No tough justice for former Southwestern College official

John Wilson’s 16 counts reduced to a single misdemeanor

John Wilson leaving South Bay courthouse April 12, 2013
  • John Wilson leaving South Bay courthouse April 12, 2013

South Bay judge Ana España and district attorney Bonnie Dumanis do not appear to be on the same page.

In a widely viewed January 2012 news report, Dumanis declared that “the widespread corruption uncovered in the South Bay is systemic and pervasive.” She continued: “Today’s charges begin the process of holding those public officials accountable for their actions.”

Former Southwestern College vice president of business affairs Nicholas Alioto and former director of business and operations John Wilson were scheduled to appear in España’s South Bay courtroom for sentencing on January 8. Alioto was unable to appear due to weather — Wilson walked away with a misdemeanor.

Wilson worked for Southwestern College for over 30 years. He oversaw construction for two bond propositions — Proposition AA and Proposition R. Wilson’s career was not without conflict.

According to a 2008 Union-Tribune article, Wilson had a romantic relationship with former trustee Yolanda Salcido. The article quotes from a 2008 grand jury investigation into the college that reads: “The administrator [Wilson] frequently brings major costly projects before the governing board,” the report says. “The trustee [Salcido] has never recused himself/herself on votes involving any of these items nor on the administrator's scope of responsibility nor on salary and benefit increases for the administrator.”

On December 29, 2011, after the district attorney’s office released transcripts from their investigation, the Reader published a story that focused on communication between former program manager Henry Amigable and Jeff Flores (the CEO of Seville Construction Services) and the part played by John Wilson:

4/30/09- “John [Wilson] is taking a low profile on everything else and will do breakfast with me and he and Yolanda Salcido [former SWC board member] will come over to my house for a bar b Que…. In the next month or two he is going to try and put the selection committee together with individuals who know me.”

6/10/09- “Just spoke to John, went really well…he said RFP [request for proposal] will be coming out very quickly just make sure we got a good proposal to him and good rates.”

7/15/09- “I worked with John Wilson on the RFP this afternoon until late…he is meeting with his new boss Nicholas Alioto tomorrow morning.… I ended up making all the changes while on campus went to print shop to get it printed and hand deliver it.”

7/22/09- “I think to start he just wants program director and one or two people. Let’s get the program the way John wants it and we will grow it later after John retires.”

9/4/09- “John Wilson from Southwestern College has asked me to put a scoring sheet for the reviewers to use when they evaluate the submitted proposals. He wanted 10 questions….”

10/7/09- “John Wilson cautioned us on dinner Thursday night, he said we need to go somewhere none of our competition sees us. He is really afraid that since this is a big deal if anyone was to see us they would report it to one of the board members since the RFP specifically states not to contact people like John or Nick. [The University] Club is too high profile to many big wigs hang out there.... I will call Morton’s today and see how private we can get…. John Wilson said between Dan [Hom, who subsequently got the public relations contract for Proposition R] and John we know half the town.”

Although initially charged with over 16 counts — including receiving a bribe, conflict of interest, filing a false instrument, perjury, conspiracy to defraud — in a December 6 readiness hearing, Wilson’s charges were reduced to a single felony.

Then, prior to the sentencing this week, Wilson’s attorney, Kevin McDermott, moved to have the felony reduced to a misdemeanor. The district attorney’s office filed arguments against the motion to reduce.

In court, McDermott argued on Wilson’s behalf that there had been “a rush to judgment.” He referred to Wilson’s long years of service and the many letters of support Wilson received from former colleagues. According to McDermott, Wilson has been giving back to the community through volunteer work since his retirement.

In the end, McDermott argued, Wilson was guilty of “an error in judgement, not necessarily an error in character.”

In a surprising moment, Carla Kirkwood, a professor at Southwestern College, asked to address the judge. She said she had initiated the investigation, that she had taken the district attorney’s office over 2000 pieces of paperwork and information gathered from at least 30 colleagues at Southwestern.

She said that while she bore no personal malice toward Wilson, the college and the students had suffered while the corruption and mismanagement took place. Kirkwood said this was more than “just an error in judgment” and that during the extended period of time while these actions were occurring, the college was put on academic probation, classes were cut, and any employees who questioned what was going on were disciplined or dismissed.

