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Sweetwater: McCann calls for resignation of Cartmill and Lopez

Tuesday, May 6, 2014
posted by Press Releases / Media Advisories

From Sweetwater Union High School District Trustee John McCann…

Press Release

Citing the need for the Sweetwater District to recover from its massive corruption scandal, board member John McCann has called for the immediate resignation of board members Bertha Lopez and Jim Cartmill. The two board members have pleaded guilty to a variety of crimes and are awaiting sentencing.

“With the last indicted board members admitting guilt it is time for the District to begin healing and move forward. This can only happen if these two board members resign their seats. I believe the State of California Education Code is very clear on this issue. Even more so, if these two members care about our students and the School District they will step down and allow the District to recover,” John McCann stated. “These board members have lost any remaining ability to serve in a governing capacity of this district.”

As the South County dealt with numerous indictments of school officials, McCann has led reform initiatives to help the district move forward. Recent successes include:

  • Higher graduation rate than the state and county averages
  • Seven District schools named in the US News and World Report as medal winners for 2014, six with silver medals (top 12% of Schools in the nation), and one with a gold medal (top 3% of Schools in the nation)
  • Three District schools named California Distinguished Schools in 2013
  • 11 District schools exceeded the 800-point target on the API scores
  • Numerous CIF championships
  • Eight District graduates received Gates Millennium Scholarships in 2013
  • Sweetwater schools dominated the San Diego County Academic Decathlon competition, sweeping first through fourth places
  • Robotics championships
  • Visual and performing arts awards

McCann stated, “These success stories have been sidelined because of the indictments and subsequent convictions. It is time to let our students’ successes shine and be front and center. I urge Bertha Lopez and Jim Cartmill to see beyond their positions and resign their seats on the Board.”

John McCann currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Sweetwater Union High School District and has been working to rid the District of corruption since his election in 2010. Prior to the charges by District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, John challenged and replaced former Board member Greg Sandoval and terminated the former Superintendent Jesus Gandara, who both recently pleaded guilty to felonies.

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15 Responses to “Sweetwater: McCann calls for resignation of Cartmill and Lopez”

  1. Chris Shilling says:

    So this is just a self-serving press release that John McCann put out which you decided to publish in its entirety?

  2. Ben Cassel says:

    John McCann has not been “working to rid the district of corruption” during his monumentally undistinguished tenure on the board. He has consistently voted with the majority against the best interests of employees. He led the move to hire a private investigator to investigate a member of the public for no reason except that she spoke out during public communication. He called the police at a board meeting, asking them to arrest another member of the public. He routinely left the dais when members of the public were speaking, because he simply doesn’t want to listen to the public. He shamelessly exploits his thin military record to make himself appear to be some sort of war hero.

    John McCann is every bit as embarrassing to the district as any other member of the board. I agree that all of the members should resign, but McCann’s posturing is silly and very very late. He is a very dangerous combination of arrogant and ignorant, and the last thing a school district (or city council) needs.

  3. Thor's Assistant Thor's Assistant says:

    Chris, whether self serving or not, please explain how it’s not of political interest when an official calls for the resignation of colleagues?

    Did you see the part at the top that reads, “From Sweetwater Union High School District Trustee John McCann”? That would indicate that it’s from McCann. Pretty clearly.

    This is a political blog. We often run press releases of political interest. This is of interest to those who follow politics.

    Rostra readers are generally smart enough to know when something is the author’s take on a matter. You clearly are.

    Other members of the school board have been afforded an opportunity to submit materials here. That offer stands open.

  4. Chris Shilling says:

    I am not arguing that his call for resignations, at this late date and a month before an election, is not of political interest. I agree that it is.

    As a reader I would have preferred the main point of the release be summarized and then a link to the actual release be provided clearly marking it as a press release.

    After I read through the information the first time I did have to do a double take and saw that it was actually from McCann (or his current campaign) since he was not listed as the author and it did not have any clear signs of being a press release (For immediate release or bold headline, city-state-date at the beginning, ### at the end). Like this one you posted yesterday which anyone can clearly and easily tell is a press release: http://sdrostra.com/?p=38114

  5. Thor's Assistant Thor's Assistant says:

    Ok, we understand, we’ve now bolded the “From Sweetwater Union High School District Trustee John McCann…”

  6. Thor's Assistant Thor's Assistant says:

    This all at the top should now be clear…

    posted by Press Releases / Media Advisories

    From Sweetwater Union High School District Trustee John McCann…

    Press Release

  7. Chris Shilling says:

    Thank you. I also saw that you changed the author to show that it is a press release which makes it a lot clearer now.

    As for the substance of this press release from John McCann’s campaign I will say this: I agree that Bertha Lopez and Jim Cartmill should resign.

    I also believe that John McCann and Ed Brand should resign as well. Sweetwater does need to move forward and rebuild trust in the integrity of their governance. This cannot happen with an extremely divisive politician like McCann, or an extremely divisive administrator like Ed Brand, still involved.

    In addition, saying that John McCann has led reform initiatives is ambiguous to the point of ridiculous. What initiatives? If there were specifics they would be listed. There are none.

    The recent successes listed are the results of the commitment of dedicated students, teachers, and coaches. They should definitely be commended. As a parent of two children in the district to see a politician take credit for these successes with the turmoil and disruption they have caused is disgusting.

    If McCann is so proud of his achievements on the Sweetwater School Board why is that not listed on his current ballot designation or in his current candidate statement? As a slick politician he is trying to distance himself from any involvement to the general public while attempting to claim the high ground by calling for resignations to his base.

