Jim Cartmill, owner of “a multi-million dollar nutritional supplement distribution company"
  • Jim Cartmill, owner of “a multi-million dollar nutritional supplement distribution company"
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Two brothers, Hector and Loreto Romero, were local contractors for Sweetwater Union High School District. Their company was named HAR Construction. They had landed an $8.5 million contract with Southwest High School and a $6.5 million contract for Southwest Middle School. Their contracts were terminated July 2011 — but, according to Loreto Romero’s testimony, not before they had shelled out thousands to get the contract and to get payment for the work they had done.

One grand jury exhibit, Hector Romero’s American Express card, shows a purchase of $1408 from “Let’s Talk Health.” Jim Cartmill, who is serving his sixth term as a Sweetwater trustee, owns the company described on Sweetwater’s website as “a multi-million dollar nutritional supplement distribution company with international and domestic headquarters based in Chula Vista, California.”

Sequenced grand jury exhibits include an email from December 2011 showing Hector Romero appealing to Cartmill for help getting paid. Exhibits that follow are checks that were cut to HAR Construction totaling $1,156,885.

Loreto Romero recounted to the grand jury his version of the alleged corruption in Sweetwater. He told the jury, “These people have no dignity, the people they don’t care — they have their own — they make their own law.”

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erupting June 7, 2013 @ 6:58 a.m.

This just couldn't be! Cartmill has assured everyone that his problem came from asking for money for a charitable organization. Besides the Har brothers got medicine didn't they. This couldn't be a conflict of interest better known as a shake down. Wasn't it Har that couldn't finish their work because they under bid the contract because they didn't see the shoddy work done from Prop BB. Missing electrical conduits etc. They couldn't do the job without a huge change order. Maybe someone remembers the story. Har couldn't afford the cost of wining and dining the board. The Har brothers thought it was an expense that would get them in the door. Wrong boys once they eat from the trough your on the hook forever. Jim should have told you being the good man that he is. Loreto's testimony is a real eye opener.


dbdriver June 7, 2013 @ 7:40 a.m.

I haven't seen the dollar amounts for all the bids, so I don't know how much difference between the winning bid vs the others. Did any of the bids take missing conduits and shoddy previous work into account? Would ANY of the other bidders have had to have large change orders as well? Companies I have worked for would have included in assumptions in their quote that existing wiring or other conditions would not be included.


Bob_Castaneda June 7, 2013 @ 7:08 a.m.

I have been on both sides of the procurement fence when it comes to doing business with government bureaucracies; bottom line is that its not easy, timely nor (in some, but not all of the cases I have been engaged in) -- fair.

But as a business owner, and an adult, the choice was mine to put in the time and expense to pursue this "Brand" of new business and everything that comes with it - win or loose.

I suggest the Romero Brothers "grow up" and take your wins and losses in the real world out there like a professional and not cry about it to a Grand Jury with innuendo and supposition that will only bill the taxpayers mightily in the end given this legal charade.

For all we mortals know, maybe you deserved to loose that business; I don't know, What I do know is that I don't cry to the Grand Jury every time a client is late paying their invoice.

It's a tough world out there!


eastlaker June 7, 2013 @ 7:37 a.m.

If I recall from reading the testimony, they (meaning HAR) were shorted about one million dollars. That's a great deal to absorb...and the board members just said they (the board) could pay up to $149,000 without a special vote or something, so that's what they were paid. They testified that a previous job by another company was supposed to have put in the conduit with wiring that ran the length of the school--but only a small portion was there, and that was filled with 'old rope'.

What is a contractor supposed to do under those circumstances? Could it be that this local small company was given a job that would be impossible to complete? Why wouldn't the school board have wanted to pursue the company that didn't complete the work with the conduit and wiring? Why put all of that on HAR, and then simply refuse to pay them?

Honestly? Who does that?

Would it have been too embarrassing to look into the problem, or was the majority board too busy feeling powerful to act in a legitimate, decent manner?

Why can't this majority board EVER get something right and solve a problem or two in a sensible, steadfast, reasonable fashion?

I don't know...maybe they lack intelligence, maybe they lack the ability to empathize, maybe they are only in it for themselves. Maybe they are just selfish, ignorant oafs, pretending to be semi-literate, and should never have been voted into office in the first place.


eastlaker June 7, 2013 @ 8:01 a.m.