Kirkwood told the judge “punishment is supposed to be a deterrent.” She asked what message a lenient punishment would send to people who might commit such crimes and what people who could bring criminal activity to light might otherwise do.

Before sentencing, España said, “This is my community. I attended that college. I love that college and I understand that this has seriously damaged Southwestern.”

España acknowledged that Wilson had accepted gifts and help from Amigable writing the request for proposal (which ultimately got Amigable the job.)

In mitigation, however, España suggested that Wilson did not set out to destroy the college and that he had worked for the college for 30 years. Further, she argued that Wilson might not have received adequate instruction in filling out his 700 form (statement of economic interests).

España concurred with the argument that Wilson’s attorney proffered: “It was a huge error in judgement,” she said, “that lasted a number of years.”

Finally, she granted Wilson an “aggravated misdemeanor.” In addition to a $7994 fine, Wilson will have to perform 20 days of public work service and will not be allowed to work for any local schools.

Alioto’s sentencing has been moved to January 30. When asked if Alioto might also seek a misdemeanor, deputy district attorney Leon Schorr replied, “Probably.”

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I question Judge Espana's weak sentence and the 'bargaining' down to misdemeanor the felonies. By her own admission his transgressions 'lasted a number of years' yet he is serving mere hours of trash pick up.

What message has this Judge sent to the students of Southwestern and to the community at large?

One can only imagine the difference IF the LARGEST CORRUPTION CASE IN SAN DIEGO HISTORY would have been heard downtown.

I would like to publicly THANK Bonnie Dumanis, Leon Schorr, Vincent Giaime and all other staff members who attempted to bring justice to the taxpayers of the South Bay. THEY and the FBI saw the 'alleged' corruption as a cancerous affliction - unlike Judge Espanaa who appears to have seen the case as a mere nuisance vs. a major crime.

Of course he has been volunteering since his indictment, what do you think he paid all that money to his lawyer for - case preparation. 'Now John, we want to make you out to be a choir boy, volunteer, I don't care where, it will look good to the judge' - by golly he hit that nail on the head!!!!!

When you do the crime you had better be prepared to do the time - that is unless you appear before this Judge!

White crime usually gets treated with kids' gloves.

I suppose someone should take a long look at the judge's community ties, campaign contributions, etc. Oh, wait, Hear no evil, See no evil and Sweep the corruption under the carpet. No problem, it's business as usual in Chula Vista.

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!

"In mitigation, however, España suggested that Wilson did not set out to destroy the college and that he had worked for the college for 30 years. Further, she argued that Wilson might not have received adequate instruction in filling out his 700 form (statement of economic interests)."

This is so totally unbelievable; a criminal case Judge accepting "ignorance of responsibility" as a defense for committing a felony.

"He was accused, for instance, of taking tickets to a San Diego Chargers game against the Kansas City Chiefs and a series of meals with tabs as high as $800 from a contractor whose company he later recommended for a $2.7 million contract." (SDUT)

The instruction on the Form 700 are as clear, concise, and understandable as is possible. How the Judge can come to that conclusion after all the individual incidents that led to John Wilson being charged with all those crimes is totally unbelievable.

Judge España has singlehandedly undone years of hard work by the prosecutor's office and the public in turning this very serious breach of "public trust" into a joke. She has set into place the very defense the rest of the perps can now freely use to absolve their guilt as well. How she can not dismiss charges against any other who are being charged with failing to comply on their 700 Forms is beyond me. Afterall, if they were too hard for John Wilson to understand, they are obviously too hard for everyone else.

"España concurred with the argument that Wilson’s attorney proffered: “It was a huge error in judgement,” she said, “that lasted a number of years.”

No Judge España, it was criminal behavior “that lasted a number of years.”

Yes,Mr. Brickley, indeed it was it was criminal behavior. So sad that her honor looks the other way in order to avoid a labor-intensive trial that this perp, and others deserve. This is all about avoiding the extra work for the judge that bringing the criminals to trial where they would surely have had to face their community peers.

John Wilson had a high administrative position, one that commanded the highest of ethics. Instead, his performance was of the lowest kind, taking all he could get. He owed everything to Southwestern College and yet gave it nothing but stealing whatever he could get. Dr. Kirkwood did her best to argue for the community..it was too bad Johnny Wilson does not understand what that is all about. Judge Espana may 'love' the college, but what about the taxpayers who have funded Wilson's escapades? "Huge error in judgment?" ...no your honor, a huge ripoff of the community's taxpaying public.
Judge Espana, we understand your aversion to having to hold the trials that the public deserves in these serious matters of criminal taking of the public's money. We do not applaud your decision and wish you would take more responsibility in your role as a judge.

