The district attorney’s office raided two more homes March 22 in connection with the South County school district’s scandal. Affidavits, signed by district attorney investigator Vincent Giame, provided the basis for searching the homes of ...
for whatever reason, possibly more corruption than one mind can handle, i had not read the 160+ page pdf on the recent ut article. well, i just did and i am compelled to bring the document to everyones attention. IT IS A MUST READ.
what jumps out at me as i sit here is the absolute gall of these wheeler and dealers that were allegedly buying the contracts at sweetwater and southwestern via gifts, lunches, dinners, tickets, hotel stays, scholarships, beauty pageant entry fees, jersey boy tickets, humidors, golf trips and much much more - NOT TO MENTION THE $80,000.00 worth of campaign donations for board members from the company jaime ortiz works for. one of the ways they were using their financial backing was thru campaign donation contributions. i am not talking small change here - the affidavit in the ut clearly lists the thousands upon thousands that jaime ortiz's company poured into the coffers of those 'special' persons running for board seats, and please note those of whom i speak are not only the democrats - what needs to be questioned is why jaime ortiz company chose to donate the thousands that he did to jim cartmill or should i say 'friends of jim cartmill' and also to john mccann. both of them received/are receiving donations from 'certain entities' to help them pay off their campaign debt (i guess the vitamin business and the 'it' business are not reaping in the profits). while i have questioned it before i will question it again, why would any company donate money into a board members campaign coffer to assist them in paying off their campaign debt? for verification please visit san diego registrar of voters web site and type in the last name of the candidate - there it is folks ALL OF IT PUBLIC INFORMATION................................
while i have called for ricasa and quinones to go - just go away - step down and move on. i am now calling for jim cartmill and john mccann to do the same. while it is true that board member lopez did receive campaign donations from some of the same entities the others did, the one thing that sets her apart from the others is her voting record and her constant remarks demanding 'answers'.
in closing, it is my opinion that the sweetwater board MUST BEGIN A SEARCH FOR A NEW SUPERINTENDENT ''''''''''''''IMMEDIATELY''''''''''''''''''''''. brand has got to go. his involvement with the prop bb grand jury investigation as well as many of the recent events such as 'funds for education' has caused the community and taxpayers to loose faith and favor with this interim superintendent. not to mention that it is rumored that he was hand picked by john mccann to do mccann's bidding. that alone is reason for him to go.
just my humble opinion
many of those who have followed my posts both on the ut (before i was banned for failing to admit my true identity and after a complaint by a certain board member) know how passionate i am regarding ridding the educational system (sweetwater and southwestern) of the pay to play aka corruption culture.
i must say when i read this article my stomach actually turned and became upset. this expense report was submitted by amigable to his bosses - this is proof positive of exactly what was going on at both educational districts and it is nothing short of repulsive. this is proof that jeff flores knew EXACTLY WHAT HIS EMPLOYEE WAS DOING AND WHAT THEY (FLORES) WAS PAYING HIM (AMIGABLE) TO DO.
dominguez (george/jorge), amigable, sandoval, 'the gandara', bunton - all of them in positions of power at sweetwater.
keep in mind my fellow neighbors, this and other evidence we are able to review is ONLY the tip of the iceberg - i can only imagine the evidence they must have on quinones, ricasa, 'the gandara', and sandoval.
if this does not empower you to show up, stand up, and speak up against this nonsense i simply do not know what will.
Yes, things frequently have the air of being 'a done deal' here in the South Bay. And we really don't get to hear much of the news that takes place down here, whether it is crime-related, traffic and traffic accident-related or community-related.
Which is why I think it would be great if the high schools could develop some pilot programs for neighborhood and area news and news trends. But--sorry, there isn't funding for anything like that, because those in charge have completely mismanaged funding for more years than anyone cares to remember.
Maybe Southwestern Community College could move in that direction? At one time, their school paper was award-winning. What kind of support are they getting?
Not discussing problems does not make them go away.
I am grateful that The Reader gives us this necessary and vital "home" for discussion. Thanks, Susan, for what you are giving us.
Greenville: very interesting post, you have given the reader much to consider. for far too long it has been not what you know but who you know. under 'the gandara' many were wooed with promises of promotion and title. look where those persons are now. principals who donated so generously into the campaigns of 'certain' board members believing they would be part of the inner circle. what they failed to realize is this............ you are only part of the inner circle as long as you are needed - once you have been used up you are discarded. wow, what a sad state of affairs, stressful working conditions to say the least. unfortunately there have been casualties along the way, some of the best of the best who were dazzled and then left blind sighted, careers ended.
who is being protected? well many believe it is all about the money - follow the money.
but here is my question why? why all of the smoke and mirrors? what is being hidden, what could be so bad that they would go to such lengths?
regarding an eligible superintendent candidate - respectfully i disagree - surely there are candidates - i can think of one right off the top of my head - who in the history of sweetwater could not, would not be bought???????????????
what questions to ask? there are those who not only know the questions but know the factual answers.
