Friday, December 29, 2006

I've noticed that south county San Diego has more cover-ups

This morning I read in the Union Tribune that an ex-coach in San Marcos has admitted stealing $40,000.00 from a girls’ softball team.

Once again I am reminded that South San Diego County has the most deceptive news coverage in San Diego. If you steal money from a PTA or other fund for students in any other part of San Diego, your neighbors are probably going to read about it.

Why has the truth about Chula Vista Elementary School District crimes been covered-up? If the violations of law that were committed by the school board, teacher union, and PTA in Chula Vista had been committed in any part of the county other than Chula Vista and its surrounding communities, voters would have read about it in their newspapers.

San Diego south county voters, on the other hand, are kept in the dark by the Union Tribune’s Don Sevrens, the Star-News’ Linda Rosas Townson, and Daniel Muñoz’s La Prensa.

I doubt that Cheryl Cox would have been elected mayor, and the Chula Vista Elementary School District incumbents re-elected, if voters in south county knew the whole truth about them.

Don Sevrens wrote plenty of negative articles about these individuals in the Union Tribune’s south county edition, but at the same time, he covered up the facts that would have proved his points. Most people assume that anyone who gets fired probably deserved it. It is human nature to give the benefit of the doubt to authority figures. Don Sevrens wanted people to vote against the incumbents because they fired or transferred employees. Yet he covered up the fact that school board members had committed multiple serious violations of law. Why did he cover it up? Because the teachers’ union, Chula Vista Educators, had also been deeply involved in the crimes.

The former head of Castle Park Elementary’s discipline committee now sits on the site council, helping to cover up the theft of $20,000.00 by one of her supporters. This former chair of the school’s “Peace Committee” is known for dealing out punishments to kids that far exceed the seriousness of the child’s transgression—and for demanding that other teachers do the same. This teacher has often been verbally abusive and excessively punitive toward kids who commit small transgressions. But stealing $20,000.00 is something she doesn’t want to talk about or act on.

The staff as a whole has been unanimous in its desire to cover up serious wrongdoing at the school. Not one single teacher has come forward to tell the truth since a crime wave by teachers began in 2000.

After a year without investigating, the CV Police Department finally showed a tiny spark of interest in the missing $20,000 AFTER CVESD board member Cheryl Cox was elected as mayor of Chula Vista. Chula Vista police then called in Former PTA president Kim Simmons, talked to her, arrested her, and then let her go. District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis did not press charges. Why? Perhaps she's too busy prosecuting a young man who worked for Cheryl Cox's opponent, Steve Padilla, for allegedly lying about taking two hours off work. The San Diego Union Tribune finally allowed a short note about the arrest of Castle Park Elementary's former PTA president to be published in November of 2006, but told nothing about the other serious crimes at Castle Park.

Update May 6, 2007:
Now that teacher Robin Donlan, a close friend of former PTA presidents Kim Simmons and Felicia Starr and former teachers union President Gina Boyd, is being investigated along with her husband Vencent Donlan for the theft of $7.7 million from Vence's former employer, perhaps the crime wave at Castle Park Elementary that was started in 2000 by Donlan and her brother MIchael Carlson will get some attention.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Lora Duzyk and Dan Shinoff say Shinoff works for SDCOE

According to the San Diego County Office of Education's website, it offers the following slate of lawyers for school districts to hire:
Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo
Best, Best & Krieger
Lozano Smith
Parham & Rajcic
(Link: List of approved SDCOE attorneys.

But recently I sent a public records request to SDCOE asking for "a complete list of attorneys currently approved by the San Diego County Office of Education Joint Powers Authority." Lora Duzyk passed the request to Dan Shinoff. He wrote that the complete list consists of the following lawyers:

Dan Shinoff of Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz
Randy Winet of Winet, Winet, Patrick & Weaver
David Monks of Klinedinst P.C.

How can the lists be completely different? It apears that Shinoff is talking about lawyers who represent the JPA itself, not lawyers approved by the JPA to represent school districts.

Perhaps the JPA has a contract with Shinoff that hasn't run out yet.

Or perhaps the JPA has decided that it wants an unethical lawyers for it's own legal problems, but it will stop foisting those unethical lawyers on school districts.

What will Randy Ward do with this public records request sent today?

Randolph Ward

Dear Mr. Ward:

Pursuant to the California Public Records Act, I request the following information:

1. The name(s) of all insurance companies currently doing business with or on behalf of the San Diego County Office of Education Joint Powers Authority.

2. How much money did the San Diego County Office of Education Joint Powers Authority pay to Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz or Stutz, Gallagher, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz between January 1, 2001 and January 1, 2006?

4. A complete list of attorneys currently approved by the San Diego County School Legal Council to do legal work for school districts.


Yours truly,
Maura Larkins

January 16, 2007
Randolf Ward refuses to tell how much SDCOE JPA paid Daniel Shinoff from 2001 to 2006.
For some odd reason, he also refuses to tell what insurance companies SDCOE JPA does business with.
Why on earth does he think the public does not have a right to know this?
What's going on, Mr. Ward?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Is corruption increasing in school districts in San Diego?

The Washington Post reports that: "Congress isn't the only place where public corruption is on the rise.

"More than 1,000 federal, state and local government employees across the country have been convicted in government corruption cases over the past two years, including hundreds of crooked police officers and others who have dipped into the taxpayers' till, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said yesterday."

It's hard to know for sure if public sector corruption is increasing, since so little attention has been paid to it in the past. Is it possible that it was always this bad? One thing is for sure: the FBI is paying more attention to public sector corruption.

I had hoped that San Diego County Office of Education's new superintendent Randall Ward would try to clean up corruption in our schools. SDCOE lawyers have been charging millions of tax dollars each year to cover-up and defend illegal actions by local school board members and administrators and teachers.

Marsha Sutton, Idealist

Why did Marsha Sutton write a long article about SDCOE for Voice of San Diego on May 23, 2005, without ever mentioning the JPA? Why does Voice of San Diego refuse to write about SDCOE JPA lawyers?

I won't even bother asking the above questions about the San Diego Union Tribune. It has a well-earned reputation for bias and cover-ups.

How did Voice of San Diego, which started out with such lofty goals of openness and honesty, become merely a slight improvement over the UT?