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No one can estimate the cost to taxpayers for the South Bay scandal that involved pay-to-play charges and millions in Southwestern College and Sweetwater Union High School District bond money. But the costs continue to add up for defendants.

Sweetwater trustee Pearl Quinones plead guilty to one felony and one misdemeanor March 18. In a phone conversation March 19 Quinones said, “I made the decision to plea because of my family. The pressure and the expense are too much. Even at the last minute though, when I was standing in front of Judge [Ana] Espana, I still wanted to keep fighting.”

Quinones noted her felony charge was just over $500. Her plea stated: “In 2007, I was an elected School Board member of the Sweetwater Union High School District. I accepted gifts from Henry Amigable in 2007 with a total value in excess of $500 and I did not report them. The maximum amount of gifts one may receive from one source per year as of 2007 was three hundred and ninety dollars. Henry Amigable provided these gifts with the intent to influence my vote on business awarded to Gilbane, his employer.”

There is some confusion about whether Quinones will step down from the board immediately. It was not part of her plea agreement. According to deputy district attorney Leon Schorr, trustee Arlie Ricasa had indicated prior to accepting a plea deal that she would step down. Quinones made no such agreement.

Clouding the issue of Quinones’s trustee seat, Judge Espana has recently boiled some corruption felony charges down to misdemeanors — it’s anyone’s guess what will happen April 28 when Quinones is sentenced. (Southwestern College’s vice-president, Nicholas Alioto, for example, plead guilty to a felony, which Espana later reduced to a misdemeanor.)

Sweetwater’s attorney Dan Shinoff was contacted by email regarding Quinones’s trustee seat, however he did not respond by the time this story was filed.

Prohibitive legal costs compelled former Sweetwater trustee Arlie Ricasa and trustee Jim Cartmill to start defense funds.

Ricasa pleaded guilty in December to a misdemeanor. Her largest defense donors were family members. New Image Computers also donated $5000 to her defense.

Cartmill has been charged with wrongful influence, filing a false instrument and accepting a bribe among other things. Through his business Let’s Talk Health, he loaned his defense fund $20,000. Annie Malcolm, wife to David Malcolm, a former port commissioner who was obliged to step down due to conflict of interest charges, donated $5,000 to Cartmill’s defense.

Justice has been meted out for South Bay corruption defendant Gary Cabello in a different way. Cabello worked for several bond underwriting firms and was involved in transactions for both Southwestern College and Sweetwater Union High School District.

On October 28, 2013 he plead guilty to two felony counts.

In addition, on March 18 the Securities and Exchange Commission barred Cabello from association with any broker, dealer, investment adviser and barred him from participating in an penny stock offerings.

No doubt as the April 28 trial date approaches — the remaining defendants will be weighing the price of a plea bargain against the price of a trial.

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anniej March 21, 2014 @ 1:45 p.m.

I guess since Ricasa plead out first, and was perceived as offering to turn on the others she got the best deal. She, by no means, deserved it - but it is what it is.

It has been a very long and arduous journey. But let's focus what the initial goal was - it was to restore integrity and professionalism to the Board - almost there, we are almost there.

Cartmill accepting a loan - friends to stick together. Like minds, and all of that. I am reminded of the loan seen on Google - Ed Brand and Tom Hassey 50k lent to Cartmill for a bankruptcy. .While Cartmill says it never happened documents found on a web search seems to point that it did.

So much can be found on the Internet for those wanting to document the true nature of those who practice to deceive. A treasure of non profit info - and ................


dbdriver March 21, 2014 @ 2:17 p.m.

I am one of many who is disheartened with this practice of plea bargaining, reducing so many charges down to one or two lesser infractions. I am curious to see what the remaining defendants will end up with. Are any of them going to face serious charges? Maybe the last one standing? I don't know, and really, at this point don't care about that.

Cleaning up the district and restoring what was once the good name is paramount. This has been going on so long that I've been hearing rumors that there are other districts employees passing around cartoons and jokes about how bad it is here at SUHSD.

Seeing the "confusion" about when Quinones will step down from her position, is there a deadline for that? Ricasa did so immediately per her plea bargain, per the Board Bylaws. And she only had a misdemeanor. Pearl has both, and I thought the felony knocked her out, by state laws.


miagd March 21, 2014 @ 8:15 p.m.

