issues of SUHSD I would like to offer up my opinion on two of your views.

It is no secret I am one of the antagonists. For over three years we have attempted to bring about change. Why? some have asked. We uncovered the truth about the operations of Sweetwater. We attempted to go to ALL of the board members, but alas, the only board member who would give us the time of day was Bertha Lopez. The only board member who listened and CHOSE CHANGE was Bertha Lopez. I would ask that both of you research the votes of the board over the past three years, which board member has consistently questioned agenda items, which board member took the time to review the change order situation - the answer is clear Bertha Lopez. YES, Lopez took campaign donations, Yes Lopez attended a few dinners HOWEVER what did she do when she realized what was going on, she took a stand and attempted to bring about the change for the students. Why John Mccann? The testimony clearly shows that Lopez was at odds with the board and they needed that new vote, bottarga boom bottarga bang Johnny Boy starts meeting with key players BEFORE he even announced WHY???? In simple terms when Lopez knew better she did better. Research her votes over the past three years, I have witnessed every one of them for the past three years, that is why, I defend Bertha Lopez.

Now onto BRAND, why on earth would we want to keep an opportunistic perceived liar as the key person that oversees millions of tax dollars? A superintendent who has USED his position to intimidate his employees, USED his position to negotiate deal that are not in the best of interest of our district, USED his position to destroy lives of ROP and Adult Ed students with the smoke cover of no money. We are the ONLY district that took the measure on these two programs that we did. A man who is so despicable in his actions that he quit his job to force the payroll deal he ended up with. Do you need a physical for life insurance! WHY DIDN'T HE? A man who attempted to once again use the back of our students as if they were labor mules to bring in money. CONTEMPT is what I have for this man. He can not even give speakers at board meetings the respect of looking at them as they offer their comments, he instead wil sit there and fumble with speaker cards.

I am NOT content to wait for a new board to send Brand packing, there are others in this community who could easily - -

WALK IN, SIT DOWN, AND ALTER THE COURSE OF THIS DISTRICT - one of them George Cameron. For the record I have met the man once.


jibaro ,bbq, the proof is in the pudding as the saying goes. Your on the wrong scent. Bertha if you look at the indictments was one of the whistle blowers. anniej and I were present at the event that led to the singing in the rain quote and the fifty five million quote was in support of payment for SGI, because of Russo using prop monies for general fund uses. An interesting dilemma. Because of three board members this practice was thwarted even though McCann and Ricasa are self serving lying pigs. This event led to Russo to borrowing Mello Roo monies. I believe if your patient more info will be coming that will help you put the puzzle together. Wait to sell her down the river it's not as incriminating as it seems. Gandara would still be here if not for Bertha,and the rest will only become transparent at trial.

I do not want Brand gone because I hate him or despise him. I hate no one. I want him gone because he serves no man other than himself. This is not about personal vendettas, this is about education. Brand lost sight of his Major Job Objectives LONG LONG AGO.

So anniej, do we want the current Board to fire Brand and then select his replacement ?

I can't really answer for anyone but myself, but I will jump in and say that IMO, if the state and/or the county were to declare Sweetwater in need of 'guidance', and put someone in to ensure that things are run according to the laws and regulations under which the board should function, maybe we could make some progress. If that would remove Ed Brand from a position of authority, fine with me. Then, I would hope, a committee would be formed which would be in charge of transitioning from the overweening corruption and influence-peddling and empire-building scams into a more reasonable format, whereby the students are the focus. A search committee should be separate, and should consist also of members of the community, as well as others more familiar with the educational procedures (not appointees from the ranks of pals of Ed Brand and the cronies).

Maybe some representation from the BOC. Some from teachers in Sweetwater. A middle school student and a high school student. People with varying perspectives, all valid. A diverse group--no overrepresentation from any one ethnicity. People who really want to be a part of change and improvement.

jibaro - My opinion YES, but ONLY after they have LISTENED to public comment. The trials are not set to begin until next February, consider the damage that Brand can do in that amount of time? What will be left to build on?

What deals are being brokered by Brand, Jim Cartmill and Arlie Ricasa as we speak? What monies are being spent, moved, reallocated that we are not aware of? I continue to question ARE WE PAYING FOR LEGAL COSTS? We are not privy to Closed Session, and history has shown what deals have been brokered back in that room.

Brand has TOTAL control - Jim Cartmill owes Brand one, remember Brand helped to bail him out of a bankruptcy. Did a member of Arlie Ricasa's benefit financially from some of the property deals? CD's, accounts that were opened. We read where she allegedly offered to allow a contractor to use her address.

Law making officials listening to, reading, having their representatives attend board meetings? A. Sweetwater law which will use what has/is happening here to stop a replay somewhere else in the state in the future? Maybe we could name it instead the Mccann law, use it as a warning as to what happens when politicians break their election promises. Or perhaps the Cartmill law, a warning of the danger of false prophets. Or last but not least the Ricasa law, a warning of allowing a fox in the students (hen) house of education.

The DA/FBI continuing to follow the board meetings?

There are many splinter groups that are now existence - both sides of the 805, all demographics represented. Jlbaro, hopefully you are a part of one of them. All of us should join one of them. Yes the community is organizing.