Sorry--it's early in the morning--they were shorted about $100,000.

But, my question still stands--why make HAR pay for the mistakes of another company, another job, another bond offering? Is it just too difficult for this board to figure things out?


Susan Luzzaro June 7, 2013 @ 7:38 a.m.

The Romero brothers are cooperating witnesses. It is a tough world, but I believe it is their obligation--in fact all people's obligation--to tell the grand jury the truth.


Bob_Castaneda June 7, 2013 @ 4:02 p.m.

I can appreciate HARD evidence, but it seems that these two will simply paint a bombastic, subjective picture of an unsavory environment at Sweetwater that is indicative of the way Sweetwater does business. I don't like the way they do business, you don't like it. However, in this country there is the presumption of...Take that testimony, for what it is worth, in a courtroom and 10 cents and you have a doughnut. That experience of these two contractors is NOT hard evidence of bribery. Nor is this UNETHICAL behavior illegal until the "smoking gun" is revealed. Maybe there is more -- I hope to hear or read about it. Rather, these quotes are supposition on the part of this witness as to his opinion - GIVEN HIS INDIVIDUAL EXPERIENCE which may or may not have cause on the part of Sweetwater.. The Judge may allow it, may not. But I am certain the defense will object to that testimony. More opinion as to which I say: Where is the beef?


anniej June 7, 2013 @ 4:33 p.m.

Mr. Castaneda: Not sure what grade of beef you are use to consuming, but I believe the Grand Jury testimony is FILET MINON.

With all due respect, IF, a person of your stature is of the belief that this is all about nothing, then truly the South Bay is far worse than I thought.

My words, "with all due respect" - I meant those words, I was not being sarcastic.


Jmbrickley June 7, 2013 @ 10:59 p.m.

You are either part of the solution, or you are part of the problem. Bob Castaneda is not part of the solution.


anniej June 7, 2013 @ 7:51 a.m.

Mr. Castaneda: IF this was the only story on the alleged corruption you would definitely have a point. However when you consider this entire situation, HOUSTON WE GOTTA A PROBLEM AT SWEETWATER.

When was the last time you took a customer to business on a regular basis, bought them wine, or took them to a Laker game.

Jim Cartmill has done NOTHING to bring decency to the mess that now defines Sweetwater.


anniej June 7, 2013 @ 7:52 a.m.

And who CHOSE this contractor???????????


CV_Parent June 7, 2013 @ 9:06 a.m.

Did anyone know there was a Special Board meeting this morning at 7:45am this morning? I checked Board Docs yesterday and do not remember seeing it. Does anyone know the outcome?


anniej June 7, 2013 @ 9:37 a.m.

CV_Parent - same ol, same ol Meeting held, Jim Cartmill, John Mccann (conference call) and Arlie Ricasa voted in favor. As I sat there watching lives affected, the strain on their faces, the tears in the eyes - it brought me to tears myself. So often the innocent lives that are affected are forgotten. Jim Cartmill, John Mccann, Arlie Ricasa and Ed Brand chose to spend these programs monies on elementary charter schools and Alliant University.

Counselor positions will be cut, but let us remember according to Ed Brand, "it is all about the kids".

Hope to see you all at the upcoming board meeting


teachersrock June 7, 2013 @ 10:58 a.m.

Ed Brand told the employees of soon to be closed MOA that there's a 60% chance that MOA will stay open if the money comes through from the state. According to what we have read/interpreted the adult ed funding must remain the same as the 2012/13 school year if the district is to receive it for the future. I heard a quote from the late Ruth Chapman, "you know he's lying because his mouth is moving" I also heard that a neighbor that lives across the street from the district office has a "Jaime Mercardo for SUHSD board" sign on his lawn. A Sweetwater employee went over there to remove the sign and got into it with the neighbor. The CHUTZPAH of those people....sin verguenza, shameless! They all need to be fired and replaced immediately, the board and the supe


CV_Parent June 7, 2013 @ 11:18 a.m.

Better warn the person across the street to nail that banner town and put surveillance on it! Remember what was happening to Jesseca Saenz-Gonzalez. Her huge banner that you could see on the 805 was stolen along with others and I think they ended up catching someone in Pearl Quinones camp doing it and this was on personal property! I know a few years ago when I had signs for Jaime and Stan every day they would be gone. Finally had to hand them on my porch. These Board Members are ruthless pigs!


anniej June 7, 2013 @ 1:16 p.m.

