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  • Saturday, September 12, 2015

     

    SPECIAL REPORT: Political Payback Trustee?

    SPECIAL REPORT
    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    Independent insight into OUSD      
    a news service of
     Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    With the Peralta Property and a future OUSD Bond Measure at risk......
    Political Payback?
    "Trustee Chris Nguyen" ? Will Anaheim Hills accept a right-wing Political Operative as their new OUSD school board member ?
    In a Special Meeting on September 15, 2015, the Orange Unified School Board will decide on the process to select an OUSD Trustee from ten applicants  to fill the vacancy  in  OUSD Trustee Area 1 that is almost exclusively made-up of Anaheim Hills. The process must be completed by midnight September 29, 2015. 
    (Click on Candidates)

    The close-knit and politically moderate Anaheim Hills area has long prided itself on having OUSD Trustees who were involved community members with deep community connections and involvement in local organizations and their schools.  This time however, the residents of Anaheim Hills have no vote on their next Trustee.

    The residents now face the prospect of a trustee appointed by the non- Anaheim Hills OUSD Trustees dominated by the Surridge Majority. That majority appear to be ready to appoint the architect of  Surridge's  political career- Political Blogger and Surridge's Political Consultant- Christopher Nguyen as the next Area 1 Trustee.

    Heavily politically connected to OUSD Trustee Timothy Surridge and his allies on the OUSD Board, with no children and no experience in local community educational organizations, Christopher Nguyen's only connection to the local community is that he attended OUSD schools when he grew up in Anaheim Hills.

    Nguyen founded the self proclaimed "right-of-center" OC Political Blog three years ago with high school best-friend  Chris Enami and like-minded political pal Erik Brown . When his blog first appeared,  its list of bloggers included numerous right-of-Tea Party locals including former Orange Councilman Jon Dimitru and Orange County Board of Education Trustee Ken Williams, plus , current OUSD Trustee Tim Surridge. 

    The "about" section of the OC Political Blog states*:
    "This blog was created because of a void that existed in Orange County for a right-of-center blog that provided a consistent look into what was going on in the local political scene. As a result of this void, Chris Emami, Chris Nguyen, and Erik Brown got together and decided to do something about it, which resulted in the creation of OC Political."
    * as of 9/12/15 Nguyen has deleted material in the past

    For more information on OC Political co-founder Erik Brown Click on: Voyeur Bondage Club

    Custom Campain's coordinated signs
     Chris Nguyen and Chris Enami have long tried to gain political control of their old school district. In June of 2008, the pair founded a political consultant firm called Custom Campaigns that has targeted seats on the Orange Unified Board.    In his  Linked-In account Enami describes himself and Custom Consulting:
    I am one of the owners of a political consulting firm that specializes in electing school board members. Locally, I have worked to elect four of the current trustees on the Orange Unified School District Board of Education. Based on this, I have a very good knowledge of local schools in all of Orange County
     (Click on Enami)
    Custom Campaigns lists their clients on the OUSD Board as: "OUSD Trustees Rick Ledesma, Mark Wayland, John Ortega, & Alexia Deligianni"






    Nguyen's current* (* as of 9/12/15 Nguyen has deleted material in the past)  Linked-In profile lists him as "Co-founder and Partner" of Custom Campaigns and is full of political work and cnnections:

    Nguyen's current* Linked-In "Skills" connections of endorsements from people who know him are listed in his profile as follows ( the number of  people in each category who "endorsed" his skills are denoted in parenthesis):   Politics (50); Legislative Relations (29); Public Policy (27); Policy (25); Political Campaigns (22); Policy Analysis (20); Legislation (13); Coalitions (11); Political Consulting (7); Grassroots Organizing (7); Government (7); Strategic Communications (7); Community Outreach (7); Public Affairs (7); Political Science (4); Political Communication (4); Public Administration (4); Speech writing (4); Constituent Services (4); Community Organizing ( 3); Community Development (3); State Government (2); Legislative Research (2); Foreign Policy (2); legislative Affairs (2); Economic Development (2); International Relations (2); Grassroots (2)
    * as of 9/12/15 Nguyen has deleted material in the past

    OUSD Trustee Alexia Deligianni is listed as an endorsement for Nguyen's "Skills" under both "Political Consulting"  and "Grassroots Organizing" on Nguyen's profile. 

