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Yesterday the Union Tribune reported that the home of Gary Cabello, a South County bond manager, had been raided by the district attorney's office. The Carlsbad office of Alta Vista Financial was also raided.

The district attorney has an ongoing investigation into alleged corruption related to proposition bonds, construction companies, and the awarding of contracts in the Sweetwater Union High School and Southwestern College districts.

Alta Vista Financial, according to their website, structures and advises on bond transactions. Their transaction site lists a general obligation bond for Southwestern College for $68,730,311 in 2011. The company also made a refinancing "certificate of participation" transaction for $11,875,000 for Sweetwater in 2006.

Alta Vista gave $25,000 to the campaign to pass Sweetwater's Proposition O for $644 million.

Criticism was directed at Sweetwater for the way contracts were awarded in a 2006 Voice of San Diego article: "Among the bond underwriters who competed to work in Sweetwater, a lower-ranked company, Alta Vista Financial, got moved to the top of the pack because it was a small local firm, Russo [Sweetwater's financial director] said. It was pushed ahead of nine firms with equal or better rankings, even though it had already gotten added points in the ranking for being a local firm."

Whether Alta Vista is a "small local firm" is an interesting question. The firm's website offers this bio of principal Jeffrey Kinsell: "Jeff entered the field of local government finance and project implementation in l975. He has been Managing Principal of Kinsell, Newcomb & De Dios Inc since l990 and recently formed Alta Vista Financial, Inc in order to serve the needs of the Hispanic and minority community."

A 2008 article in the Bond Buyer titled "IRS Cuts a Deal with Kinsell" gives us an indication of the level of business performed by the firm: "The Internal Revenue Service has agreed to close 26 examinations of roughly $800 million of bonds issued by several California school districts without finding the bonds taxable in exchange for $5 million from the lead banker on the controversial deals."

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Comments

anniej May 4, 2012 @ 12:37 p.m.

hmmmm, interesting cast of players in this photo.

it appears that this web of deceit is unravelling by the day. is there any one, i mean any one who 'touched' prop o bond monies that did not attempt to profit from it?

cabello - 'the gandara' - 'the gandara' - cabello cabello - quinones quinones- cabello hernandez- cabello cabello-hernandez i am hearing that mr. cabello was 'dating' a friend of one of our board members wives - just one big happy family, the lot of them. yet, to hear them talk they are as pure as wind driven snow. i would compare the lot to black ice - most treacherous that stuff.

the lady holding the '590', yolanda hernandez, i believe she was part of the previous bond oversight committee, she is also a good friend of 'the gandara'. rumor had it she had been CHOSEN by 'the gandara' to run against board member lopez. you see lopez, for some strange reason called 'integrity', refused to play by the districts apparent rules - and 'the gandara' was simply NOT having it.

thank goodness for the RECALL effort, at least then we will have board members who understand what the roles of a board member are suppose to be - and for those facing RECALL, for ms. quinones - THAT DOES NOT INCLUDE PROFITING FROM DOLLARS THAT ARE SUPPOSE TO BE USED FOR OUR YOUTH!

by the way WHY HAS BOARD MEMBER quinones REFUSED TO CHANGE THE VENUE FOR THE UPCOMING MEETING? guess she continues to fear those 'public comments' she does not want to face. most problematic is her limiting all comments to 2 minutes - but you know what they say when life offers up lemons make lemonade - at her upcoming campaign speeches, included in the information that will be passed out to her community, the emails that will be sent to her community, will include the fact that she limited all PUBLIC COMMENTS, at board meetings, TO 2 MINUTES. historically, the number has been 3 minutes, but quinones is running scared, and scared she should be.

freedom of speech, why is she, as board president, taking that right away from taxpaying Americans? ah, hello, mr. mccann, you know those freedoms you fought for, well one of them was freedom of speech - but that is right the community is speaking out against you as well - so that changes EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!

just my opinion

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erupting May 4, 2012 @ 1:12 p.m.

anniej, you can't be serious. Our pearl doesn't have that kind of courage unless Brandara is setting her up to take another fall. She has always been friendly with the CSEA staff because she relates to them because of her prior job in the ranks. For her to decide that she is going to punish the teachers and community is ridiculous. Trust me she is being set up for another fall. Her new role as tough girl just doesn't quite fit. This new article is interesting. Everyone knows about her friendships with deep pockets. She had to have known that Cabello provided the tickets for the Rose Bowl for Gandara. Remember that Wes Braddock the principal of Mara Vista High School put on his Face Book that Gandara forgot his tickets and Braddock had to retrieve them and take them to Gandara. I'd like to believe she learned from the best, but that wouldn't be true. As you can see from the the DA's paper work she's been at it along time. This gal knows where the deep pockets are and how to get into them. Still I'm saddened that she is doing the Brandara's bidding, but she doesn't seem to know how to think for herself. Alas I fear she may be going off the deep end. I guess she will be the new punisher.

