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Secret Coziness Between Seville Construction Services and Southwestern College Revealed

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.

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Comments
10

Amigable did head up the initial Seville-Gilbane Construction Group that oversaw Sweetwater's Proposition O work.

Dec. 29, 2011

There are a lot more people involved than these two. Terri Valladolid and Yolanda Salcido are almost certainly guilty of breach of public trust. Others like Mary Salas have also political relationships with Seville.

Dec. 29, 2011

That's interesting...though kind of far reaching??? I wasn't aware that Salas had any particular relationship with the company.

Dec. 29, 2011

ms. luzzaro: didn't you report a while back that when seville was granted the suhsd bid that it was not ranked 1,2, or 3?

Dec. 29, 2011

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.

These losers beong oin prison, and I have a feeling that is where they are going.

Dec. 29, 2011

Yes, SurfPup, they belong in prison, but it will require Bahnee D to prosecute them with some vigor. I really don't expect that. But I must admit that this investigation caught me by surprise; I'd never have thought there would be prosecutor scrutiny of any of this. Perhaps wonders never cease, or this may just be a case of corruption that was so blatant and flagrant that it could not be ignored. I'll believe all this when the grand jury comes back with an indictment or two or three or more, or the DA files charges that mean something, or the FBI jumps in.

Dec. 29, 2011

as i reviewed those pdf's on the ut i was overcome with a sense of anger and disbelief. i thought these kinds of shenanigans only happened in the movies - who would have believed we had our own organized little group of crooks here in the south bay.

whether they are prosecuted or not, we now have proof of what we knew all along. it is time to wipe the board clean - and that includes the superintendent. our children/students deserve better.

i want my tax dollars being spent by those who have fiduciary responsibility not by some thieving band of of pick pockets who are smiling in my face, spewing speeches of how much they care about our students, while they are robbing me and my childs education blind.

Dec. 30, 2011

Visduh, your comments echo what I have been hearing. What will be the outcome of the searches and warrants? The Union Tribune had an editorial today that essentially asks the same question but then says it might come down to "soul searching."

Dec. 29, 2011

Sjtorres is right regarding Mary Salas. A couple of websites that list campaign contributions report her receiving $3900 from Seville in 2010. See "votesmart" or "electiontrack".

Dec. 30, 2011

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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.

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Comments
10

Amigable did head up the initial Seville-Gilbane Construction Group that oversaw Sweetwater's Proposition O work.

Dec. 29, 2011

There are a lot more people involved than these two. Terri Valladolid and Yolanda Salcido are almost certainly guilty of breach of public trust. Others like Mary Salas have also political relationships with Seville.

Dec. 29, 2011

That's interesting...though kind of far reaching??? I wasn't aware that Salas had any particular relationship with the company.

Dec. 29, 2011

ms. luzzaro: didn't you report a while back that when seville was granted the suhsd bid that it was not ranked 1,2, or 3?

Dec. 29, 2011

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.

These losers beong oin prison, and I have a feeling that is where they are going.

Dec. 29, 2011

Yes, SurfPup, they belong in prison, but it will require Bahnee D to prosecute them with some vigor. I really don't expect that. But I must admit that this investigation caught me by surprise; I'd never have thought there would be prosecutor scrutiny of any of this. Perhaps wonders never cease, or this may just be a case of corruption that was so blatant and flagrant that it could not be ignored. I'll believe all this when the grand jury comes back with an indictment or two or three or more, or the DA files charges that mean something, or the FBI jumps in.

Dec. 29, 2011

as i reviewed those pdf's on the ut i was overcome with a sense of anger and disbelief. i thought these kinds of shenanigans only happened in the movies - who would have believed we had our own organized little group of crooks here in the south bay.

whether they are prosecuted or not, we now have proof of what we knew all along. it is time to wipe the board clean - and that includes the superintendent. our children/students deserve better.

i want my tax dollars being spent by those who have fiduciary responsibility not by some thieving band of of pick pockets who are smiling in my face, spewing speeches of how much they care about our students, while they are robbing me and my childs education blind.

Dec. 30, 2011

Visduh, your comments echo what I have been hearing. What will be the outcome of the searches and warrants? The Union Tribune had an editorial today that essentially asks the same question but then says it might come down to "soul searching."

Dec. 29, 2011

Sjtorres is right regarding Mary Salas. A couple of websites that list campaign contributions report her receiving $3900 from Seville in 2010. See "votesmart" or "electiontrack".

Dec. 30, 2011

Sign in to comment

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