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A rumor began to circulate this week on the Southwestern College campus that Henry Amigable was no longer managing the $389 million construction and reconstruction projects generated from Proposition R.

In November 2009, Seville Construction Services, Inc., was chosen by the Southwestern College governing board as the Proposition R program manager. Amigable, who had recently joined Seville, was named as program director.

Governing board president Tim Nader said in a January 25 interview, “I can tell you for sure that Amigable is no longer Seville’s program director.” Nader said the college doesn’t have any control regarding Seville’s personnel matters; however, he believes they would take the board’s thoughts into consideration.

Bond expenditures and links between college administrators and contractors were often criticized last year by the South Bay community group Crossroads II and the media. In October of 2010, a Union-Tribune article titled “Gala prize Napa weekend with contracting officials” reported that Amigable accompanied contractors and a college vice president on a weekend junket to Napa. Shortly after the trip, one of the contractors, Echo Pacific Construction of Escondido, received a $4 million contract with Southwestern. Following months of bad publicity, two new trustees were elected to Southwestern’s board. Within weeks, college president Raj Chopra resigned.

Now, according to Nader, the college is moving forward. The board is beginning a broad search for a new president and on January 20 hired Denise Whittaker as interim president. Nader said it was a positive sign that the board voted unanimously to hire Whittaker, who has extensive experience in California community colleges. Nader says he believes that Whittaker has the background to help the college with the accreditation issues that it is facing and that she has the demeanor and personality to heal relationships on campus and in the community.

Pictured: Former Southwestern College president Raj Chopra

Photo credit: swcboardmustgo.com

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Founder Jan. 26, 2011 @ 1:15 p.m.

RE "Now, according to Nader, the college is moving forward" I hope they don't trip over their own feet, like they have in the past.

What are they doing about their accreditation problems?

That is what Tim Nader should be talking about?


Susan Luzzaro Jan. 26, 2011 @ 6:24 p.m.

Hi Founder,

I have spoken to several people on campus about accreditation. One woman told me how people are working double time-- a lot of the problems need to be resolved with committee work. It's my understanding that under the last administration committee work was postponed, deferred. It's my sense that there is a common effort to get these problems taken care of. It's also my understanding that the new president has experience with accreditation. Susan


Manny1234 Jan. 27, 2011 @ 12:29 a.m.

That's a good start, but what about the corrupt vice president? They need to get rid of Alioto! What kind of message are they sending by keeping this crook????


Founder Jan. 27, 2011 @ 8:43 a.m.

Good Question!

Maybe someone can post his duties and pay...

I bet SWC could find hundreds of QUALIFIED applicants for that job!


coastisnotclear Jan. 27, 2011 @ 6:50 a.m.

Agree with Manny. People see him walking around, acting the same way, doing the same things. SWC has always been more of a top heavy school than other community colleges. There's no need for so many overpaid administrators--let alone a new building to put them in.


Founder Jan. 27, 2011 @ 8:45 a.m.

RE:"top heavy school "

Yes when things are top heavy and you shake them them come crashing down, perhaps SWC's Top Heavy folks need to be "Pruned" to make SWC grow into the college it could be!


joepublic Jan. 27, 2011 @ 9:03 a.m.

I’m in total agreement with Manny 1234. However, not only should Alioto be fired, but the administration’s spin master, Chris Bender should go too. Attempting to appease the public by simply throwing Mr. Amigable under the bus ignores the illegal actions of the college administration. Maybe a grand jury should look into this.


Visduh Jan. 29, 2011 @ 9:50 a.m.

The DA is the person who "should be looking into this." But she looks into little involving corruption and misappropriation, and prosecutes less. Don't hold your breath waiting for criminal prosecutions of these many wrongdoers at SWC.


VigilantinCV Jan. 27, 2011 @ 2:32 p.m.

They have a way to go: the arrogant and unrepentant Alioto, the spin master Chris Bender and their overpaid accomplice, Dan Hom. It is good that Amigable is gone but these others have to go as well. Then maybe we can get the SWC Foundation cleaned out. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!


coastisnotclear Jan. 28, 2011 @ 6:57 a.m.

People like to mention Alioto and Bender. But really John Wilson, who managed both bonds for Southwestern, then went straight to work for Seville--his activities have got to raise questions. The school needs to go forward, but there's all this trash hangin on to the bus.


Founder Jan. 28, 2011 @ 7:17 a.m.

I find it strange That we have not heard form (as far as I know) the students of SWC.

What are they saying and blogging about this situation?


oskidoll Jan. 28, 2011 @ 4:25 p.m.

That must be the same 'Johnny' Wilson who is listed in the CFFR website as drawing nearly $124,000 annual CALPERS pension. He should be donating his time, as well as some cash to the Foundation.


Susan Luzzaro Jan. 28, 2011 @ 9:48 p.m.


You're right, the student voice is absent. Perhaps more outreach is in order. The college newspaper The Sun is online.


Susan Luzzaro Jan. 28, 2011 @ 10:05 p.m.

oskidoll, I'm impressed with Wilson's pension. Amazing. Records show he was making $165.00 an hour working for Seville shortly after retiring from Southwestern.


Susan Luzzaro Jan. 29, 2011 @ 1:54 p.m.

Visduh, You've called it correctly. There was a rumor for a brief period of time on Soutwestern's campus that one of the DAs was making inquiries, but that seems to have died down. With Proposition O in trouble in Sweetwater, it's time for a deep look at the whole bond/contract award/election process. Susan


Founder Jan. 29, 2011 @ 2:49 p.m.

Maybe you can ask for a freedom of informational request to get the "Low Down" on what's now happening at $WC since the voting took place! Thanks for all of us in advance!


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