So, David Malcolm can't give money. His wife can? Slimeballs. Money corrupts absolutely!


anniej March 21, 2014 @ 2:06 p.m.

In March of 2001 Los Angeles Times reported that Mr. Cartmill found himself involved in an investigation associated with his bid for C.V. City Council. Campaign contribution questions. While Cartmill stated he had no knowledge of any wrong doing and no charges were filed, it is an interesting read.


Ensenadamaria March 21, 2014 @ 2:14 p.m.

Pearl should show up and vote on all of the slimy deals that Brand Cartmill and Mc Cann have lined up. Does she finally realize that they were never her friends and cared little? Brand often bragged about having the DA on speed dial wonder how many times he used that line to sell Pearl out.


miagd March 21, 2014 @ 8:12 p.m.

I'm thinking you mean vote against?


eastlaker March 21, 2014 @ 2:25 p.m.

I wish I knew better how to evaluate this information.

The strategies employed by the remaining defendants would have to be survival of the fittest--which is, I hesitate to say, essentially proclaiming innocence of self, while delineating all the lies, scams and frauds of the others?

My personal thought is that Gandara doesn't have any friends left in this part of town...unless you would count McCann, who, as we all know, could have fired Gandara for cause, but instead gave him an extraordinarily generous severance package.

Aside from that, is it in Cartmill's benefit to dish on Gandara?

I am sure that Ed Brand would love to see Cartmill dish on Lopez--perhaps that is one of the games afoot? Have all the others dish on Lopez, because she was the one who first reported these messes? Payback in the Pay to Play Game?

From what I have heard, Gandara and some of his relatives back in Soccoro, TX are not having such a great time of it, what with the drug running charges and all.

Where did this start, and where will it end? Sure would be nice if all this money could actually benefit the students and not the attorneys. (I know, attorneys have bills to pay, too...but this is ridiculous).

I am sure Jim Cartmill is planning on the old "stout denial" defense. Just like that $50,000 loan from Ed Brand, which Cartmill claims never existed. If it never existed, why are there documents online to prove that it did? All part of a vast conspiracy, Mr. Cartmill?

Which part?


LightSaber March 21, 2014 @ 3:16 p.m.

What about Sandoval? In the Grand Jury transcripts he was the most corrupt of them all. Thousands of dollars of meals and gifts, complaining of the location of sporting tickets involvement with double dealing as a Board memeber at Sweetwater his sexual harrassement at Southwestern College his involvement with running Norma Hernandez campaign in 2010 solicting campaign contributions from contractors. Let's hope Judge Espana has read this evidence. All of these people should move on to the good of the community we live in.


eastlaker March 21, 2014 @ 3:53 p.m.

Good question. I have a tendency to forget about him, as I am more familiar with the Sweetwater end of the mess.

Not exactly a prime example of educational leadership.

How do these people arrive at such a sense of self-entitlement? How can we eradicate this type of behavior?


miagd March 21, 2014 @ 8:17 p.m.

There is a secret Kool-Aid called Greed & Power. Please don't find out where to get it. It will change you, too.


oskidoll March 24, 2014 @ 7:40 p.m.

Sandoval WAS with the Sweetwater end of the mess...He was on the SUHSD board from about 1990....instrumental in the firing of John Rindone and all that happened after that. He was, as was Ricasa, also employed at Southwestern. He was a VP there, and served for a short while as interim Pres. and then as VP again until the 'unfortunate' harassment incident. Don't think he ran Hernandez campaign for the SWC board in 2010, but always a mutual support. Sandoval, like Ricasa and Gandara, has 29 felony counts in the indictment... the most of them. He may be one of the 'big fish' in the indictments. He is now a VP at a community college in the inland empire.


LightSaber March 21, 2014 @ 4:21 p.m.

That is the million dollar question. Is Sandoval being protected by Susan Luzzaro because of his connection to her?


LightSaber March 21, 2014 @ 4:50 p.m.

Huh! I noticed that the heading of the article mentions Quinones, Cartmill, Cabello but interesting enough you left Lopez and Sandoval off your list. Why is that? Lopez has 18 felony and misdemeanors counts and had thousands of dollars in meals and gifts. Why are you giving her a pass?


shirleyberan March 21, 2014 @ 4:57 p.m.