I wonder why this judge claims she "loves" the college...did she attend the school? Or maybe she just appreciates their fundraising galas?

Perhaps Judge Espana is really communicating to the public that she does not understand what judgeship is as well as what judgment is...perhaps it has never been completely explained to her?

Or--perhaps she wants to go lightly on all these people, as she thinks that is the nice thing to do?

Or perhaps someone DID explain something to her, i.e. that going lightly on these people would pay off down the line?

Choose your favorite. None of the above possibilities demonstrate much skill, knowledge or ethics on the part of the judge. What a shame for her and what a shame for our community. And especially, what a shame for all the school districts that have these blood suckers working for themselves as they pretend to be working for the students and the betterment of society.

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.

Nickdanny, I do not believe Chris Moran (former UT reporter who once covered Southwestern College) is in any way related to Greg Moran....they may even be different races. I believe Chris is now working as a journalist out of state when he was offered a better career opportunity there during one of the UT's downsizing in the early 2000's.

I do not believe Chris Moran was in any way complicit with Zasueta...and know personally that Zasueta was inept dealing with the press and afraid of reporters. I also knew Chris Moran and do not believe he was ever anything a good and ethical journalist.

You may recall that the Prop AA case was about Zasueta and Remer's conspiracy to pay for the production of a Prop AA commercial with public money (which is illegal) and then claim that the college money used was to buy 'outtakes' for use in film production classes. Zasueta risked (and lost) his college presidency for the $6,000 he could have easily raised in a post-election 'reduce the debt' campaign. Instead he and Remer faced the Feds (wire fraud because the production company was out of state) in the Federal Court. The Feds seem to be able to bring their perps to meaningful trials, whereas our DA gets them indicted and then so-called local judges are more willing to plea bargain down to nothing in order to avoid the labor ---- effort and work ---- to supervise trials.

Judge Espana gets to clear her docket with every plea she bargains. I fully believe that the presiding judge in downtown superior court fully understood the work load of having so many indictments and so many counts at one time and chose to 'shuffle them off to south county' where they would quietly go away. So far, Judge Espana is doing just that.

Well, it has become evident that we have a whole bunch of (Insert your favorite group) Yuppies, Gen X, Me generation, who have been let off the hook for ETHICS.... Gee Officer I did not know I have to stop at a red light.

I guess we could blame the lack of ethics on education, church scandals, poor parenting, professional politicians, but the number one thing is the lack of empathy on the part of the wrong doers, the lack of pride in their contribution to society as a whole and finally a public that does not care enough to see proper punishment/retribution for these seemingly small "disgressions" in judgement.

When the accused nor the judge see the big picture of a little bit here and a little bit there, the expectations of our officials gets eroded to the point it must be OK. Also they, politicians/judges/public officials forget that if they each take a little it adds up to a bunch.

We have officials like Mr. Wilson, who through a career at a public institution was paid in the neighborhood of $3,000,000 salary (30 yrs, average $100,000, of our tax money), in charge of multiple million dollar projects and he cops a plea that he did not know how to fill out a 700 form. What about conflict of interest forms most of us have had to sign for years in Corporate America?

This whole saga is just the tip of the iceburg of corruption, under the table dealings and good-old-boy networking rife in San Diego County, especially here in the southern part of the county. We have been given a dis-service by the lack of proper review of these cases and judgements by judge Espana. We have been given a dis-service by our public employees and we have been given a Dis-service by our elected officials for their lack of commitment to the public and their what's in it for me attitudes.

ETHICS, should not be a fairy tale, it should be the foundation of all our lives and institutions. BBQ

How does one hold a judge accountable? To whom does she report?
Espana ran unopposed for her current position.

This certainly answered the questions and comments about The DA and Dumanis. This leniency to all these people belongs in Espana's court so to speak. I guess the community's wasted monies and voices for over four years have fallen on deaf ears. The issues are not about 700 forms it's about selfish self serving use and manipulation of bond monies.Thus far Ricasa has received the sweetest deal. Everyone thought myself included that the sweet deal was because she would be the star witness against Gandara,Quinones,Cartmill and Sandoval. I guess we know better now. Everyone can deal with fines over #700 forms that's in the paper and on the news daily. But to say you are a part of this community and render decisions like this is not what this community expected. We expected our day in court and got nothing. I'm not republican but Dumanis and the DA's office worked very hard to get nothing. If there would have been a trial it in all likely hood would have taken years to happen. No wonder the DA's office wanted it downtown.

