Affidavits were released on December 28 that detailed the San Diego DA’s motivations for the December 20 raids on former and current trustees of the Sweetwater Union High School District, contractors associated with them, and Southwestern College boardmembers.
Striking excerpts come from Southwestern-related documents. The two main characters are Henry Amigable, who was Seville Construction Service’s program manager for Southwestern College’s Proposition R funds, and John Wilson, director of Southwestern’s business and operations. Wilson oversaw the projects and was one of three people who decided on awarding contract bids.
While other companies were scrambling to put together bids, Amigable’s company was seemingly being prepped by Wilson to win. Before the call for bids on the project went out in September 2009, Amigable wrote Jeff Flores, CEO of Seville Construction Services — which continues to be the program manager for Proposition R.
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.”
On 10/23/2009, the D.A’s report reads, “Wilson and Nick Alioto, Vice President of Business Operations are members of a three person selection panel which interviews the ‘short listed’ firms for final evaluation. They inform Amigable that [Seville Construction Services] has been selected.”
11/16/09 “Let’s make sure we get the College’s okay to release this press release, since we are using both Dr. Chopra and John Wilson in the content. Also, if there is a way to get Nick Alioto’s name in there it will play to his ego. We will be reporting directly to Nick.”
11/19/09 Amigable wrote, “Our Contract was approved!!!!! After two and half hours of students and staff beating up the board over classes being cut and teachers being reprimanded. We finally got to the agenda around 9:45…. Board member Nick Aguilar was the only one who brought up an issue, his issue was why would we select the firm that was not the lowest bidder…”
Later in the agenda: “Again Nick Aguilar had issues…John Wilson warned me about this…. His first question was: Is any officer or owner of [Seville Construction Services] related or in a relationship with any employee at SWC. [Newspapers reported board member Salcido and Wilson were in a romantic relationship.] Although we had no worries in…Board Member Yolonda Salcido (a friend) stepped in and read him the riot act…board member Jorge Dominguez (a friend) who you can see is tired of the discussion and calls to question the motion which effectively shuts down Nick.”
The construction project was eventually approved by the Southwestern College board, 4-1.
Pictured: Jeff Flores and John Wilson at a Southwestern College Education Foundation Fundraiser called "Havana Nights." The photo was briefly posted on Southwestern's website; when things started hitting the fan, it was taken down. The pictures were retrieved and saved by an anonymous SWC employee.