LightSaber - this one is about to fight in court or plea because it costs a lot less. Why do you give Ed Brand a pass?


Susan Luzzaro March 21, 2014 @ 8:01 p.m.

really light saber? what is my connection to Greg Sandoval?


anniej March 22, 2014 @ 8:20 a.m.


Teachers on vacation, Ms. Lopez gone as well (???????)

Notification posted on Board room door dated and signed by Mr. Cartmill states that Board meeting to be held on 17th was 'adjoined' ? - "due to the fact that no Board members would be present" signed and dated by Cartmill on 18th. Second notification signed by Ed Brand and posted on the 18th advising the Board meeting was adjourned -


Mr. Cartmill's illness was the reason given for the 'adjourned' meeting this week. Now he has signed a statement saying it was because 'no' Boaed members would be present. Quinones, Lopez were there in person - McCann showed up - so why did Cartmill sign his name to a statement that was a lie? A cover up or a cover our own a****?

So tell us Mr. Cartmill why are YOU, John McCann, and Ed Brand scheduling a meeting when you know Lopez is gone? Collusion??????

John McCann told the press he was NOT happy that the Board meeting had been cancelled? So now we want to know why is he willing to attend now that Lopez is gone - because Cartmill and Brand told him to be there?

Is this the kind of person we want on the Chula Vista City Council? A man that follows directives from a Board President facing an upcoming trial on felony charges??? Well at least the true McCann has been exposed - bet he is thanking Cartmill and Brand for all of this negative exposure, a few months before the primary - NOT!!!!!

The press is going to eat this up - shows up speaking of his disappointment for adjourned meeting then turns around and exposes himself for being a part of the plot.

Just my opinions


Wabbitsd March 24, 2014 @ 12:11 p.m.

"Adjoined?" Sounds like one of the 3 Stooges wrote that.


shirleyberan March 22, 2014 @ 10:08 a.m.

Anniej - you know DreadedEd runs this game autonomously, and his cohorts can barely pedal fast enough for him. Looks like a 3 Stooges plot, "Certainly, whoop, whoop, whoop!"


anniej March 22, 2014 @ 10:50 a.m.

Shirleyberan - you are too funny.

On a positive note, and there is always a positive to be found IF YOU DIG DEEP ENOUGH ---- Jim Cartmill is definitely not the truth crusader he claims to be and John McCann was not as disappointed as he claimed to have been when he spoke to the media - (could it be his 'press conference' was a rouse?)

As the song goes "HOW DO YOU LIKE ED BRAND NOW"? Brand is destroying these mens reputations in the eyes of the community members that live, worship and vote here.

What will those reporters be saying about all of this NOW?


oldchulares March 22, 2014 @ 12:27 p.m.

If Mrs. Lopez is on vacation and Ms. Quinones has stepped down then there can be no meeting. Why Jim and John would agree to such nonsense is a puzzle.


eastlaker March 22, 2014 @ 11:16 p.m.

Jim and John had to have agreed as they have been bought, lock, stock and barrel, by Ed Brand.

They are not their own men.

They are puppets on a string.

They couldn't tie their own shoelaces unless Fast Eddy told them to, and told them how.

Hopeless, spineless, bloodless non-entities, doing the bidding of the master of disaster, Fast Eddy.

Those are the conclusions I have arrived at, based upon years of watching, learning, reading, and being disappointed in what is going on in Sweetwater. My conclusions, my opinions, my enormous disappointment.


Visduh March 23, 2014 @ 3:47 p.m.

As I read this posting, I find myself shaking my head more than once. So, Pearlie didn't agree to resign from the board immediately? Who let that happen? The DA? Or the judge? Either one should have backstopped the other because the first order of business in a corruption case of an elected official it to remove that person from office. Pearl could conceivably, with all the question marks Susan points out, stay on the board until her term ends, and continue voting on Brand's proposals, and wreaking havoc. With both the DA and judge going wobbly on these cases, my prediction of how you hadn't seen anything yet is being borne out.

Since this unwillingness of the four indicted trustees to resign and then settle the charges is almost unprecedented, we can assume other unprecedented things. Did they really think they could win at trial? What did they think? It appears to me obvious that none of them thought or thinks they did anything wrong!!! If they keep fighting the charges, what do they expect to accomplish? Ricasa has cut her plea, and Quinones has too. Do Bertha and Cartmill expect some other outcome? That would be close to the operational definition of insanity, which we've all heard expressed many times.