CV_Parent- well,,,, to add fuel to the conversation Karen Janneys signs were being torn down when she ran against Cartmill. A certain contractor who is named in this article allegedly said, HE WAS DOING IT and SENDING PICTURES OF HIMSELF TO 'the gandara' with the text "see how hard I am working for you" (paraphrase). Additionally rumor has it 'the gandara' and J.D, (of driving Ms. Daisy fame) spent one evening driving around late at night doing the same thing.

My Karen Janney was torn off of my side gate and thrown in the middle of my court.


CV_Parent June 7, 2013 @ 8:22 p.m.

Oh I learned my lesson with Karens sign I had hung on my porch as well and on in the back window of my car!


eastlaker June 7, 2013 @ 11:22 a.m.

I heard Mr. Cartmill himself 'testify' in a board meeting not long ago that Mrs. Chapman was his second grade teacher, and that she essentially had eyes in the back of her head as she had caught him throwing rocks under cars across the street from the school during recess.

Right now I wish Mrs. Chapman's eyes could be on Jim Cartmill and I wish she could say what she very well might be thinking...Cartmill said that he had served on the school board WITH Mrs. Chapman. You would think that he would want to make some effort to live up to what she had tried to teach him, and what her personal example was for education and civic service and duty.

You would think.

Mrs. Chapman, if you are watching, we could use your help. Things have gone downhill since your departure, I am very sad to say.


anniej June 7, 2013 @ 11:53 a.m.

teachersrock - the district employee is one of Brands closest s friends. He does a lot of Brands bidding. Problem is the sign was on private property and the man had allegedly been paid to host the sign.

No doubt Brands blood pressure soared as he walked over to open his office blinds, and there before him stood JAIME MERCADO for SUHSD. School board.

Jaime Mercado would not even accept a paid for cup of coffee - Jim Cartmill, John Mccann, Arlie Ricasa and Pearl Quinones - wanted ALL AND MORE, PAID FOR OF COURSE!!!!!!


eastlaker June 7, 2013 @ 12:05 p.m.

That would have been a priceless moment to record for posterity...sad that I had to miss it.


anniej June 7, 2013 @ 9:29 a.m.

So lets just pretend I, anniej am a juror in the upcoming trial. There I sit listening to Hector Har testify about the credit card expense for Let's Talk Health products. Do you think I may not wonder - with all of the GNC's, with the Sprouts, Walgreens, CVS etc. how in the hell did Hector Romero find Jim Cartmill's company Lets Talk Health located in the heart of Eastlake in an industrial complex????????????

Common sense - it makes no sense!!!!!


Visduh June 7, 2013 @ 9:45 a.m.

Seems to me I've read plenty about the nutritional supplements that Cartmill's operation produces and markets and claims made about them in the Reader in recent years, probably written by Don Bauder. And the picture wasn't a pretty one. Many folks are convinced that those supplements are keeping them healthy, young, and disease resistant. So, I won't get into the truth of the claims here. But note one thing: the supplements are expensive. An operation like Sprouts and its predecessors stocks a substantial amount of the supplements, and often has someone on duty in that area of the store to sell the items. Did Romero ever get $1400 "worth" of medicine/supplements for that payment?

It looks like a shakedown, albeit a rather small one, by Cartmill. Or maybe he at some point told Romero something like, "You really SHOULD take some of our product. You look like you need some help with your energy level." Or something like that, as in hint, Hint, HINT. Was it the only time Romero bought from the company, or just one of several?


FatCatSegat June 7, 2013 @ 10:54 a.m.

The board sort of reminds me of those insane dictators in the mid-east. Those are real missiles overhead people! Its like, aren't they aware that they're under indictment? Why is this (alleged) felon encrusted board even conducting business when they should be stepping down? If the student body as a whole could speak, they could be heard saying, "Get off me rock! You're sinking me!" Can somebody stop them before they pardon themselves? Sheesh!


eastlaker June 7, 2013 @ 11:13 a.m.

Yes, 'There's a dead skunk in the middle of the road, and it's stinking to high heaven!'

Somehow the lyric to that song popped into my head. Can't think why.