A grand jury could question, but they need to know which questions to ask.
The question is, who would have the background to question Brand? A Grand Jury? Because that's pretty much what it would take. Think Augean stables for degree of filth. Where's Hercules when you need him?
Dr. Brand, thank you for joining the conversation. After reading all of these comments, and reflecting on my own experience as a Sweetwater employee, I am reminded of the advice I received from a district administrator regarding my rejected application for an administration position. This person advised me to be patient because those in power had a lot of favors that they needed to repay. Could a few of those people be principals who are key campaign contributors to one of the indicted board members? What about those administrators who have contributed so many times to so many board member campaigns, that one would think they were tithing to a church? I could continue, but that would be a digression. The point is that this board is financially beholden to the very people it purports to supervise. These very same district administrators run our district, write your reports, and until very recently offered legal advice. There are other recent questionable promotions which have the same flavor. Who are you protecting Dr. Brand, or who are you rewarding for their loyalty and silence? I have absolutely no faith in the ability of this school board to do anything other than protect their own pocket books, floundering political aspirations, and diminishing reputations. Sadly, I have observed that those who would question you do not have the background needed to fully and effectively challenge you. I can only hope that the press will keep reporting, that the recall will be successful, and that two of our board members will go to prison. If we do not clean house, I doubt that there is a single eligible superintendent candidate who will apply for the job.
For weeks, activist Stewart Payne has had headlines written that pertain to him: “Violent Threats By Occupy Sweetwater Result in Restraining Order” (San Diego Rostra), “Keep Payne Away” (The Star News), and “Court Protects Sweetwater ...
Visduh: thank goodness that Payne has a Masters in Criminal Justice, or is it a PhD ? but in any event i do believe that mccann, brand, and the majority of other board members severely underestimated the concerned citizen by the name of Mr. Stuart Payne.
the attempted real damage to Mr. Payne, that was perpetrated by those involved at the district is indeed a reflection of their true vindictive nature.
if we analyze the latest two incidents they are most concerning for a variety of reasons - one of them being the financial cost. we hire a security firm that shows up toting guns they do not have permits for - and how much did this cost we taxpayers? now we see john mccann hiring an attorney to represent him for a restraining order that was found to be unsubstantiated - and again i ask how much did this cost we taxpayers in total?
brand should be held accountable for both fiascos as they fall under his jurisdiction. has the board acknowledged the truth about the security firm and the lack of licensing? these are real guns, with real bullets, on the hips of security guards that have NO authorization to carry them. WHY????????????? a school district board room, with your children in attendance - we need leadership that will make much better decisions. mccann, brand, and definitely quinones are not those leaders.
just my opinion
have they learned? probably not - the antagonists will be proceeding with caution - i am hearing neither brand nor mccann like to loose. any and all incidents of retribution, intimidation, or subliminal scare tactics, no matter how small will be documented and reported. past incidents have laid the ground work for the potential here, no group should be targeted for speaking out in favor of what is right. hopefully the issues will be left in the board room, as they should be.
just my opinion
So Brandara is spending more public dollars on this irrational and spectacular rot? He should be ashamed and quit now. But some people are shameless and never quit. Sheesh, is someone in law enforcement going to take a really good luck at this wretched excuse of a school district? Where is the attorney general in all this?
Sign the petitions to recall Mr. McCann and his fellow board members Ricasa and Cartmill. There is real work to be done in the Sweetwater district. This event has been an embarrassing attempt by McCann to divert public attention from the real issues. Contact Occupy Sweetwater through their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SUHSDRecall2012, e-mail at [email protected], or call (619) 422-1617.
I am glad the truth is coming out and McCann was not granted a permanent restraining order by the judge. McCann's continued bizarre behavior (filming speakers from the dias? having the republican party send out a robocall about McCann's decision on a board action that hadn't been voted on yet? running away from a recall petition? and let's not forget the famous "your people" YouTube video!) seems to indicate a person who does not have the right personality to be holding public office. McCann should resign from the board, forego any future political involvement, and carry on with his life as a private citizen, husband and father. He is an embarrassment to the Sweetwater District and South Bay community.