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anniej May 4, 2012 @ 1:36 p.m.

erupting: at least we know that sooner, much sooner than later we will not have to be worried about quinones, mccann, cartmill, ricasa, or brand. they will have been left by the way side - and we will be attending board meetings where the public is welcomed and where the public is listened to - most likely minutes will be added to public comment vs. taken away.

all employees of sweetwater are important, all of them. together they are a family. together they are a force that can not be stopped. however, if they allow the treachery of the board to divide them they will indeed suffer.

it is indeed sad when a board president shows preferential treatment to one group over another. first there was her comment that csea worked 'HARDER' - ah, just my two cents but i believe all sweetwater employees work hard. csea night there was a larger venue and additional time granted. now that it is the teachers time to speak, she wants to limit even the number that will be allowed to attend. yes, folks this is what they do at sweetwater. they are so arrogant that they are limiting the right to speak to those whose lives will now be turned upside down. loss of employment is a life changing event, yet the board sits up there stoic. at the last board meeting when the young counselor stood before those in attendance it broke our hearts, her husband is fighting for this country and she is facing loosing her job - not a dry eye in the house except for the five - mccann, quinones, cartmill, ricasa, and brand. board member lopez was noted to be seen visibly shaken and brought to tears, but not the rest.

ms. quinones will soon learn about 'limited time' - she will be reminded of what it is like to be given only a short time to speak - incarceration is indicative of all kinds of time limits. limited phone calls, limited visitation, limited everything.

one can only imagine what could be done with right leadership i.e. a new superintendent and four new board members - mccann, cartmill, ricasa - RECALL, RECALL, RECALL

quinones - VOTE HER OUTTTTTTTTAAAAAAA HERE!!!!!!

then a NEW SUPERINTENDENT.

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erupting May 4, 2012 @ 1:58 p.m.

anniej, I believe Pearl's attorney already announced that she would be running for office again. Hard to believe that she could possibly win. It really doesn't matter though because her conviction will take her out of office. Do you think she knows that in California you can not stay in office with a felony charge this is not Washington DC. She can't roll on anyone because the contractors are all rolling on her for her greed. I can't believe she is not allowing people to relieve their grief over loosing their jobs. You would think that after it happening to her last year in San Ysidro that he compassion would move her to be even more sympathetic. I guess we all know who she thinks about first, herself.

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Visduh May 4, 2012 @ 4:51 p.m.

Interesting picture there. Is near-morbid obesity a prerequisite for participation in these schemes? Or is everyone near the border just hitting the tortillas and beans too hard? Just think of that photo as one more of "fat cats." So sad that public education has been hijacked by these sleazeballs.

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cvres May 4, 2012 @ 6:49 p.m.

Please Visduh, your comments are often so insightful and sound like they come from a lot of experience, it undercuts their strength when the basis is race or appearance as opposed to actions.

Though we are in total agreement about sleazeballs are sleazeballs.

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Visduh May 4, 2012 @ 7:13 p.m.

Where did race come into my comment? Cultural perhaps, but racial, no. And appearances do tell a great deal about people and their behavior. Don't read things into comments that aren't there.

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cvres May 4, 2012 @ 7:26 p.m.

Thanks for clearing it up for me Visduh. Hopefully for all of us, there is going to be some draining of the pus some time soon.

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anniej May 4, 2012 @ 8:56 p.m.

it is indeed time for the sweetwater district to return to days of old - back when we all smiled when we said the words sweetwater or southwestern.

it appears the end is soon near - all with the knowledge of what went on, the alleged corruption, are talking - soon the healing will begin.

AT LONG LAST, THE HEALING WILL BEGIN

what have i learned from this? i have learned that i can never ever again simply step into that cardboard box and punch a little pin hole and tell myself i have done my civic duty. NO, i must spend the time needed to become educated with the facts. if i agree i must take the time to encourage those in political office that i am in agreement with; if i am of a different opinion i must take the time to list my reasons and speak out.

to all of those who seek office out of a sense of service I SALUTE YOU. you are what is needed. the simple man/woman compelled to give of themselves for the better of us all.

in closing - it is apparent that we went very wrong down here in the south bay, unfortunately for this city, this state, and even the country as a whole many find themselves in the mess we now find ourselves. let this be a lesson to us all to never, ever take our eye off of the prize again. the prize = the fundamental values this nation was founded on.

just my opinion

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Visduh May 5, 2012 @ 8:26 a.m.

One of the handicaps in San Diego County is that the voters are too often detached from their public bodies and agencies. They don't pay attention to what's going on. Read the newspaper? Sure, they follow the Pads, the Bolts, and maybe the Aztecs, but politicians? Fuhgeddabouddit! And then there is the fact that too many of the papers failed to report wrongdoing, and were spinning the news to fit their own prejudices.

My take is that this is true in So Bay in spades. Indifference and a willingness to accept anything/everything is why these two educational districts are in hot water, and why the city of CV isn't far behind. It isn't easy to run a city or a school district these days, folks! (It never has been, but there were times when it didn't appear to be such a struggle.)

A major criminal purge of the baddies in these districts, if nothing much follows, will not really change things all that much. It will toss a bunch of miscreants out of office and soon a new pack will emerge. Any fundamental change must come from voters and parents and civic organizations and responsible, engaged mature individuals who care enough to at least be informed. Better yet, they should be engaged. It will be far harder for So Bay to get it right than most of the county because this involves a complete turnaround from the good-old-amigo way of doing things. Will that come? I will believe it when I see it.

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anniej May 5, 2012 @ 9:27 a.m.

Visduh: you are indeed wise. upon reading your post i took a few minutes to really absorb the last paragraph. i think i have found an answer - hello, prudential - do you have any islands for sale?

i think my friend (hope you do not mind me taking that liberty) you have hit the nail on the head. here dumb little me was thinking once this battle was over the war would be won. for a nanosecond i felt a bit depressed, but then i reflected on the past couple of years and i remembered all of the folks that came forward and continue to come forward with information hoping to help - i reflected on the hard work that it has taken us to get this far. many said we would never rid of ourselves of 'the gandara' but he is gone, due to a collective effort.

all of those i have fought against with my words and information, truth be told i do not wish them any ill will - i JUST WANT THEM GONE, because in my opinion they do not deserve to hold public office. i am quite sure that some of them too are tired and looking forward to it being over, it has taken a toll on everyone involved. take them out of the board room and out of politics and who knows,

  • i will continue with this battle until it is won, after that i may just make that call.
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