You are either part of the solition or part of the problem. This judge Espana should step down and let someone who understands what laws are written for preside over the remainder of the cases. Time to turn in your robe young lady.

If we as a community can not trust the courts to protect us then who do we have to turn to? Move the boundaries of our country a few miles north and this case is similar to the justice system to the south of us. Judge Espana took deliberate action is stating she lives in this community. She is not someone I am proud to call neighbor.

Judge Espana was appointed by 'THE ARNOLD' in 2008, then reelected in 2010. Her term will expire in 2017.

I don't often get interested in judicial elections, but it sounds like this one in 2017 is one to pay attention to.

Jill Jones? McCann? Brand?

So, it appears the VERY THOUGHT of Ms. Adato sitting up there at the dais has your Fruit of the Loom tighty whiteys in a knot.

Perhaps you might want to tell the 'entire' story.

This 'smear' against a Foundation that GIVES to the students vs. TAKES. Shame, shame.

Remember the community member who dared to speak at a Board meeting and had her employer called? Remember the ESI investigation of another female community member? Remember McCann's failed protective order against yet another community member? Remember all of the reported letters many community members have received in a perceived effort to silence them?

Adato has demanded accountability, it appears certain persons are adverse to this.

The Foundation GIVES to students in an effort to help them in their educational efforts what a novel concept.

The Foundation is NOT being audited by the IRS - SUHSD is in the midst of such an audit Prop O and L street. You know the audit that we found out about via Channel 10 vs. the Board.

Community members ask yourselves this question - are these the kind of persons we want as Board members or Superintendent, persons who will go to ANY lengths to keep the alleged corruption alive and well?

Which foundation are you talking about?

SBCS has a lot of fingers in many funding pots, and a high overhead for staff...

The once, all and powerful Sweetwater education fund (or whatever it's proper name was), Ed's little slush pot?

Which foundation is the real giver to the students, without a lot of overhead for it's staff?

Sorry, I only hear about the bad Foundations. BBQ

I would like to ask that ANY and ALL persons contacted on behalf of the District/Brand via a letter, ESI (card left or PI spoken to) or Attorney representing SUHSD regarding your comments, your actions, your attendance at Board meetings, contact me.

Time to bring this era of intimidation to an end.

I'm missing something here, was there another issue with Board intimidation against Ms. Adato? BBQ

bbq - read Jill Jones' comment at the top.

This is an old story dating back to 2011, it was yet another attempt to discredit any community or his/her affiliations who dares to call for transparency.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black, was it not Ed Brand who left the first time after a Grand Jury Investigation into Prop BB?

Was it not John McCann who hired an attorney, or OUR dime to file an order of protection and a ridiculous 'theft' accusation against community members who DARED to challenge his lack of representation as a Board member?

Again I say folks, IS THIS THE BEST WE HAVE?

“It’s the largest public corruption case our office has ever prosecuted — systematic and pervasive.” Bonnnie Dumanis, May 11, 2012

Well, it just got larger.

Miss Jones you embarrass yourself and those you represent. These acts of intimidation referred to should be brought forward and investigated

Jill when I read your first comment I was confused as to what this bogus crap you brought up has to do with the article people are posting about. After reading the last post it was obvious what your real intentions were about. A picture of Bertha and your comment about politics. It appears your upset that Ms.Adato has been asked to apply for the vacant board seat. Jill please run back up the hill and see what Tim Tim is up to and let us continue with the real discussion. Jealousy doesn't become you.

Oldchularesident - honesty, integrity, service to ones country has no date stamp. The remark aimed at you, par for the course. However, something tells me you do not need protecting.

Taxpayers being investigated by a superintendent via their very own taxes - yes, definitely worth a look. How much money? Ordered by who? Approved by who? Exactly what was investigated, where are the reports of those investigated and where are the bills? Betcha I know of a couple of entities that have the power to find out.

bbq - if you google Eastlake Educational Foundation of Chula Vista you will be able to ascertain the many good works of this organization. What greater venture is there - giving to youth the gift of Educational benefits?