No, they think what they were doing was perfectly all right. We've seen the comments about how white GOP Bahnee D is prosecuting/persecuting Hispanic Dems in So County. True. But that doesn't say why it is happening that way. Could it be that they are all guilty, and that these charges in some cases barely scratch the surface of the real corruption? I was amazed that this DA brought charges at all. And like many others was hoping that they would be zealously pursued and that the bums would go to jail. Ain't gonna happen that way. By the way, has there been any news that Ricasa has been fired from her fat-salaried job at SWC? Uh, no. Will there ever be? Not likely.

If So County residents such as eastlaker, bbq, and so many others really want resolution of this mess, it has to come at the ballot box. These prosecutions are too weak, and too late. Maybe, just maybe, the feds will jump in at some future date and start their own round of prosecutions, but nobody should expect that, or expect that it would repair the damage. An informed electorate, one that looks at individual records and does not block vote, is what So County needs and lacks now.


Susan Luzzaro March 23, 2014 @ 5:51 p.m.

Visduh's comments from the beginning of this mess could be considered prophetic. But prophetic implies something mystical; Visduh's comments have smacked of wisdom--and weariness.


Visduh March 23, 2014 @ 8:13 p.m.

Susan, you summed up my situation in just a few words. And in so doing you have paid me one of the best compliments I've ever had. I'm no mystic, just a long-time observer of local politics. There are times when, at my age, I wonder if I'm just another old f**t, shouting into a rain barrel. This situation, fifty miles from where I live just got to me, and reading comments from the frustrated local residents cried out for some support and sharing of insight. It's not over by a long way, and I'll keep the comments coming when I think they are of value.


dbdriver March 24, 2014 @ 10:53 a.m.

So, if Quinones has not yet resigned, and the Board meeting has been rescheduled for a day that Lopez is not going to be there (has this been confirmed? Is she unavailable? Or are they going to communicate via Skype?), is there some obscure board bylaw that allows a meeting to be held without a quorum? Or is Quinones going to be able to stay on the board for a while?

And I have a question about one of the items...they are looking to spend about $23,000 in advertising in a publication that currently only serves 3 zip codes in Eastlake. I realize this is to "positively promote" our district and our students (Which is a good thing there are many positives in our district that get overshadowed by all the big stories), this publication reaches only about 20,000 homes. Aren't there already articles shown in the Union Tribune, listed in the South and East County section, that positively promote our students? Why are we looking to spend money we don't have to reach a small segment of the population?


Reader2 March 24, 2014 @ 12:04 p.m.

It's confirmed. Mrs. Lopez won't be there.


oskidoll March 24, 2014 @ 3:53 p.m.

I'd check out the owner/publisher of the publication and see just how he/she might be connected to Brand et al. You are certainly correct in that $23K is a lot of money to reach such a small audience.


Wabbitsd March 24, 2014 @ 4:22 p.m.

That's nearly $1K per household! If I were a betting person, I would say that publication must be the same one used in the past (or in the future) for putting out campaign messages.


dbdriver March 24, 2014 @ 6:19 p.m.

Actually,, that's about $1.15 per household.

But looking at it another way...it's about $ 1,920 a month for full page ads and print stories. Again, for such a small audience.


Wabbitsd March 26, 2014 @ 3:08 p.m.

LOL. My math skills ain't so hot. But I make up for it in enthusiasm!


anothereastlaker March 27, 2014 @ 7:02 a.m.

And what is the purpose of advertising in a community where the schools are already overcrowded and have been closed to transfers?


anniej March 24, 2014 @ 6:32 p.m.

We have a $4 million deficit. The majority of our schools are in Program Improvement. The majority of our Board members have/are facing felony charges. Yet Ed Brand has decided to beat his chest via OUR tax dollars in spending said monies on an advertisement.

Several local entities by way of newspaper articles and television coverage celebrate the accomplishments of our students FOR FREE on a regular basis.

This money, as does the majority of the Federal and State funding, BELONGS IN THE CLASSROOM!


oldchulares March 24, 2014 @ 7:14 p.m.

