Friday, September 11, 2009
Conflicts of Interest Alleged at Guajome Park Academy
See all Guajome Park Academy posts.
Although Dan Shinoff is not mentioned in the story below, he was present to advise board members at the Vista Unified School District meeting last night.
Conflicts of Interest Alleged at Vista Charter
by Emily Alpert
Voice of San Diego
September 11, 2009
A Vista charter school's practice of having employees, particularly the superintendent, serve on its board creates "potential and/or actual conflicts of interest, according to lawyers hired by the Vista Unified School District to investigate complaints about conflict of interest at the school.
The fact that Bob Hampton, who became the superintendent of Guajome Park Academy this summer, sits on the school's executive board is problematic for several reasons, said Dina Harris, an attorney with Best Best & Krieger, the firm retained by the district.
In the past, employees felt nervous about questioning decisions made by their leader because the superintendent had to authority to terminate employees and sat on the board, Harris wrote. They also "felt there was no one to turn to ... because the same individual held position(s) at three levels of the complaint process." And the executive board also handles the superintendent's contract.
Harris recommended that Guajome Park remove employees from its board and instead create an advisory board for employees. She singled out the superintendent in particular as a problem. Hampton wrote in a statement that "we respectfully may not agree with some of their commentary and conclusions."...
The report also included a slew of other findings, including that Guajome Park approved a contract four years ago that a board member had a financial stake in. It also found "some occasional violations of the Brown Act" which mandates that meetings be open to the public, and that the school violated its own rules by choosing an interim superintendent who didn't have the credentials listed in its founding charter...
Silvia Peters, a Vista parent who once sent her child to Guajome Park, called the report "watered down," alleging that it didn't reflect other complaints about the school curriculum and how it handles special education. "I think you're trying to play the patsy," Peters said...