Reading all the foregoing comments tells me that the people who take time to make such comments are bewildered. They thought the crooks would get their comeuppance in court, and now they see that will not happen. It is hard to tell who is "wobblier" than the other in these cases. The DA bargains multiple felonies and a handful of misdemeanors down to a single count--in this case it was a felony--and the judge further reduces that to a misdemeanor and hands out a non-sentence.

If you had any hopes left that some people would see jail time and/or a stiff fine, they are gone, gone with the wind. None of them will do a single day in jail. Most may be allowed to keep jobs and their seats on the boards.

oskidoll wants to blame this on too much work for a lazy judge. Nope, it is far worse than that. That judge is part of the culture of corruption that has allowed this attitude to take root in So County, and she can no more get tough than she can fly. And all that after taking many months to review the cases. But don't blame it all on her. The plea bargains that she signs off are brought by the DA. They have both gone mushy on the cases, and all the tough talk by Bahnee D was just that: talk. No walk.

The true value of these indictments and pleas would have been to send out the word all round the state that crooked board members, supes, and other educrats could expect to really suffer for their crimes. The message now is that if you get caught, nothing much will happen. And a legion of crooks in the state who were wavering about what they could grab now know that they can take the risk. Lots to gain, little to lose.

I hate to say I told you so, but I did say months ago that the resolution of this has to come at the ballot box. Sounds simple, but this is the school district that reelected two board members who were already indicted, and both continue to serve on the board. In just about any district that I know about, both would have resigned immediately upon the indictment. But, hey, that's in the universe we live in. They live in a parallel place where everything is backward.

Visduh, it is as if open season has been declared on decency in public office and administrations in these three school districts in south San Diego County.

And the judge...who probably was appointed without working hard enough to really respect that appointment. No gravitas, no wisdom, too, too ready to be a political stooge.

What a shame on her, her family, people who helped her along her journey thinking that it was an honorable journey.

Now it is all just part of the sickening mess of south bay politics. The rancid, stinking cesspool that was once school districts we could be proud of.

Foe their parts Ed Brand and his loyal voting buddies Jim Cartmill and John McCann aught to be very proud of themselves for all they have done. Producing such a vast quantity of undeniably bad decisions that take the funds away from those for whom they were meant is really quite an accomplishment.

How much is being built now? What is being repaired and maintained now? What is happening to all those properties that Sweetwater purchased in confusing and manipulative ways, that we taxpayers are on the hook for--but don't really own? Because ownership went to a corporation of "unlisted"--unlisted at least to the public who happens to be paying for this and all the other Ed Brand messes.

Is there anyone out there who really gives a rip that we are being robbed blind in Sweetwater?

My point was, and is, that the judge is part and parcel of this problem. I never said she has too much work; I said that she chose to accept the pleas in order to avoid the pesky work of actually managing so many trials with so many indictment counts.....which one might say is her job.

I also believe that the process was orchestrated by the presiding judge of the superior court in San Diego who also chose to toss the whole kit and caboodle into the South County Court so it would just 'go away'. Judges are paid handsomely (by guess who? us again) and some would rather take the pleas and clear their calendars.

I agree that the issues are greater than just the judges, but they have the ultimate power to send the message we all wanted to hear, and the message that would ring loud and clear among those in public office who would be tempted by the easy pickin's in public coffers.

I also agree that the ultimate resolution is the ballot box....not only for the sitting perps, but for the judge as well.

It is a laugh to think that she has too much work. Seriously. It's her job. Period.

Thanks for the clarification. If you're right about this judge, it would mean she doesn't think she can conduct a proper trial on these charges. Strong arm robbery, assault, and other street crimes are easy, but bribery is hard? eastlaker has it right. She should be ashamed, and should resign from the bench and go back to doing divorces or whatever it was she did prior to being appointed to the bench. It IS her job to be the judge in these cases, and she can have as much time as she needs to conduct the trials, come what may. Wouldn't it be ironic if, after doing everything/anything to avoid presiding over trials in these cases that one or more of the players refuses a plea bargain and insists upon a trial? If/when that happens, we will get a chance to see just what sort of judge she is.

I believe this runs past the South County. When the issue of the "700 forms" first came out in the open, other Board Members in other districts quckly ran to "amend" their filings to avoid being caught at the very same events and for accepting gifts from the very same people.