To ensure I won't be misinterpreted, the metaphoric stink would be from the corruption of the lies, including payoffs, shakedowns, pay to play, and all the other variations this tragically inept and corrupt aggregate of human specimens has managed to employ.

The metaphoric dead skunk is the evidence that has been provided...


anniej June 7, 2013 @ 11:37 a.m.

eastlaker - He has also stated that Karen Janney was his youth minister - we all remember how he voted to get rid of Ms. Janney - so many of us believed we knew Jim Cartmill, so many believed in him - the REAL Jim Cartmill has now been exposed.

Karen Janney, a highly respected, one of the most loved Teachers/Administrators this District has ever had.


oskidoll June 7, 2013 @ 12:30 p.m.

So, to clarify, I would like to ask Mr. B. Castaneda (above) if he thinks it is ok for the District to 'short' payments on money due for work done under contract? Isn't that what a 'contract' is? You agree to do some work in exchange for a stipulated amount of money. Standard payment is 30-days net, sometimes faster if the contract agrees for it. I don't think Har is 'whining' to the Grand Jury, he is explaining that he did not get paid for work done under a legitimate contract. By extension of his logic, I suppose that Mr. B Castaneda would think it is ok for the Districtnot to pay the cheer coaches, or anyone else for that matter, per agreements agreements? HMMMMM...does that mean the District could withhold, delay, short, paychecks to Dr. Brand on any arbitrary and capricous basis? Apparently, that is how Mr. B castaneda runs his business? Pay some bills, ignore others.....just because? Not a good way to run the railroad!


angrybirds June 7, 2013 @ 12:56 p.m.

I told everyone to stay tuned for another episode of "As the Slimeballs Twist and Turn." thanks JMBrickley for the title of this pathetic excuse of a school district.


eastlaker June 7, 2013 @ 2:59 p.m.

I came across again a few days ago, "Character is what shows in how you treat people who can't help you out."

There are probably quite a few versions of that kicking around the internet.

Anyway, this is how Sweetwater's board members and superintendents have treated people who could, would and WERE helping them out...so I guess I am not as surprised to realize how little they have done for the students, teachers and taxpayers of this district.

Anyone wonder what kind of "reward" it would have taken for all the Adult Ed programs to be saved? I mean, just out of curiosity...what would it take for Fast Eddy and crew to change direction. Because they wouldn't do it for ethical reasons, or to help students, or to maintain a stable and supporting educational stepping-stone in a vulnerable community.

If we had had cold, hard cash to offer them, would they have taken it, and reinstated the programs? Or would they have just taken the cash?


SydneyJean June 7, 2013 @ 3:31 p.m.

Getting back to the conduit.....isn't work completions supposed to be inspected by a licensed State Inspector from the State? if the plans were correct, and the previous contractor decided to cheat, HAR should be authorized to correct and complete the work for reasonable $$$ amount. Sounds like there should be some investigations going on. Why should the taxpayer pay twice for the same work? Oh yea, that is right, nobody cares at SUHSD, it's not about doing the right thing, it's about throwing the quan at them to buy their campaigns, further their futures and live the good life on someone else's dime.


anniej June 7, 2013 @ 4:26 p.m.

SydneyJean - and guess who 'donated' money to board member campaigns - would you believe inspectors (companies)?

Yet Jim Cartmill can't seem to find it within his presidential duties to put forth a proposal for campaign reform. After reading this story and other Grand Jury testimony I now understand that the Jim Cartmill I saw was the Jim Cartmill I wanted him to be, not the real Jim Cartmill.

Arlie Ricasa, the gig is up, STOP WITH THE SPEECHES, those individuals you spoke in front of today, the ones whose very lives are negatively impacted - they are sick of your speeches. They have read the transcripts, they now know the depth of your deceit. Can you please just STOP WITH THE SPEECHES?????


anniej June 7, 2013 @ 5:10 p.m.

Just received a telecon, apparently a couple of parents upset that John Mccann is speaking at an elementary graduation hung LARGE posters over a couple of overpasses one on 805 one on the 5, north and south. The posters depict John Mccann with a bozo nose and hair - large work JOKE printed.

Tell me Mccann did not really worm his way into an elementary ceremony.

I volunteered for future protests.


montana64 June 7, 2013 @ 9:20 p.m.