    Nothing in Nguyen's skill set has to do with "education".  LINK: Nguyen Linked-IN*
    * as of 9/12/15 Nguyen has deleted material in the past

    The only education work listed in Nguyen's Linked-In resume profile is a four month stint at the DL Academy in Westminster as a "teacher".  The DL Academy  appears to be nothing but an after school tutoring center with the telephone listed (714- 726-7649) going directly to the personal cell phone of owner Duc Le - the "DL" in the "DL Academy".

    There are no records that show Nguyen possesses a California Teaching Credential. 

    As political consultants, Nguyen and Emani- and those associated with them-often stretch their resumes as a means of political advantage.  In March and April of 2012, Nguyen wrote a short series about the importance of candidate Ballot Designations.  Nguyen wrote:
    As I said last week, “The most important thing a candidate does in a campaign may well be selecting a ballot designation.  That little phrase underneath a candidate’s name are the last piece of information that voters see before casting their ballots.  In low-profile races (like Central Committee, where you can’t even get a candidate’s statement in the sample ballot), that little phrase may well be the only piece of information that voters see before casting their ballots.”
    LINK: Ballot Designations* (* link as of 9/12/15 Nguyen has deleted material in the past)

    When running for OUSD Trustee in 2010 Nguyen used the Ballot Designation of  "Educational Policy Advisor".  In 2006 his Custom Campaigns partner Chris Enami tried to use "Teacher" as his ballot designation. He was brought to court by then Trustee Kimberly Nichols ( now Orange Councilwomen) where a judge forced Enami to change it.  Orange Net News covered both candidates attempts at deceiving the voters:

    Candidate Chris Nquyen tries to Rocco-up his ballot description 
    Three candidates have filed to run in Area 1: Anaheim City Planning Commissioner Harry Persaud; Anaheim City Community Center Commissioner and former OUSD LEGCO President Diane Singer; and California State Senate Legislative Aid Chris Nguyen. 
    Nguyen has himself listed on the ballot as “Education Policy Advisor”. Graduating from USC in 2007 as a Political Science major, and from Stanford this year with a masters in Public Administration, Nguyen’s resume on Linked In shows five political internships over a period of two years and being a Legislative aide only since January 2009. While his resume is heavy on political experience, nowhere does his resume mention anything related to being an “Education Policy Advisor” as he describes himself on the ballot. When former controversial OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco won without campaigning, much of the credit was given to his ballot designation of “Teacher”. His opponent Phil Martinez was a very involved parent who listed his occupation as a Park Ranger. Those ballot designations are widely credited with Rocco winning, a lesson not lost on politicians.
    Nguyen’s fellow Board member on the Orange Villa Park Republican Assembly (OVPRA), Chris Enami tried a similar tactic when he ran in 2006 against Trustee Kim Nichols. Enami a walk-on (after school) girls basketball coach tried to be listed as a “Teacher” on the ballot. Nichols went to court and won an order that forced Enami to remove the misleading moniker.
    Obviously, Chris Nguyen did well in his Political Science classes as he tries to Rocco-up his ballot description for votes.


    Custom Campaign 's coordinated signs
    Link: ( the "live" link to his "real" resume in the ONN posting was deleted after the ONN story appeared) CHRIS NGUYEN OUSD CAMPAIGN

    In 2006- Custom Campaign's Chris Enami's deceptive OUSD ballot designation and his loss in court are reported on here:
    Now the incumbent, OUSD Trustee Kim Nichols faces two challengers this November. One is Chris Enami who filed for election with the ballot designation of “teacher”. After the surprise election win two years ago by Steve Rocco (which many experts attribute to his election ballot designation of “Teacher”) Nichols was not about to let the “teacher” ballot designation for Enami go unchallenged because he is actually a walk-on girls basketball coach, not a California Credentialed teacher. In the court challenge, Enami would be represented by none other than Education Alliance founder Mark Bucher. In this second court challenge, Bucher again lost to Nichols and Enami was ordered to change his ballot designation. It now reads the more accurate “Coach/ Sports Program Director” description.

    For more information about Mark Bucher's Education Alliance click on: LA Times

    In his 2010 run for the OUSD Trustee Seat 1, Nguyen -always the politician-listed his number one priority for OUSD as this textbook sound-bite:
    "Protect your children from sex offenders who apply for school jobs"
    Link: Chris Nguyen

     Enami's 2008 election loss to moderate Republican Kim Nichols (now an Orange City Council member) led Custom Campaigns to target her again in the next election. In 2010, Custom Campaigns recruited one of their original OC Politcal bloggers-Timothy Surridge to run against Nichols. Surridge who had a brief career at Salem Lutheran School could use the ballot designation as Teacher in his run against incumbent Nichols.  Nichols lost the race and Nguyen's Custom Campaigns used that win as a recruiting tool for more campaign work.

