Monday, December 24, 2007

Answer to previous post: Yes, CVESD's action is illegal, as Capistrano Unified administrators found out

See also San Diego County Department of Education.
See also Lora Duzyk.

Click here to see the original post.

Capistrano Unified - Former Superintendent & Assistant Indicted!
May 24th, 2007
by Kelly at Rancho Santa Margarita Lifestyles
This morning District Attorney Tony Rackauckas issued a statement outlining the investigation of Former Superintendent James Fleming and Former Assistant Superintendent Susan McGill and the indictments handed down as a result of those investigations. The charges were actually brought ten days ago, but were unsealed today.Fleming is charged with:

Misappropriation of public funds
Use of school funds to defeat the recall effort

McGill is charged with:

Here’s something to think about. If convicted Fleming ’s maximum sentence would be four years. McGill’s however would be five. Where’s the justice in that? Why is it that the major player in a crime always seems to get less time than a minor player trying to cover their tracts? Fair or not, those are the rules. So a word to the wise: tell the truth!

Rancho Santa Margarita residents who reside within the Capistrano Unified School District boundaries have been anxiously awaiting the outcome of the investigation which began early in 2006. The school district has been riddled with problems in the past few years, not the least of which was a heated recall effort waged against Fleming for (surprise!) alleged mismanagement of school district funds.

Parents residing in the Capo District were also understandably critical of the District’s decision to purchase and move into a pricey new district office (how “OC” of them) while hundreds of children are being wedged into dilapidated portables and using run-down, filthy bathrooms. Admittedly the former district offices were in need to some improvements. But really, wasn’t there a more equitable solution?

The whole thing just makes my blood boil. There’s always going to be controversy and political sparring where it comes to various strategies for running a school district. It’s an Everyone Knows Best kind of thing. So it goes without saying that there will always be those who question those in power. It’s healthy that way.

When it comes to the actual election of school board officials though, how much do we really know about their qualifications, morals and ethics? I may get slammed for this, but here goes: The act of voting for school district officials is more or less a crap-shoot for the average voter. Most of us make the most educated choice that we can, cross our fingers and push the button.

We really have no idea whether the person we’re voting for is truly up to the task, nor do the majority of us even have an adequate understanding of what the task actually entails. We simply don’t have time to know everything about every candidate that we vote for. Instead we rely on opinions of others that we respect. So what can we really expect? Who can we really blame when something goes wrong and incredibly poor decisions are made?

What I do know is that when I vote for a candidate I expect that person to be honest and ethical. The charges levied against both Fleming and McGill, suggest that there is sufficient reason to question whether these parties have failed in that regard. Along with all the rest of you, I will be waiting to see how this plays out. In the meantime, my fingers remain crossed that the current Supervisor and Board get it right.

Capo Schools attended by Rancho Santa Margarita students are:

Tesoro High School
Las Flores Middle School
Las Flores Elementary School
Tijeras Creek Elementary School
Arroyo Vista Elementary School

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