Felon encrusted/ Barnacled board/ Just can't be trusted/ Won't pay it forward/ Clinging to coincidence--- Addresses shared. lobsters slash supplements. No pet project spared.... Vote today to axe ROP/ Slithered Tongued talk to our grads... Sign up for Alliant university, A new "conduit" --you been had!


WTFEd June 7, 2013 @ 9:59 p.m.

At the upper left next to my name...click on the graphic. Sad but true.

This debacle is about to end. Who is Bob Casteneda? Was that the one that is associated with somebody..gee who was that? I will ask my coworkers. This is tounge in cheek. Some of us are not idiots.

I saw an email today from Ed on how well the District is doing. Boy some of us at work had a big tat laugh. I heard a rumor there was a very secretive office pool about when Ed is gone. I bet you the District wishes he took a physical. I say September. This guy is sneaky and he will act like any Dictator and threaten to the end. Ed is a smart guy. He understands the law of averages will catch up with him lieing. This time though has sworn to the truth. Oops.

Cartmill. Take a look at this guy. You can tell he is lieing. He is a terrrible poker player. He was there that long and not part of this culture for years. Wait I got to answer the door. It is the tooth fairy.

I can't wait until work and after we discuss Cabinet doings again.


Bob_Castaneda June 8, 2013 @ 5:58 a.m.


At least I have the TAMARITY to use my name; not all bloggers here can say the same. By the way, the name is spelled CASTANEDA. However given the frequency of your typos...


eastlaker June 8, 2013 @ 7:24 a.m.

FYI--do you mean temerity? Happen to have my Webster's at hand. Temerity--meaning 'reckless boldness, rashness'.

Surprised spell-check didn't help you out! (I always loved vocabulary in English class...).


Jmbrickley June 7, 2013 @ 11:09 p.m.

I am very happy to see new faces getting involved in the fiasco that is our high school district. I ask you though, to get more of your neighbors and friends involved and let's shut down this mess before it gets any worse. Keep up the good efforts and we shall prevail.


Bob_Castaneda June 8, 2013 @ 6:03 a.m.

“She would come out to the job site and she would reprimand us for not wearing boots, but she would come out in a miniskirt and high heels.”

—Jeffrey Taylor, sales manager for ATG Electronics, LED Lighting Co., on Sweetwater board member Pearl Quinones. Vol 21, page 315

I have known Pearl for quite some time, and as for the bald faced LIE that was entered into the record above, ANYONE who really knows Pearl, also knows that she DOES NOT wear mini-skirts!


For the record, Pearl Quinones and I are not friends, we are VERY good friends! She is not perfect, who is?


eastlaker June 8, 2013 @ 7:59 a.m.

Relax! I doubt if anyone will be convicted of fashion crime!


erupting June 8, 2013 @ 6:34 a.m.

anniej,McCann didn't make it to the elementary graduation,he was too busy trying to get his sign down I guess. Has anyone heard that in order to speak at this graduation he said he was there to give an award from Sweetwater to the school? I heard this was his attempt to get in front of the crowd at two schools. Talk about desperation. Why all the signs the election is over a year away? He's a strange little man. The man who was pulling down Jaime Mercado's sign was Tom Hassey one of Brand's best buddies. At 7:15 am he was caught red handed. He broke off the corner of the sign and threw it behind the tree when I approached him.the conversation was not pretty. He asked me if I wanted to take a picture of him doing it. I said no someone else already had. He got scared then,Iwatched him leave as I drove up the street to the parking lot. Yes I called Jaime. Part two of this saga will be coming up soon at a CHula Vista court room. Jaime isn't the person to mess with as Hassey will soon find out.


anniej June 8, 2013 @ 8:45 a.m.