Republican Party leadership - are you listening? The South Bay is laughing at McCann, but tired of his antics. He is a liability for the Republicans - if you can't control him then cut him loose. Surely there are more qualified Republicans out there who know how to hold a public office with dignity and ethics. McCann has neither. (And please - to all the commenters to this article - I know I just gave you a perfect opening.... try to resist - it is too easy!)
The scary part is that most people I have talked to believe that he won't just let this fade away, and will instead orchestrate some other "event" to bring the TRO back to the judge. Or find some other way to call attention to himself yet again. We will watch and see. McCann if you are reading this - remember the boy who cried wolf... Your credibility is gone, time to stop.
ps - another great article Susan. Thanks.
Erupting: those that attended the court proceedings left the court room, agreeing with Mr. Stuart Payne's comments regarding leaving the difference of opinions in the board room. but then----------------
in full john mccann style, he IMMEDIATELY smiled to the camera and claimed that he feared for his life and the life of his children. is there no one who cares enough about this man to give him the 911 - "if you want to salvage any respect some may have for you - STOP THIS INSANITY"
where is brand in this? where are the others? right there i guess, secretly thanking him for keeping the press's focus off the real issue 'where is the money? what did you do with the money?' - and the cost? mccann has lost his political future, all at his own hand.
TIME FOR A FORENSIC AUDIT OF THE DISTRICT'S BOOKS FOLKS.
McCann was represented by an attorney at the hearing. According to a May 10 U-T report, “Sweetwater superintendent Ed Brand approved the legal expense. He said the affair may cost the school district around $2,400 in attorney’s fees for McCann.”
Brand HAS TO GO, that $2400 should come right out of his fat butt.
I have never in my life heard of a $2400 charge for a RO which are done pro se 99.9999% of the time.
I doubt the DA is doing much-considering how long it took them just to open an investigation and take action.
For most people, the events surrounding Sweetwater Union HSD are abstract concepts. Board members who may have committed crimes while in office, contractors who may have gamed the system, administrators who may have bent the rules to their favor. However, there are many for whom these behaviors violate the very core of their beliefs. It is the concept of "fair play," "the Golden Rule," and "Do unto others...," that form some of the most basic of values that a majority of people hold dear. For most people, it is an alien thought that any of our elected officials would use their elected positions as a means for personal gain, a "me first" attitude, or a stepping stone to higher political office. Yet, it is this self-serving attitude that is exactly what is to be found in the leadership of Sweetwater Union High School District. This attitude pervades the Board of Trustees, the senior administration, and the favored few who find themselves as one of the "in people." Too many insiders currying favor with whomever is in charge, board members looking to senior administration to promote themselves in the public's eye. Their concern is more of "What can you do for me," than "What can I do for the school district?" These people personify everything that is wrong with Sweetwater Union High School District. These people's time should be over. Yet, they continue to hold positions that have major influence, not only on the well-being of our community's students, but also on the financial solvency of the District as a whole. There is no real argument as to whether or not these people should be replaced with more responsible citizens. The questions are, and shall remain "How long do we tolerate this behavior until each and every one of us takes personal responsibility to bring about change?" " How long shall we wait until we've seen enough, heard enough, or had enough of what has become an almost daily ritual of scandal, hubris, and denial before we are willing to take action?" There has never been a more critical moment than now for each and every one of us to stand up and speak as one voice that enough is enough, we have had all we will tolerate, and it is time for the current leadership of the Sweetwater Union High School District to leave, resign, or quit. Please join me in voicing this sentiment to the current Board of Trustees at the next meeting of the Sweetwater Union HSD. In unity there is strength. John M. Brickley, SUHSD, Retired
SurfPuppy619: in a fiduciary school board world you are correct - but you must have forgotten - THIS IS THE SWEETWATER BOARD you are asking to be cognizant of tax dollars, something about fiduciary responsibility and sweetwater do not equate.
My thinking exactly. I love my morning paper - but maybe it could be a different paper.....
i, with all due respect DISAGREE with mr. amigale's attorney - those bond monies are our tax dollars, contracts that are assigned to contractors due to pay to play, i believe that they are our tax dollars. that those gifts, tickets, contrlbutions are built into the costs, used as write offs on their taxes. hopefully the feds are looking into this as well. we are talking about a whole lot of corruption here, sweetwater alone had 644 mill to be handed out.
after reading all of the affidavits a question that continues to run thru my mind is why aren't these management companies being indicted? they were essentially buying their way into bond contracts, and i believe that is illegal.