    The most extreme stretching of the truth comes at the end when there is a claim that McCann “terminated the former Superintendent Jesus Gandara.” You may remember that instead of terminating for cause as the quote implies, John McCann chose instead to reach a “separation agreement” which allowed Gandara to go on administrative leave in order to vest his pension benefits while also paying him 18 months of severance pay. That is taxpayer money that John McCann took out of classrooms and gave to a person who, as pointed out in the press release, just admitted to being guilty of a felony.

    I could go on but the facts are clear. The Sweetwater Union High School District needs a completely new board and new superintendent and the residents of Chula Vista and the South Bay need to say thanks but no thanks to John McCann’s continued desire to “serve” our community.

  8. Chris Shilling says:

    In my previous comment I also forgot to ask how John McCann “challenged” former board member Greg Sandoval? Remember Greg Sandoval did not run for reelection and John McCann won his seat on the board by defeating Hector Rivera and Lorenzo Provencio.

  9. Gloria Smestad says:

    John McCann is entitled to his opinions.

    John McCann is entitled to share them publicly.

    The public is entitled to tell McCann what they think…from what I hear and read, there aren’t many people who put much faith in anything McCann says.

    He dances around the truth a bit too much, trying to improve his record. He would be better served if he would say, “We should have fired Gandara, instead of giving him half a million dollars to go away.” Few would argue with that. But McCann does not say that.

    He voted Ed Brand’s party line consistently. He demonstrated not one iota of decent leadership. His record as a Sweetwater trustee is sadly negligent: as he is apparently unable to comprehend the degree of disgust that his years of obedience to Ed Brand have created in the minds and hearts of Sweetwater constituents, he thinks he can sway people with revisionist thinking.

    Save us from the delusions of John McCann! We need people making decisions for Chula Vista and Sweetwater who are capable of recognizing reality, and working to improve it–not people who live in some odd dream world of their own creation, as McCann apparently does.

  10. Jill Galvez says:

    It is very clear. The judge did not do her homework. Either she, the County Board, or the Attorney General should step up and help her out with her oversight:

    Cal. Gov. Code 1770.2: Upon the entry of a plea of guilty, the entry of a plea of nolo contendere, or the rendering of a verdict of a guilty either by a jury or by the court sitting without a jury of a public offense, the conviction of which would invoke the provisions of Section 1021, subdivision (h) of Section 1770, or Section 3000, the person found guilty shall not assume the office for which the person is otherwise qualified or shall be suspended immediately from the office the person then holds. During the time of inability to assume an office or of suspension from office, the person shall not be entitled to receive the emoluments of the office, including, but not limited to, the exercise of the powers of the office, the rights to be seated in the office, and the compensation, including benefits, prescribed for the office.
    - See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/cacode/GOV/1/1/d4/4/2/s1770.2#sthash.m4dEiwm4.dpuf

  11. anniej says:

    Mr. McCann’s press release looks an awful lot like the magazine advertisement recently circulated on the east side. Please tell me our tax dollars were not used.

    IF Mr. McCann were sincerely interested in cleaning up the Sweetwater District why did he alienate the 5 community members who met with the DA and FBI? Why did he not join forces with them? Why does he fail to even look at any one of them when they speak at Board meetings?

    John McCann is not the peoples choice.

  12. Oddfool says:

    @Jill Galvez

    The link you provided also shows this…

    “In the event the trial court sets aside or otherwise nullifies the plea or verdict before the trial court judgment is entered, the inability to assume office or the suspension from holding office shall be lifted, and the person suspended from office shall be restored to office with its emoluments, including those that would have otherwise accrued during the suspension, excluding, however, interest on any monetary payment.”

    I am not a lawyer, so I don’t know how to properly interpret this, but in this particular case, isn’t the judge basically setting the plea aside by specifying that Cartmill and Lopez do not have to currently step down from their position?

    Like others here, I am all for clearing the whole lot of them from their position. But I also am questioning McCann’s “accomplishments”.

    If he is so gung ho on helping clear out corruption, why wasn’t he leading the charge on this? Members of the public, as well as Lopez herself, went to the DA at the very beginning. Where was McCann?

    Why did McCann help broker a deal allowing Gandara to use up vacation time extending his stay into a pension, as well as paying him half a million dollars to walk. This was right alongside McCann witholding a 2nd lawyer opinion that Gandara could have been terminated with cause, thus saving the district.

    Why did McCann lead the charge to bring Ed Brand back, when Brand left the district on the heels of a grand jury investigation?

    Why did McCann not lead the charge to perform a proper search for a superintendent?

    Those questions and many more remain unanswered to this day.

  13. Oddfool says:

    Well, I stand corrected.

    Union Tribune article shows Judge Espana basically retracting that part of the decision. She was apparently not entirely clear on that aspect of that law.

  14. Mike Erl says:

    Poor John. Lets all dump on the young man concerning matters not well defined. It seems to me he is doing the political thing in taking credit for any positives occurring during his tenure.

    I have been doing Photo Opps for the GOP since I retired from the County (tier one may I add) over 14 years ago. I did photo opps for John and a fellow Poly Hack, at his home. Great Barbeque with a large number of his friends. It marked his venture into that shadowy world of Politics. The true blood sport.

    I enjoyed this young man as both a veteran and a family man. Great family and great friends. I have 37 years in investigative work. John does no more or no less than all Poly Hacks. I do so wish him well.

  15. anniej says:

    Mr. Erl: With all due respect Mr. McCann is not being dumped on, but rather called on to answer for all of the broken promises he made to those who voted him onto the Board. Why would any voter repeat a mistake knowingly? The voters are looking for a new grade of politicians; persons who serve vs. use. Using the defense everybody else is doing it, so why not McCann is a weak defense. You may value him as a friend, but the taxpaying public can choose their own friends, it is fair minded, fiduciary responsibility, intelligent, integrity, honesty and transparency we are looking for in our officials. OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW!!!!!!

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