    In an "analysis"  by Nguyen's firm Custom Campaigns management of the 2010 Tim Surridge campaign for OUSD Trustee is titled 2010 Orange Unified School Board Election Tim Surridge Defeats Kimberlee Nichols .  The report outlines the Nguyen firm's campaign to defeat moderate Republican Nichols with his political ally and client Tim Surridge. The report begins with:
    In 2010 Tim Surridge was a relative unknown in political circles and faced off against Kimberlee Nichols, a well funded incumbent who had served on the Orange Unified School Board for over 9 years. Surridge also got into the race extremely late, filing paperwork on the last day of filing with no money raised for his campaign at that point. In political circles nobody expected Surridge to break 40% of the vote. Early polling showed that Surridge trailed by a substantial margin at the beginning stages of the campaign: Nichols 33% Surridge 11% Undecided 48% Refused 8% +/- 5% Strategy Knowing this information going into the campaign it became clear that this would require a nearly flawlessly executed campaign to win.

    LINK to full report* click on Surridge Case Study
    * link as of 9/12/15 Nguyen has deleted material in the past


    Nguyen's right-of-Tea Party views can be seen in his blog postings on his OC Political Blog.  From support of anti-vaccine crusaders, to political-ally Orange County Board of Education Trustee Ken Williams leaser of OC Common Core Deniers, to his anti-public education postings about private for-profit charters, anti-union law-suits. His anti- school bond views are in-line with the only OUSD Trustee to sign the anti-OUSD Measure K ballot measure agreement friend and political ally OUSD Trustee Dr. Alexia Deligianni.

    In a recent three part series Education Revolution in Orange County on his blog, he writes glowingly about Trustee Ken Williams and among other things the approval from the OCDE for the appeal of Unity College Charter School petition that was denied by the OUSD Trustees on a 3-3 tie vote (Surridge, Ortega,  Ledesma-Yes; Moffat, Singer Wayland-No Deligianni absent). 
    See all of Chris Nguyen's posts here: (hit previous at the bottom for pages of older posts)
    click on: Nguyen's own words
    * link as of 9/12/15 Nguyen has deleted material in the past

    Nguyen's political appointment could have dire consequences for the future of the Peralta Property and plans for a new 2016 OUSD School Bond effort.  Reports circulating throughout Greater Orange are that a political appointment of  Chris Nguyen is unacceptable to the Anaheim Hills Community and that a group is ready to join with community advocates across Greater Orange to petition for a Special Election-which will again throw the Greater Communities into the center of a political firestorm. It is estimated that 2,500 valid signatures from registered voters  in OUSD are needed to force a Special Election. The signatures must be turned in within 30 days of September 15th.

    OR maybe Other Candidates with political baggage ?
    Dr. Roberto Flores de Apodaca: paid expert witness in a controversial child sodomy case with Judge facing recall
    Dr. Flores de Apodaca also applied for the Area 1 Trustee position. Professor of Psychology at Concordia University Irvine, Dr. Flores de Apodaca is presented in 2008 on the college's website for recruiting faculty as follows:
    "Dr. Roberto Flores de Apodaca believes he found real academic freedom when he joined the faculty of Concordia University, Irvine.

    “It’s been wonderful!” is how he describes seven years of teaching at Concordia. “It has been an absolute blessing to be here in every regard, especially being surrounded by fellow Christian teachers and administration.” A clinical psychologist by training and a professor of psychology at Concordia, Irvine, Flores taught for 23 years at a public university, finding few people of faith in the social sciences. Considering themselves scientists and above the “muck” that faith represented, they often equated it with superstition."
    link: Concordia  

    Concordia is affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS)- the same church organization the local Salem Lutheran School that OUSD Trustee Timothy Surridge once worked for and where his wife Shelly currently teaches. According to Shelly Surridge's biography on the Salem School website, she received both her BA and MA from Concordia Universities.