Pull your heads out of the sand publication will be free advertising for John. Based on the Star News poll he is way behind. John will give Ed a good evaluation and Ed will the scratch Johns back with free campaign advertisement.


oskidoll March 25, 2014 @ 9:46 a.m.

Per law, as administered by the FPPC, a public agency may NOT use district funds to 'feature' any single member of the agency's governing board in any print medium that has more than 200 copies. Go to the FPPC website and search for "mass mailings" there for additional information. The penalty is a fine levied against the individual member so featured and may not be paid by the agency itself.


Susan Luzzaro March 24, 2014 @ 10:13 p.m.

Regarding the posted Sweetwater meeting tomorrow evening, CalAware has shared this:

CaliforniansAware, CalAware, is a non-profit organization whose mission is to defend open government. When asked to comment on the Sweetwater trustee situation, CalAware director Julie Biggs offered this:

“Assuming there are no local rules to the contrary, California law sets a quorum as a quorum of the legislative body as a whole. (Government Code Section 36810) Even though there are currently vacancies, the legislative body is still comprised of five seats and the quorum is calculated on that number. Therefore, all three remaining members must be present in person or telephonically for any action to be taken.

Adoption of ordinances, resolutions and orders for payment of money require a vote of the majority of the body as a whole (Government Code Section 36936), so if any of those matters are on the agenda, there must be a unanimous vote of the three members. Certain other actions such as urgency ordinances or eminent domain resolutions require a super majority vote. Obviously, those cannot be acted upon in the present circumstance. Other action may be taken by a majority of those present, i.e., two votes.”


eastlaker March 25, 2014 @ 6:43 p.m.

If the district is paying attention to this particular blog, perhaps your CalAware info played into the abrupt cancellation of the meeting tonight?

Or maybe the plan all along has been to make the public into Ed Brand's yoyo? Keep stringing everyone along, tire people out by making them show up and show up and show up, and finally--when they don't show up, have the meeting and take the votes?

Not a very honest plan, but I am beginning to think that is what is going on.


oskidoll March 25, 2014 @ 7:57 p.m.

That is exactly why the Brown Act requires notice in advance of public meetings, even those for so-called emergencies.


bbq March 25, 2014 @ 10:26 a.m.

Susan, What is Pearl Quinones' status? Is she still on the board? If she were to abstain does that still qualify as a yes vote towards the Majority status? All of the regulations on the Majority Votes for expenses and money movement must have Brand on pins and needles, I wonder, if Pearl is still on the board with Ms. Lopez out, if there has not been some collusion (Brown Act, Linked Conversations between Board Mambers) that could be used to cancel any purchase or expense related items agreed to this evening? It will be interesting whose interests the "Lame Ducks" all three/four will back... BBQ CAVE


bbq March 25, 2014 @ 11:29 a.m.

All, I was not planning to come to the Board Meeting tonight, but review of a few agenda items raises a couple of concerns:

Item K-5 Monthly Financial reports, Background Item Page 6 shows Fund 09 (Hawking Charter) Borrowing money from Fund 01 (General Fund), which borrowed money from Fund 49 (CFD). Is this OK? Should Fund 09 (charter Schools) be loaned money from Fund 49 (CFD) ? Because in essence that's what the district is doing! I think some explaination is due.

Item M-7 Growth Management Oversight Commission, How on earth is Olympian High School going to handle an additional 440 students (16%) next year with no facilities planning? It is the smallest High School for combined capacity, 2117 with the third highest enrollment (Dec 2014, 2511) and the most out of boundary students (35%)?

If I do not make it how about somebody asks... Thanks BBQ CAVE


Susan Luzzaro March 25, 2014 @ 11:50 a.m.

BBQ, The district has removed Ms. Quinones's picture from the website. Lopez told me at the last (confused) board meeting that she had informed the district that she would be out of town. CalAware was generous enough to provide the opinion above--which has bearing on holding a meeting with only two trustees. Susan


dbdriver March 25, 2014 @ 1:19 p.m.

So, I'm thinking of a few potential scenarios...

1) Since there was no statement yet, Quinones is still potentially attending as she hasn't "offically" stepped down. - Probably not likely.

2) Lopez will "attend" via Skype. - Most likely

3) There will be a "legal council opinion" that allows the board to operate with two members for specific items. - We've seen "legal opinions" used in the past.

