In a closed session on January 11, the Southwestern College board suspended their Proposition R program manager, Seville Construction Services. The board also suspended BCA Architects, which was hired to design Southwestern College’s now-infamous corner lot.
Excerpts from the district attorney’s affidavits on the company’s actions, which have the appearance of bid-rigging, were recently reported in the Reader.
Board president Norma Hernandez said the contractor suspensions were “based on the district’s ongoing internal review and the San Diego County [district attorney’s] investigation.”
According to Hernandez, last April, Southwestern “hired an independent external forensics audit expert to examine Proposition R construction contracts and…issues involving the Southwestern [College] Foundation.”
A letter to the editor, recently posted on La Prensa’s website, reads, “We are hearing from a lot of you concerned about why various people have been left out of the DA’s ongoing investigation into the [Sweetwater Union High School District and Southwestern College] corruption…why is nothing being said about Dan Hom and Scott Alevy…?”
The letter-writer sought to remind the public of the controversial dealings Alevy allegedly had with the Sweetwater Union High School District and of Hom's relationships with both Sweetwater and Southwestern College.
Hom is the CEO of a public relations company called Focuscom. He also sat on the Sweetwater Education Foundation board and was VP of the Southwestern College Foundation. Both organizations declare they exist to advance students’ education by offering financial support.
After Southwestern’s foundation gave $75,000 to “Friends of Proposition R,” Hom left the foundation and was hired by “Friends of Yes on Proposition R” to promote passage of the bond.
Proposition R passed in 2008 and Focuscom was given a $100,000 contract by Henry Amigable, former program manager for Seville Construction Services, and Nicholas Alioto, former vice president of Southwestern College. (Alioto’s home was searched during the district attorney’s December 20 raids. Amigable was indicted January 5.)
The $100,000 contract says, among other things, that Focuscom will “isolate and expose extremists” and “control the media.”
Hom and Focuscom are mentioned several times in the district attorney’s affidavits.
Although the company didn’t get the public relations contract until March 9, 2010, Hom became associated with Amigable and Alioto earlier.
On September 2, 2009, Amigable emailed firstname.lastname@example.org and “Dan”: “Nick/Dan My club was able to get me on to the San Diego Country Club this Saturday at 1:00pm. We could meet for lunch around 11:30am there and then go play golf...”
On September 3, 2009, an email from Nicholas Alioto went out to Hom and Amigable, “ps…Henry…I had sent Dan an invite to a little wine and cheese thing at my humble apartment for the evening of the 12th…if you’re available and interested let me know and I’ll get you the details.”
Victoria Rodriguez from Focuscom replied to Henry, “Dan is available. I will put it in his calendar.”
On October 7, 2009, Amigable wrote to Seville Construction Services CEO Jeff Flores: “I will call Morton’s today and see how private we can get without costing an arm and leg. John Wilson said between Dan, me and John we know half the town. Even at Baci’s [Italian restaurant on Morena Blvd.] Dan Hom ran into Chula Vista folks the other night. Luckily nothing to do with our line of work.”
Southwestern promises to release to the public the forensic audit report upon completion.
Image and caption from Focuscom’s Facebook page: “The big-wigs! Sheriff Bill Gore, DA Bonnie Dumanis, [Dan Hom], Supervisor Greg Cox.”