Bob_Castaneda: A couple of thoughts, it is possible that Mr. Taylor is old school, and HIS interpretation of the length of a skirt was mini? Ms. Quinones's apparel is of no concern to me. I, instead prefer to focus on the deeds of this public official, and in my opinion the deeds fall far short of what any politician should aspire to be. On a personal note, I, as a woman, am offended that she would be out on a job site hooking and crooking for donations. But hey, you know what they say about opinions. Unfortunately Ms. Quinones has garnered quite a reputation in the South Bay. As a person who is well known in the South Bay, VERY good friend or not, you are not hearing these things about Ms. Quinones for the first time. Her personal life is her own to claim, and in truth NO BUSINESS OF MINE. I prefer to focus on her votes, on what she did and did not do for the students, taxpayers and voters of the South Bay. There were many times when I would sit in the audience of the board room and think 'way to go Ms. Quinones' unfortunately those times were not often. Here I go with another opinion - her allegiance seemed to be all about 'what is in it for me'. A beautiful Latina who could have been so much more if only she would have taken the ME out of it, and put the education of the issues into it. Sir, while I can appreciate your efforts to stand up for Ms. Quinones, I hope you are also doing what my friends do, whether I like it or not 'they care enough to me the truth, even when it is hard for me to hear and hurts'.

RE: WTFEd, as an apparent employee of the District it does not surprise me that he/she would not use their real name. Additionally have you ever considered that the typos are on purpose, hoping to throw off identification. Ed Brand and John Mccann will go to any lengths to attack ANYONE who differs in their opinion or fail to honor the kingS.

And you are correct I AM NOT PERFECT.


anniej June 8, 2013 @ 8:59 a.m.

erupting - it is indeed a shame that ANY WELL educated person would allow themselves to be used and be seen as a 'pawn' of Ed Brands. Perhaps the effects of the hot suns ultra violet rays on all of those days the two of them allegedly spent as voyeurs overlooking Blacks Beach took its toll.


WTFEd June 8, 2013 @ 10:31 a.m.

Oh folks. I have to be careful I do not want to reveal too much as they will trace me down. However the Kiss Ass Club..errr staff announcements came out Thursday. What a joke. This District just feeds on itsself from deception, intimidation, and lies. Have we heard the real story on Ipads? What about the Federal Audits? What about ASB shakedowns? Staff the handwriting is on the wall. That little graphic on the upper left says it all. Big changes are a comin!!


anniej June 8, 2013 @ 11:52 a.m.

WTFEd: I would encourage you to tread carefully, do NOT do anything on the job that could get you caught.

The conference room of the district office is used for training, meetings, brow beatings, etc. on that wall are sheets of ideas, measures and intimidation. One of those sheets clearly states do not share info with board members. Are you serious? District employees, just in case someone has not explained the facts to you. WE, the homeowners, who pay property taxes OWN SUHSD. Ed Brand is no better than you, he was HIRED, he is OUR EMPLOYEE. The board members that you are being instructed not to talk to, we the voters put them there, ALL OF THEM, yes, INCLUDING BERTHA LOPEZ. Ed Brand, is an employee, who can be fired, and trust me he is going to be gone, outta here, sooner or later.

I empathise with all of you, you are caught between a rock and a hard place. There is hope, the Calvary is coming TO SET YOU FREE!!!!!!!!! of this ogre. We will be cleaning house on the board - your future is bright, you will once again say with pride I work AT Sweetwater Union High School District.


eastlaker June 8, 2013 @ 1:28 p.m.

Yes, isn't it amazing that Ed and pals want to have a bulwark against the people they are supposed to be serving and representing? So they try and keep school and district employees from telling the truth.

I wonder if they--that would be Eddy and pals--are planning a moat and portcullis or any other defensive measures as part of the new district headquarters to be built on one of the many properties Sweetwater owns??

Talk about your siege mentality!? That would be Sweetwater's ostensible leadership...when, in point of fact, we haven't seen any true leadership in evidence for a very long time. We have seen self-serving, we have seen wheeling and dealing, we have seen destruction of needed programs, we have seen wining and dining, we have seen the taxpayers taken advantage of, we have seen the students robbed of classes, we have seen teachers pink-slipped. We have seen massive misuse of Bond monies.

We have seen our district become a laughingstock, synonymous with cheating, fraud, scams, ineptitude and behavior that is blatantly, mortifyingly, stupifyingly lacking in basic judgment. Not even close to reasonable judgment, let alone good judgment.

What we haven't seen is anyone taking responsibility for their own egregiously bad behavior. Like the toddlers who think no one can see them when their own eyes are closed, our "trustees" cavort as if no one can see them. They don't apologise for all the enormous missteps, the selling out of the district, the cost overruns that exist because the contractors are paying through the nose to take these people to ball games and dinners and who-knows-what-all.