4) County Board of Education will have a representative on standby to fill in for the duration for our current crisis. - Neutral party or Brand-friendly unknown.


eastlaker March 25, 2014 @ 7:39 p.m.

Well, Brand and toadies went with option 5) cancellation...

He really must be afraid of that performance review!


anniej March 25, 2014 @ 1:59 p.m.

IF we were living in a democratic society, with elected representatives of ethical standing, providing transparent government we would NOT be left to guess - about ANY of this!!!!!


anniej March 25, 2014 @ 8:22 p.m.

It is hard to believe what I witnessed this evening. Many teachers, many community members MASSIVE press - but NO Board meeting.

'Due to the fact that only two Board members are present the Board meeting is cancelled and will be rescheduled to April 21st' Jim Cartmill told the audience. Ed Brand stood up and arrogantly pointed that attorney Winnett (spelling?) was there to answer any questions from ? Or the media......

As we stood there we watched as the Security firm left - we paid for them. Then at 6:00 the translators stood in front of the board meeting door reading the notice that due to NO board members being present the board meeting was cancelled - we paid for them.

My fellow neighbors why weren't these persons notified in advance? Why do our tax dollars mean so little to Jim Cartmill and John McCann (candidate for C.V. City Council) that they would tolerate both the security firm and translators not being notified of the cancellation?

Jim Cartmill and John McCann (candidate for C.V. Council) both knew in advance that Lopez and Quinones would not attend - so why the hoax?

Is this the best that Jim Cartmill and John McCann (candidate for C.V. City Council) have to offer the community that voted them into office.

Just last Monday, John McCann (candidate for C.V. City Council) commented on his disappointment as to the Board meetings cancellation; however, here he is just one week and one day later participating in a hoax. Why didn't John McCann (candidate for C.V. City Council) demand that Jim Cartmill reschedule the meeting when Lopez could attend? They were told by Lopez she would be out of town, they knew when she would be returning, so WHY????? Why on earth would Jim Cartmill and John McCann (candidate for C.V. Council) allow themselves to be used by Ed Brand?

As one cameraman asked 'is this the same McCann who stood here, just a week ago, voicing his disappointment'? Ah, that would be a YES!!!!!!

Last but not least the students who showed up one group of three (3) another group of four (4) - all there to voice support for the teachers. One young teenage girl dropped off by her father who was on his way back to Eastlake when she phoned him 'Dad, can you pick me up no one is here but me, this lady and a bunch of reporters - she is going to stay until you come back'. This young student had waited til her Dad arrived home from work, late and then had him rush her over to a non existent Board meeting. Was he upset, the word upset does not define his fury. He had voted for both Jim Cartmill and John McCann (candidate for C.V. City Council) - 'what a mistake that was, neither have done anything for their communities'. I agreed!!!!!! Then I advised him John McCann was now running for C.V. Council - he looked at me and said - 'he fooled me once, not again'.

How do you spell poor representation Jim Cartmill - John McCann (candidate for C.V. Council).

Just my opinion


Visduh March 25, 2014 @ 8:45 p.m.

anniej, as irritated (or outraged) as you are, be happy that they had no meeting, nor any attempt to pretend they were having one. If Pearlie showed up, would that have meant a quorum was present? The puppets and puppetmaster might have claimed so, and rammed through some more votes that all will eventually regret. If Quinones showed up and voted, all the votes would be legally suspect, and then the district would have to hire lawyers to defend lawsuits. So, maybe this charade wasn't a charade at all, but an attempt to get her to show up and pretend to still be a trustee in good standing. Stranger things have happened, and before this is over, will happen. You ain't seen nothin' yet!


shirleyberan March 25, 2014 @ 9:35 p.m.

I saw on the news at 5, meeting was canceled. Wanted to see your comments. So sorry for mess you have to deal with.


anniej March 26, 2014 @ 7:48 a.m.

Visduh - Ms. Quinones's picture has been taken down from the District website. A woman who said she knew her said she is in Texas with her ailing mother. Ms. Lopez had told the audience she would be out of town for the rest of the month at last Mondays meeting.