These tools will spend less time and money paying restitution for their CRIMES than many good people have spent of their own time and financial means to document their misdeeds.

This judge clearly doesn't understand that the losers here are kids in public school--some of whom are on the very edge of risk. Those who have the very most to lose, compared to those who say, somehow manage to attend University of San Diego to collect a law degree.

This is beyond disturbing.

eastlaker - 'is there anyone out there who really gives a rp that we are being robbed blind in Sweetwater?' Why yes 'they' would be Ed Brand and certain members of the board.

Case in point - just when we finally have a chance to begin to turn the tide and place members of the public that we can trust sitting at the dais I have no doubt that there is major plotting going on. Brand sees the next ten (10) months as his opportunity to further feather that golden parachute - if it were possible to out lipstick on a pig and call it human I am of the opinion he wold do so to get the votes he needs and wants.

McCann, Cartmill and ? - word on the street the bushes are being beaten. Grossman candidate number 1, McCanns campaign manager candidate number 2????? As I read the flyer detailing quotes from Grossmans book I, once again, shook my head with disgust why in the world would any person with integrity support such a person for a school board seat. But alas this is SUHSD we are talking about.

"I told Ed he was crazy for staying, hell he doesn't need the money" - words spoken to me recently by a 'mover and shaker'. "He is not the man I knew and respected back in the day". NO SIR HE IS NOT! When I find myself in conversations such as this I am amazed how little knowledge such people have about what is really going on within the District. It appears that education of the youth of the South Bay has become an unimportant topic to those who should remember 'where they came from and how they got there',


I received what I perceive as a 'form' letter from our Board of Ed representative Ms. Neylon - part of it referenced a memo dated in November. Let us remember this name, next time you see it with a box next to it - do not fill in the box.

Email sent to board president Jim Cartmil on filling Arlie's vacant seat. Will he do the right thing, or will it be business as usual?


Happy New Year. I hope you had a great holiday season!

With an open board seat, now is the time to practice transparency in our district.

When I was the District Advisory Chair at the Chula Vista Elementary School District, there was an open board seat. At the time, the Board and Superintendent Lowell Billings did a great job of using a transparent process to fill the seat. They created a committee of 7 members to review applications of interested candidates. This committee included 2 board members and 5 community members and/or parents involved in district committees. The selection process for this committee was open and transparent, and included a few parents that were critical of the district.

I was on that committee. We had clear requirements and expectations of what we were looking for in the 5 finalists we were to recommend for interviews amongst the 25 who applied. We used a score sheet to grade the candidates. We came to a consensus on those finalists, and recommended them to the Board for interviews. They were interviewed by the Board during open session, and ultimately Douglass Luffenbrough was chosen.

I recommend you use a similar open process. With all the controversies we have going on in our school district, now is the time to do the right thing. Whoever is selected will not please everyone, but if you use an open and transparent process, at least all will be able to see how the decision is made.

Jim, with your trial coming up next month, this may be your last chance to do the right thing for our district and leave a positive finish on your legacy as a Trustee.

If you decide to use some secretive process to select the candidates, please do not allow Ed Brand to decide who they will be. He has proven time and again he does not have the districts best interests in mind, only his.

After another follow up email Jim Cartmill, i received a call from Board Clerk Deanne Vicedo advising of the special meeting. Not sure if my emails prompted this, but its a step in the right direction. We need to demand the entire selection process is transparent!

Bvavsvavev - this surprises you? You must be of the impression that OUR Board members and OUR Superintendent care about howmthey are perceived vy the students, community/voters. At a recent Board meeting District personnel were advised that they should proceed with caution before sending emails.

The only Board Member to ever respond in writing has been Lopez. Cattmill has returned calls. Quinones did answer when I called her.

McCann, now pleader of guilt Ricasa - neither have EVER contacted me - not by phone, not by email, not by US Postal Serv, nor by Pony Express - although I did see a carrier pigeon flying over my home a couple of times.

SOOOOOO, here we are Friday early evening and the District has posted a SPECIAL Board Meeting Tuesday at 4:30 to discuss filling the vacancy.

Now, wouldn't you have thought that this should:

1- have been a part of the original Board Meeting posting earlier in the week, thereby giving us, the voters, time enough to plan to be there?