    Very public controversies have erupted over a controversial LCMS tenet that prohibits clergy from worshiping with other faiths. This led to a recent controversy when  the President of the LMCS told a Connecticut pastor of the LCMS to apologize for participating in an interfaith vigil for the 26 children and adults killed at the Newtown Connecticut elementary school  Sandy Hook by a gunman.  In another controversial incident 12 days after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York, a LCMS pastor in New York was suspended for praying at an interfaith vigil for the 2700 victims and their families. Click on: LCMS
    .
    Dr. Robert Flores de Apodaca has often been hired as an expert witness in court cases, including numerous high-profile murder cases.  In the summary of his paper Risk Assessments in Violence and Sex Cases; Current Practical Advice for Attorneys Employing Mental Health Experts  he writes on the need for physiatrist to testify about convicted defendants "Risk Assessments" when a judge or jury is in the penalty phase of the trial:
    "Risk Assessments, however, can be quite useful in the Guilt Phase, plea-bargaining negotiations over the “weight” of a case. They provide an objective basis for arguing how much of a risk a given Defendant represents, and what kind of adjudication makes sense. Risk Assessments are perhaps most useful in the Sentencing Phase, when they provide Judges with a clear sense of the level of risk a Defendant poses and which factors (e.g. substance abuse counseling, anger management training, etc.) can be addressed in managing the level of risk he poses, going forward."

    In 2009 Flores de Apodaca  was an expert witness in the trial of two Fullerton Police Officers over the death of a homeless man named Kelly Thomas. In an LA Times article about the trial that included information about Dr. Flores de Apodaca's testimony, then Orange County D.A.'s chief of staff commented on the strategy of the doctor's testimony about the victim:
    "Susan Kang Schroeder, the D.A.'s chief of staff, said the efforts to paint Thomas in a negative light are par for the course.
    "It's normal defense 101 playbook to put the victim on trial instead, so they can divert the jury's attention away from what their clients did," she said"
    Link: LA TIMES

    In April of this year, Dr. Flores de Apodaca was involved in the trial and controversy over Orange County Superior Court Judge M. Marc Kelly's reduced sentence for 20 year-old Kevin Rojano-Nieto after being convicted of sodomizing a 3 year old.  An Orange County Register article about the out cry against the judge included information about Dr. Flores de Apodaca's expert testimony about the convicted rapist:
    After the jury’s guilty verdict in December, Kelly used an independently-appointed psychologist to aid in his sentencing decision, Puthawala said. The psychologist, Dr. Roberto Flores de Apodaca, found that Rojano-Nieto was not a pedophile and not a sexual predator. Testing revealed a low risk for recidivism, he [Flores de Apodaca] said.

    The outcry over the reduced sentence has resulted in a recall attempt against Judge Kelly that has until December 31, 2015 to collect signatures to qualify for the ballot.

    Colton corruption, sex and drugs controversy-plus law suits
    Twice fired Police Chief Kenneth Rulon
    Candidate Kennth Rulon -now owner of Ken Rulon and Associates in Anaheim was twice fired from two Southern California cities as Police Chief amid controversy.

    Rulon served as the City of Colton Police Chief from June 2003 until April 2007.  After being fired from that post, Rulon sued for wrongful termination. Rulon  lost the law suit in a trial that riveted the Inland Empire with details of  city officials embroiled in a web of corruption, drugs, sex and details about the allegations about the Rulon firing.

    In a 2012 Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper story published across the state in its sister papers,  the following details were published:
    Attorney John Higginbotham, who is representing the city and [Colton City Manager] Parrish in the lawsuit, said Rulon was fired after a mutiny arose in the Police Department against Rulon in the wake of the [Colton Councilman ] Hernandez credit card allegations. Rulon's secretary complained he was sexually harassing her and rank-and-file officers accused him of retaliatory behavior and running the department with an iron fist.

    Higginbotham argues that Rulon covered up for Hernandez and was his good friend. He said Rulon knew of the allegations as early as 2005 and sat on reports, demanding all officers report directly to him with any information on the matter and not to tell anyone else about it....

    Hernandez pleaded guilty in January 2008 to 24 felony counts for charging roughly $5,500 on his city-issued credit card for unauthorized motel stays and calls to telephone sex lines from December 2004 to May 2006.

    It was later learned that Hernandez had been abusing methamphetamine and rendezvousing with a man he had been having an affair with at the motels. Authorities were also investigating Hernandez at the time for methamphetamine sales.