As I left the cancelled Board meeting I was faced with the task of feverishly calling those East side parents awaiting my call - 'It is a no go, Jim Cartmill cancelled the meeting, Ed Brand was arrogantly disrespectful and John McCann all but ran out the side door'. When the question was asked 'why post it in the first place?' My answer was simple 'This is Sweetwater we are talking about, led by Jim Cartmill and John McCann and this is why they have to go'.

Visduh, one thing for sure, Mr. Cartmill and John McCann are doing their own selves harm - and the epitaph that is being written can be summed up in one word 'SHAMEFUL'!


eastlaker March 26, 2014 @ 10:02 a.m.

This begs the question, "Why would anyone go through with such behavior that is so insulting to everyone involved?"

Again, my answer ends up being that the reason McCann and Cartmill put up with being made to look like complete idiots is that: a) they are complete idiots; b) Brand owns them so completely that they no longer feel shame at looking like complete idiots; c) they are so used to doing everything Brand says that they have lost higher brain function.

Chose any of the above, they are all pathetically sad.

Obviously these individuals have no place being in positions of leadership, handling multi-million dollar budgets and contracts, not to mention the lives of all the students and employees of Sweetwater. Can you say untrustworthy trustees? Can you say duplicitous superintendent?

How about we get rid of this trio?


shirleyberan March 26, 2014 @ 10:05 a.m.

Anniej - that's the word, they should be ashamed of themselves, not making everybody else ashamed for them. People without remorse don't feel shame.


anothereastlaker March 27, 2014 @ 7:11 a.m.

Brand and Cartmill have scheduled a press conference for Friday. I wonder if McCann will show up too?


bbq March 27, 2014 @ 11:10 a.m.


What could it be? Without a quorum said he:

There have been no OK's to pay contractors, (Ms. Russo for free?).

The Board has failed on the 3rd St Property sale,

A new Adminstration Building? Not with Ed Fiddling...

A settlement with the teachers, not without the right features..

Continued overcrowding in the East, Ed and the board created that beast...

Continued Academic Probation in the West, has Ed really done his best?

Can't get through, Ed's Review,

Will the County Board appoint someone to sit on the board? Who won't follow the Hoard.

Sweetwater is screwed up and with any luck, our adminstrator's days are numbered

Oh, Oh if the voters will awake from their slumber, take action to end Ed's faction is the only positive reaction.

The excitement of waiting Ed out, BBQ CAVE


Reader2 March 27, 2014 @ 3:43 p.m.

This is not related to your post, but I think you'll like it. It's a glowing report on Career Technical Education classes in Georgia. http://www.theatlantic.com/james-fallows/


bbq March 28, 2014 @ 5:44 a.m.

Reader2, Thank you for the post, it follows offering "experience" to our students. Even though our district offers "Technical Tracks" the overall emphasis on "College" is a poor deception for many of our students.

SUHSD technical tracks are not readily available for all students, and even if a student has the ability to attend College, the hand on experiences of technical training prepare them for their future education.

Hear hear to Camden Central High School, just because we are a "CITY" based school does not mean we only need Books and ipads! BBQ CAVE


eastlaker March 28, 2014 @ 1:32 p.m.

I've mentioned this before but here goes: a documentary called "If You Build It" is playing at various theaters and film festivals around the country. It tells the story of some young people (engineer/designers) who want to teach high school students the skills that go into making things. They follow a class from a high school in North Carolina. This program is now in use in Berkeley, CA in the middle school and the high school. Please google it! There is so much that can be done to reach students who learn better in non-traditional ways.


eastlaker March 27, 2014 @ 12:32 p.m.

Looks like a post of mine disappeared without a trace!!

Hope I didn't offend anyone--or at least anyone who is on the side of open books, honesty and responsible leadership in Sweetwater UHSD!!

Soooo, back to business.

When has Ed Brand ever bothered with legalities?

The Voit Real Estate firm seems to operate just fine on Ed Brand's word alone. One wonders if they are beginning to second guess that position.

The massive hemorrhaging of our tax and bond monies into Ed Brand schemes and scams has got to come to an end.

I am surprised that the sheriff's dept. hasn't paid a visit to Sweetwater with regard to all of this--but then I have always been a believer in the justice system, at least most of the time.

Let us hope that the Justice System is not going to let us all down here in south San Diego County, where wishing unpleasantries away might appeal to some, but is no solution.

No, there has been far too much deliberate misuse and abuse of the educational system and its financial underpinnings to let things slide.