What was the title again of the imaginary soap opera? 'As the Slimeballs Twist and Turn"?

My friends in the community, in the schools, at the district--now is the time to speak up, so that what these people have done to undermine and destroy this district will be halted. anniej, as you say, soon the cleanup will begin.

Thank goodness for all those who do really care about this school district. Such a pity the most recent superintendents and majority board members cannot be counted among that number.


Reader2 June 9, 2013 @ 9:52 a.m.

I apologize to anyone who drove out to Quintard St. at 7:30 for the Board Mtg. I guess I'm not savvy enough to know that you have to call the district to make sure nothing has changed. (They changed the place but there was no public notice of the change - hmmm) I'm glad to hear some people made it. I'm past being mad. Now I'm going to get busy!
This from the Sweetwater website: Community Relations BP 1100 COMMUNICATION WITH THE PUBLIC The Board of Trustees appreciates the importance of community involvement and therefore shall strive to keep the community informed of developments within the school system in timely and understandable ways. The Superintendent or his/her designee shall use all available means of communication to keep the public aware of the goals, programs, achievements and needs of our schools. Members of the community shall have opportunities to become involved in the schools and to express their interests and concerns. If you look at the district's board calendar you'll notice that the Friday meeting is not listed: http://schoolboard.sweetwaterschools.org/calendar/ I realize it's not an accident or an oversight, I just wonder if it's legal. Any lawyers out there?


anniej June 9, 2013 @ 11:57 a.m.

Reader2: glad to welcome you aboard. Yes, Ed Brand, and his clan of corruptors take great pride in attempting to out maneuver the community. The meeting at the District office, you know the 'special' meeting was NOT held in the board room. That door was LOCKED. Was there a person assigned there to direct the public to the 'back room'? That would be a NO. The meeting was held at 7:45 in the morning, when teachers are teaching and the community is working. To add to the deceitful plan it was also graduation week. Now we understand why Lopez might not be there, she is a teacher - but what of Quinones and Mccann? Again, great strides were taken to protect the 'little man who would be king' - he was on the CP Middle school campus, no doubt in the janitors closet on a conference call with the district office 'back room' meeting. Quinones, where was she? Afraid to face the public both of them. Mccann, the 'little man' that he is would prefer to, under cloak of night darkness, drive around and put up ILLEGAL John Mccann for school board signs. He would rather pretend to be honoring an elementary school official in an attempt to be allowed to speak at an Eastlake elementary school graduation. WHICH DID NOT HAPPEN.

As reported there is a new group evidently, who are prepared to expose John Mccann for the clown he is. They too are plotting to get the word out about the real John Mccann. Unfortunately, they will be forced to link him with a Party that is trying its best to separate itself from the Sweetwater corruption. However, since he is telling all who will listen that he has his Party's full support, they feel they have no choice.

While Ed Brand is driving the train, rest assured Jim Cartmill, John McCann,, and Arlie Ricasa are shoveling the coal to keep the Brand Gravy train running. Cartmill, Ricasa and Mccann are not concerned with the best interests of the district, their only interest is the gravy!!!

Remember the key is EXPOSING THE TRUTH, to the community. ALL COMMUNITIES via, texts, fliers, posters on freeway overpasses (love that one)' just be sure not to be there too long, business cards made up with one liners, letters to the editors of The READER, Union Tribune, Star News, the Filipino Press, the Latin press. If they print news drop them a line.

Perhaps a flier to be mailed out to the Eastlake community residents - pictures of John Mccann, Jim Cartmill and Arlie Ricasa. Hmmmmmmm.

We do not hide under the cover of night like Jihn Mccann - we have the truth and documented Grand Jury testimony on our side.

GRASS ROOTS, this is a grass roots movement that is on its way -


Julian_Asange June 9, 2013 @ 12:02 p.m.

Julian here, they say I'm responsible for sparking the Tunisian Arab Spring. How about a Sweetwater Summer? Just letting you know I'm looking for leaks - and not the ones coming from the roofs of the schools in the district. But seriously, I've been talking to staff, teachers, the local media and CV government officials. People at every level are mobilizing, organizing and getting informed. Everyone is outraged. Change is coming. Politicians are paying attention. One official was overheard saying: They come here and feed me a line of bull. Another has been reading the grand jury transcripts. A third is said to be "pissed" by what's happening down here. Someone even Tweeted about the 7:45 board meeting.
We're in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, but the "innocent until proven guilty" can still turn things around for the district. A judge might look favorably on that.


eastlaker June 10, 2013 @ 11:59 a.m.

