Nonprofit chairman billed Sweetwater taxpayers for his work
Head of scholarship foundation says board members aren’t supposed to be paid
By Wendy Fry and Ashly McGlone
May 19, 2011
Charges to the district by public-relations consultant Scott Alevy involving his unpaid work as chairman of the Sweetwater Education Foundation:
June 23: Extensive discussion with Ed Lopez, Sweetwater Education Foundation, on potential and methods of community outreach using Compact for Success and foundation scholarships for more positive community and student perception: $187.50
June 24: Discussion with (district lawyer) Bonny Garcia on Compact/Foundation discussion and impacts of budget and issues on other districts in region: $125
June 30: Discussion with several district parents about perceptions of district, administration, curriculum, Compact for Success and facilities: $437.50
July 20: Discussion with Bonny Garcia on public perceptions, issues and potential for additional outreach with SDSU and the Compact for Success to highlight a more positive community and student perception: $187.50
July 24: Discussion with several current and former district teachers and administrators and parents about perceptions of district, including thoughts on the administration, curriculum, Compact for Success and facilities: $437.50
Oct. 12: Discussions with Ed Lopez/Sweetwater Education Foundation and Jeff Marston on scripting and issues for foundation dinner. Discussion with Juan Garcia/Chevron about district issues and support for projects: $250
Oct. 20: Sweetwater Education Foundation annual dinner. Discussions with district leadership and board plus educators and business leaders about district issues. Public presentation to 300 as chair of event: $750
Jan. 31: Lunch meeting with Ed Lopez, Executive Director of the Sweetwater Education foundation. Discussed Compact for Success scholarship levels, responses from contacts for funding on perceptions of the district and strategic input: $375
Source: Alevy’s invoices
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CHULA VISTA — When 300 people attended the fifth annual Sweetwater Education Foundation gala in October at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront, they ate a steak dinner and heard a performance by Bonita Vista High’s show choir.
The host was Scott Alevy, a former Chula Vista councilman who serves as chairman of the foundation.
What most people in attendance didn’t know was this: While they each paid $250 to attend in support of scholarships, Alevy charged the school district for his attendance. The bill? $750 (plus $18.70 for mileage).
Alevy is a public-relations person for the Sweetwater Union High School District’s contracted law firm, but that role was not well-known. Although his hourly rate of $250 is paid by district taxpayers, the arrangement was not approved at a public school board meeting.
The stated purpose of his P.R. work is to support labor negotiations, which is not part of the mission of the nonprofit foundation he chairs.
When Alevy was originally interviewed April 11 about his P.R. work, he said, “This doesn’t have anything to do with my work on the Sweetwater Education Foundation. My work for the district is completely separate.”
The Watchdog has since obtained documents showing the foundation work on his district invoices. Alevy billed the district for six line items involving foundation issues and discussions, totaling $2,750...