2- have been scheduled at a time when WORKING voters are available to attend and speak publicly?

Those of you monitoring SUHSD - this serves as yet another example of the LACK of transparency and RESPECT of the voting public.

Someone should email Mr. Cartmill requesting the meeting be changed to a more public-friendly time of 6 or 6:30, in a venue that can hold the public. In the interest of public transparency. Of course, a CC must be sent out to all TV and News outlets, including McCann's favorite reporters as well. In the interest of public transparency. The gauntlet needs to be thrown.

I am disappointed, but not surprised. I have learned not to expect sober behavior from a drunk, or in this case, ethical behavior from those who have none.

It would be a good strategy to make copies of the Board's own bylaw regarding filling a vacancy and distribute them at the door to all who attend the meeting. That way, everyone present can be informed of the steps the Board is supposed to take to fill the vacancy and need not rely on Ed's interpretation of the rule.

missionaccomplished - you are correct, however, in these alleged 'corruptive' white collar crimes unfortunately, innocent students were the victims.

Barbara Stevens - one thing about the Internet, EVERYTHING can be found out. Facebook does not take kindly to fake personas and have been known to block such IP addresses. Names ONCE respected, devious deeds revealed publicly, OH MY!!!!!!! How will they explain their strings being pulled by the puppeteer? How will they explain support of a superintendent who the community wants gone and the attacks on a Foundation that has given so much. Amazing isn't it Brand sits back while his puppets put their very reputations on the line by doing his bidding. He will drive home up North yet they will remain to walk and live amongst us and be expected to answer the question WHY WOULD YOU DO SUCH A THING?

I have been thinking about the process of Board member replacement and keep following up on the Ethics and conflict of interest issues. I wonder did Ed Brand sign a conflict of interest agreement when he was hired or as I have to do every year?

If so isn't there a conflict of interest if he recommends or indorses candidates to fill open board slots? These are the people that not only pay him, but evaluate him.

One would think that whenever he puts or recommends someone for a committee he is influencing the outcome of that committee's decision, or at least having someone from his inner circle reporting back to him of committee discussions, ie a fly on the wall so to speak.

The same thing holds true whenever he himself sits on a committee that is to decide one of his decisions or proposals, where is the open unbiased public decision or forum? No doubt he should present his vision and rationale for a proposal but to have him part of the debate or discussion is a questionable practice.

Basically the tenents of the board and the board rules or at least the current interpretation of the rules are stacked up against the public and transparency, they are all in favor of the Superintendant and adminstration.

I recommend that we, as a public show up at Tuesday's meeting and strive to strike or remove any adminstration or superintendant input to the Board Replacement or future Committee make up.

Other than the previous manipulation of elections and the weak ethics of our current Board, it is time to take back SUHSD.

See you Tuesday, BBQ, CAVE, Citizens Active for Value in Education, (What do you think Ed?)


You describe a Tokyo Rose. She was not listened to either.

Anniej, again, as always, thanks for what you are doing. And thank you to all who are actively standing up against this inbred corruption.

I recommend that Judge Espana take a good look at the plaque of remembrance that honors judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys who significantly contributed to criminal Justice in San Diego County.

The plaque was dedicated in 2008 in the Hall of Justice (main courthouse) at 330 W Broadway, San Diego. I suggest she ask herself if those honored on that plaque would have taken the easy way out in handling multiple trials for corrupt public officials.

"A civilization will be judged on the manner in which it enforces its criminal laws."

oskidoll - from your fingertips to Judge Espana's ears.

Many in the South Bay are truly bewildered. We are drowning in alleged corruption and just when we have faith that those that cared enough to investigate (DA's) office the judge ceremoniously pulls the rug out from beneath us.

Judge Epana is allegedly quoted as saying 'Wilson did not hurt Southerestern' - what realm of reality does Her Honor operate in? Surely it must be a parallel universe where civilized societies law breaking has no consequences.

We can only hope that the SUHSD indictees will be held responsible,

While the Judge may not believe anything 'that wrong' has taken place, WE DO!!!!!

When a community looses faith in a Judge that hears criminal cases such as these, what have we?

We have a suspicion of pan-system corruption. We have thoughts that NONE of the elected and appointed officials in this part of the county really care one iota for the constituency. They are all only in it for themselves, their remuneration, whatever side-deals they can arrange and for publicity and support for future positions. A pox on all their houses!

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