    A press release  from the winning law firm in the Colton trial reported that 18 Colton police officers testified against Rulon:
    In addition, Rulon was accused of sexual harassment by his secretary and retaliatory behavior against rank-and-file officers. Eighteen current or retired police department employees testified for the city during the trial, saying they were often embarrassed by their chief’s unethical behavior and his rampant vulgar comments about women
    Click on Press Release

    In a court report on the trial ( see link below) included this information about the testimony against Rulon:
    Inflammatory Evidence of Which Parrish Was Unaware Rulon has identified the following evidence as improperly admitted and prejudicial “character” evidence:
    ·       Testimony from a Colton police officer that Rulon admitted having an affair with a partner’s wife while Rulon was a police officer in a different city;
    ·       Testimony from police personnel that Rulon had made a crude sexual remark about a young woman he had seen in her car while stopped at a traffic light and that he had suggested to some officers that they have sexual relations with an unattractive woman police dispatcher to “keep her happy”;
    ·       Testimony from several Colton officers that Rulon had used abusive language to and about his wife in the presence of other officers and their wives;
    ·       6 Testimony from three witnesses that Rulon used extremely vulgar language to refer to women;
    ·       Testimony that Rulon threatened various individuals with physical violence and challenged people to fights.
    Click on: Rulon trial 

    While Rulon was involved in his $10 million suit against Colton, he was hired by Montebello as their police chief in July 2010. Rulon served two days before being fired.
    The reason for the firing was never revealed.  Click on: Rulon fired

    According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune  newspaper account, Rulon then filed a breach of contract lawsuit against the City of Montebello:
    Rulon, who served as Montebello's Police Chief for two days before he was fired at a contentious City Council meeting in July 2010, last year filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming a breach of contract.

    Rulon and the city settled the law suit before trial for $130,000. CLICK on Rulon suit

    The Montebello scandal had far reaching consequences. A Whittier Daily News newspaper report in August of 2010 reported:
    A former co-worker of the interim city administrator and the city's police chief  [Rulon] for two days was also being paid by the city to provide investigative services, according to documents.

    Former Interim City Administrator Randy Narramore resigned last month amid an uproar spurred by his decision to hire former Huntington Park Police Department co-worker Ken Rulon as Montebello police chief.

    But according to documents, Rulon was already working for the city and has billed a total of $6,116 for performing a "confidential investigation" and background investigations on potential employees.

    Narramore and Rulon didn't return phone calls Tuesday.

    City Council members Art Barajas and Christina Cortez said they don't yet know why the city retained Rulon's services.

    "We're trying to find out what we were paying Mr. Rulon  for," Barajas said. "Right now nobody seems to know what it was for, so that's what we're asking."

    Cortez said she asked that payment to Rulon be held by the city pending further inquiry.

    "We want full transparency and backup documentation for any item that is paid out by this city," she said.

    In 2013, Rulon lost an appeal with the Board of Administration for the CALPERS retirement system to purchase five additional years of service. According to CALPERS documentation Rulon had 60 days to pay almost $215,000 when filing his "election form". After the deadline passed Rulon requested an extension to the deadline. The whole story -which reads somewhat like a Shakespeare play can be accessed here: click on CALPERS DECISION

    Other 6 Candidates for OUSD Area 1 position
    The six other candidates for the trustee position are:
    Andrew Fisher is a retired Orange Unified school principal who served at a number of the district's schools.

    Allan Trudell is the retired Public Information Officer for Garden Grove Unified School District and is a well known writer of letters to the editor commenting on various issues.

    Victoria Webber is a well known Greater Orange community member who not only has been involved in numerous education related and community organizations, but also worked for Orange Unified in various positions including a stint as the Executive Secretary in the office of the Superintendent for two superintendents.

    Andrea Yamaski- is a well known community member who has served the Anaheim Hills community in numerous roles and has business experience. Currently the Canyon Hills PTSA Vice President for Programs, she has also served as the CHS-PTSO President and othe positions since 2009; various positions including Vice President of  the Orange Community Council of PTA/PTO's; Board member of CARE- OUSD bond measure grass roots organization; various Board positions with the American Cancer Relay for Life; various positions over six years in the El Rancho Charter PTSA in various positions; 21 years of volunteer work for the Nohl Canyon School Association in numerous roles; her private sector work included- 4 years as office manage for the Greater Los Angeles Asian Pacific American Legal Center and 5 years as in Advertising Sales Assistant positions for VOUGE Magazine and Self Magazine.

    NEXT OUSD BOARD MEETING Tuesday Sept 15, 2015
    Next OUSD Board Meeting -OUSD BOARD ROOM
    For AGENDA-CLICK ON: OUSD AGENDA


    SPECIAL REPORT
    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    is an independent news service of
    Orange Net News /O/N/N/



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