I certainly hope these people are starting to listen. Judges, mayors, representatives--county authorities, city authorities, state authorities, federal authorities...this bunch has probably run afoul of laws, statues and regulations for all of the above.

Has this bunch has been out of control for so long, they have become deluded into thinking that what they are doing is ok?

Going to the board meetings--and I'd say I've been to around half a dozen--it is astonishing to me the degree of contempt the majority board members and Brand and his entourage show the public. When in reality, they are the ones who have earned the great contempt of the voting public and the students.


anniej June 9, 2013 @ 12:46 p.m.

Julian_Asange - it is indeed great to hear that those with the power are finally paying attention. This type of information WILL scare John Mccann - he sees himself climbing the political ladder and, is so dillusional, that he believes his own line of bull. A few, who are close to him, do not have the courage to tell him the truth. Unfortunately when reality finally bites him in the booty goodness knows if he will be able to handle it emotionally, I feel he will break.

Jim Cartmill and Arlie Ricasa too are taking this hard. The truth that is being read in the transcripts is even difficult for me, anniej, to digest. I have been in this, all in, since day one - yet even I never realized the depths of the corruption.

I will point you to the transcript posted on the UT. It is in the same volume as the BOC president Nick Marinovich's. It is the testimony of a woman who is a '''supervisor''' at the Registrar of Voters. There, within her own testimony, in her own words she admits to considering herself a friend of Ms. Quinones, she also knew Ricasa well and based on her testimony felt close enough to Jim Cartmill that she actually 'warned/notified' him that Ms. Karen Janney had just taken out the paper work to run against him. She attended a dinner with Quinones, a function where other politicians were in attendance. HOW THE HELL DOES THIS HAPPEN??????? Do we the tax paying public have no protection from corruption, not even at our own Registrar of Voters office. WHY WAS THIS WOMAN USING HER POSITION AND CONNECTION TO WARN JIM CARTMILL ABOUT ANYTHING?

Lady, do your job, that is what you are paid to do. You are not paid to influence elections by tipping off elected officials. about candidates that are running against them, you are not paid to go to functions with politicians, you are not paid to allow your daughter to get community job credits for working on Arlie Ricasa's campaign, DO YOUR FREAKIN JOB!!!!!!! And let our political process work. Asange - PLEASE, show that transcript to the politicians you refer to.

Is any of this illegal? Does the head of the Registrar of Voters even know of this testimony? Is there a possibility that actual voting results were affected? My head is spinning.

Last but not least there is another candidate that is rumored to have a 'connection' at the Registrars office. Could it be????


anniej June 9, 2013 @ 2:42 p.m.

The info I refer to above can be found in Voume 15 of the Grand Jury testimony., and can be found in the most recent UT posting. It is important for all interested to read the testimony for themselves and come to their own conclusion.


oskidoll June 9, 2013 @ 5:32 p.m.

Vol 15 quite intersting reading! Seems Ms. Elvira Vargas, supervisor at the Registrar of Voters Office, has been 'groomed' by Ms. Quinnones, and perhaps others. She seems almost overly eager to please her friends among the incumbents, without any critical thinking about the fact that it might appear to be inequal treatment of ALL candidates. Did she have all the candidates on 'speed dial' or vice-versa? Again, she seems to be quite naieve about the discrepancy in level and degree of service given to a few of her special friends! It also appears that when she was promoted and a new guy came into her former job, that that person was not quite so eager, which may have prompted complaints from the Sup and the seated board members. Elvira should, as Annie J suggests, just DO HER JOB without playing favorites. She is in a sensitive job, and should be far more circumspect. SIGH!


oskidoll June 9, 2013 @ 5:53 p.m.

It also occurs me, with regard to Ms. Vargas of the Registrar's Office, that her being speed dial 'on call' to help gives Pearl, Jim and others absolutely NO EXCUSE for not knowing how to accurately complete their 700 "statement of economic interests/gifts, etc.' forms. If they did not include ANYTHING they were supposed to report (and it seems they left out quite a lot), it was not because Ms. Vargas wasn't on stand-by to assist.


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