If someone feels they must limit my free speech, or has an issue with what I say, please discuss. I will try and find out why my last comment went the way of all things rather sooner than it should.


shirleyberan March 27, 2014 @ 2:45 p.m.

Brand and Cartmill will sound like stupids. They are liars and it will show.


anniej March 27, 2014 @ 5:26 p.m.

Channel 7 39 did a segment in which Mr. Brand spoke of us as a 'family' that is in the middle of a squabble (like all families do).

If Jim Cartmill and John McCann think that 'same ole story is going to fly' to squelch the negative press and outrage of the parents they are sadly mistaken.

IF I were a part of the Jim Cartmill and John McCann family, with the two of them as parents I WOULD IMMEDIATELY FILE FOR EMANCIPATION!!!!!!!

According to documents provided to the community there is one more mediation meeting scheduled, according to John McCann and Jim Cartmill's 'papa' (Brand) mediation has ended and that is why 'papa' is allowed to discuss it.

We, the community want lower class sizes, and I am not talking about averaging the class sizes. We want a limit on the number of students in each and every class room. Brand promised a cap before - so explain 40+ in a class - the old average trick. John McCann and Jim Cartmill this is YOUR responsibility, you were voted in to correct this problem and you have failed!!!!

Jim Cartmill and John McCann, when are you going to come to the realization that what Brand is selling you, is NOT being bought by ANYONE in this community.

More flyers at graduations? Signs telling the real story of Jim Cartmill and John McCann - McCann had better get his little red camera charged up - this time we will have ours too - can see it now front page pic of McCann sitting in his car snapping pics of the community activists while they advise voters NOT TO VOTE FOR HIM or Jim Cartmill ever again.

All of those McCann signs all over Chula Vista, now the butt of many jokes - how many signs does it take for McCann to be elected? None, voters will be voting in integrity not little red signs!!!!!!


CV_Parent March 27, 2014 @ 6:47 p.m.

I saw segment on KGTV and Cartmill and McCann looked so stupid with sleeping bags and Dr Brand showing his little shaving kit. If you go to the district web site there are Brands letter and talking about how the district put together 120 page facts that SEA was doing something illegal and slams then for only writing a page 1/2 response. On SEA Facebook there is a letter from PERB denying the district request for injunction. Brand is getting scared now. On another topic how can McCann put up his red signs on public property legally?? Who do you call to complain?


oskidoll March 27, 2014 @ 8:12 p.m.

Call the City in which the signs are posted on public property.


anniej March 27, 2014 @ 7:12 p.m.

I would contact the Mayors office regarding the little red signs. They are EVERYWHERE,

We can all bring about change simply by forwarding emails on SUHSD to ALL you know, parents on the east side are now aware and are NOT happy.

John McCann and Jim Cartmill need to resign immediately and we need to fire Brand NOW!!!!


PencilPokinVelma March 30, 2014 @ 9:05 a.m.

I was having a coffee with the parents during the school day. I like to have my parents for coffee while the teachers are teaching, so there is no interference from them. My view is the parents will NOT support teachers if they strike. The parents who come to my coffees don't care for the teachers, and they have plenty of concerns about certain union-active teachers. Dr. Brand is OUR SUPERINTENDENT. If he needs to make reductions in spending so our district can thrive SO BE IT. If teachers would just support the decisions made by the administration perhaps we wouldn't have to write so many pink slips. Teachers who would go on strike and leave kids at school without any supervision really shouldn't BE teachers,should they? Perhaps you should have become administrators? Sadly, you probably would not fit in the administrator arena either. You have to be a "people person" to make it here.


Visduh March 30, 2014 @ 9:17 p.m.

Velma, Velma, Velma! When I stopped laughing, I was speechless for at least five minutes. Your words are almost the same as those used a decade-plus ago when Bersin was doing his "turnaround" of the SD City Schools. The teachers knew BS when they heard/saw/smelled it, and they resisted. And you, dear, know the same thing. Sadly, you may be right about the lack of support for a strike. The Sweetwater cabal has used the teachers union as a foil for all its double-dealing and crooked activity for years now. Anyone who complains about the administrators is a teachers union lackey and is therefore complicit. But, you know all that Velma. I'd love to talk to you when all this is over (if it ever is.)


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