The board now has nothing to hide behind, the Grand Jury testimonies have/continue to be read. Just think what will come out on the stand, when/if they take the stand. Surely Jim Cartmill will swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Brand will sit up there and tell the packed house JOHN MCCANN CAME TO ME A FEW DAYS AFTER HE BROUGHT ME BACK AND ASKED ME TO GO TO SGI AND ASK FOR MONEY. And yes, Rene Flores is correct, so did Jim Cartmill and Arlie Ricasa; I was confused when I first said it was Lopez, but now I remember. But both Flores and Brand did agree on JOHN MCCANN ASKING FOR MONEY

I was just forwarded a document which identifies the name of a bank that was used for campaign contributions. Hmmm - bank, branch manager, board

Gotta go, gotta forward this on

CLARIFICATION: I typed in error, it was ONLY John Mccann and JIm Cartmill who asked Brand for money once Mccann brought Brand back, per Mr. Flores.

Not to say Ricasa did not receive money from SGI, but she got it under 'the gandara's' reign. Remember the night 'the gandara' was sent packing. Arlie Ricasa came out from Closed Session visibly shaken and crying.


I understand completely what you are saying, unfortunately even the best people and kids sometimes get lumped in with the people they are associated with.

Bertha, god bless her, she did try to stand up to the Gang but is not strong enough on her own. I do give her credit for that.

I would love to see a reason to fire Brand, however another sweetwater sweetheart deal is too much for me to stomach ...

He says he'll quit if he does not have the backing of the Board, I realize it is another fabrication on his part. I am within inches of starting to run for the Board myself just to piss him off big Ed off.,

The only realistic method of change with a reasonable outcome is recall and I frankly don't know what is needed to get rid of the whole mess of them!!!!

Where is the County Board of Education? I thought it was thier job to oversee the local districts.

The Transcripts are lovely stories of the dishonesty, collusion below the table dealings of this District, why can't we suspend the board's ability to make long term expeditures and agreements, where is the way?

Frustrated but still working on solutions, BBQ

bbq - your efforts and views, your recommended solutions, your attendance at board meetings makes a difference.

Board meeting tomorrow at 7:45 AM - yes you are reading that right.

There's a board meeting tomorrow! SWEETWATER UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING Written notice is hereby given in accordance with Education Code Section 35144 and Government Code Section 54956 that the following special meeting of the Governing Board of the Sweetwater Union High School District will be held and in accordance with Government Code Section 54954.3(a), the board will provide an opportunity for members of the public to directly address the legislative body concerning any item that has been described in the notice for the meeting before or during consideration of that item. DATE: Friday, June 7, 2013 TIME: 7:45 a.m. PLACE: Board Conference Room Administration Center 1130 Fifth Avenue Chula Vista, CA 91911 This meeting will be conducted as a teleconference meeting in accordance with Government Code Section 54953(b) at: 160 Quintard Street Chula Vista, CA 91911.

When I went to the boarddocs, it seemed to indicate this was regarding teacher layoffs. Do you think there is more to it?

It has to do with the ROP teachers who were given lay-off notices. It has to be voted on before June 13 (I think that's the right date) Only 3 board members will be there (or at home -since it's a teleconference at 7:45 in the morning!!!!!) You know who they are and how they'll vote. If you have their phone numbers, please publish them here. I'd like to talk to them.

160 Quintard is Castle Park Middle, who is speaking at Castle Park Middle? My my that is John Mccann. So,,,,,, is John afraid to face the public? Is this yet another trick to avoid us?

Why are those affected, those who are being terminated being left out of this vote because of yet another trick?

Remember folks by law, you have the right to attend ANY and ALL locations. John Mccann will be playing hide n seek no doubt.

Reader 2 - perhaps you might show up at Castle Park Middle and personally speak to Mr. Mccann. He has to be in the Admin office somewhere, a place with a speaker phone, by law you are allowed to be there. Get there early, parking will be difficult. I have a sense that he will have his own personal audience asking him the tough questions like WHY DID YOU ASK BRAND TO ASK FOR MONEY FOR YOU. Those at the board room ask Jim Cartmill the same question. Perhaps Ms. Ricasa might recommend a fine Merlot from BevMO.

It appears John Mccann values little the hard working staff of the City of Chula Vista, he, yet again, put up ILLEGAL SIGNS on city property, down Main Street. But, based on his actions as a board member we get him, it is all about John Mccann - the law, ethics be damned. I went down to do my community service work yet again on Main, but there was a pick up truck in front me cleaning up John Mccanns signs. Many of the parents honked as they drove by with thumbs up.

Passed by Hilltop High this evening and there were McCann signs out as well. I suspect he will put out signs at each graduation in an attempt at self-promotion. In reality it is just whistling past the graveyard.

Now for a taste of sweet revenge - Jaime Mercado, the board member being talked about in all papers, referred to in the Grand Jury testimony, who neither Brand of old or 'the gandara' could buy or manipulate had a HUGE Jaime Mercado for Sweetwater School Board sign IN FRONT OF THE DISTRICT OFFICE - it appears to be on private property. Soooo, it appears that Mercado is in for the long all, and if Brand lasts till the three are gone well bye bye Brand.

Mercado, could be referred to as Jim Cartmill, John Mccann, Ed Brand and Arlie Ricasas alter ego - the honest part of themselves that they never chose to nurture.

So we have one honest candidate, we need just two more! Jim Cartmill, John Mccann, and Arlie Ricasa do NOT have a snowballs chance in hell next time around, and with Mercado on the board, NEITHER does Brand.

Don't ya just love karma?????

I've been following the news and I can't stand it anymore. Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, they outdo themselves. A teleconference at 7:45 am? Sooo, the public has to get up early, while they sit at home in their shorts approving what has already been decided behind closed doors. It's obvious they don't want anyone at this teleconference because they didn't publish the number to call and they confuse people like me by listing two different addresses in the same page. Let's hope whoever wants to go finds the right place.

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