Campos Clams Up

District 5 San Jose City Council candidate Xavier Campos still refuses to address any details about the two decades he spent working at the embattled Mexican American Community Services Agency (MACSA).

Five days after MACSA’s Youth Center on 660 Sinclair Dr. was raided by armed investigators from the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office , Campos, the organization’s former chief operating officer (COO) insists through intermediaries that there’s no reason for him to address the issue.

The raid was part of an ongoing probe into $400,000 of missing employee pension funds at a charter school operated by MACSA.

With less than two weeks left until the election, Campos will address the issue only through an aide to his sister, Nora Campos, the current District 5 councilmember.

Rolando Bonilla, Nora Campos’ media director, says that Xavier Campos has no responsibility to speak to the subject. Bonilla says the whole scandal is being drummed up by “political hacks” at the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce.

“[Xavier] is in a place where he has time and time again answered questions, [but] never to the satisfaction of those asking,” Bonilla says. “He doesn’t refuse—it’s just that no one wants to accept his answer. Our enemies for sure want somehow that we partake in their concoction. That’s just not going to happen.”

Campos, who has declined to be interviewed by Metro three times in the past two weeks, has not in fact answered any questions “time and time again.” Metro could only find a handful of published statements on the topic from the candidate.

On May 16, Campos told the Mercury News that he “wasn’t involved in delaying payment to the retirement accounts,” and insisted that his role as COO was limited to implementing after-school and anti-gang programs. On May 11, the Merc wrote that Campos “says he was aware of MACSA ‘s cash-flow problems but not the diversion of funds.”

On Sept. 15, a nine-page audit of Campos’ time at MACSA was released. Compiled by independent investigators Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team and commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce, the study contained evidence that Campos had fiduciary responsibilities at MACSA. It concluded that “investigatory documents ... raise significant questions as to the truthfulness of his statements to the San Jose Mercury News.”

Following the Oct. 14 raid, Campos told the Merc that he felt “vindicated” by the fact that he has not been named a suspect. Santa Clara County District Attorney’s spokeswoman Amy Cornell confirms that Campos is not currently a suspect, but emphasizes that the case is ongoing, and that investigators are still entrenched in exploring the seized evidence.

“Since it is a pending investigation, we are not able to discuss specifically what we are looking for,” Cornell says. “What happens in any investigation is that we will gather the information that is needed to review and make an appropriate filing decision, whether to file charges or not file charges. That’s what will happen here as well.”

Campos’ City Council opponent, Magdalena Carrasco, has demanded that he remove himself from the race and directly address the issue at a public forum.

Unsurprisingly, Campos has not responded.

Carrasco says she believes indictments are imminent in this case, based on the feedback she says she’s gotten from former MACSA employees in recent weeks.

“My response is that [Campos’] feeling of vindication is short sighted,” Carrasco says. “It’s an investigation in progress.”

Bonilla says that Campos is being treated unfairly by the media, who have widely endorsed Carrasco in the race.

“Let me ask you this, where is the full page expose on the fact that Magdalena didn’t pay her taxes for several years?” Bonilla asks. “Or the fact that she didn’t pay her garbage, or the fact that she didn’t pay her library fees. Where’s that story?”

Carrasco filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy five years ago, and did not file income tax returns for several years during which she was caring for her elderly parents. When she did file, she did not owe any back taxes. She has been open in discussing her past money problems.

13 Comments

  1. The real “political hacks” in this saga are feckless R. Bonilla, his boss, and the boss lady’s dimwitted and/or corrupt, shameless baby brother. Goodbye and good riddance to Team Campos.

    • Is it just me or does it seem crazy that Xavier won’t respond to the questions or requests for interviews AND that he doesn’t have his own campaign staff or spoke’s people issue a statement but it comes instead from the paid staff of our city council member, his sister, Nora Campos? 

      Makes one wonder if she wipes his bottom and applies diaper rash cream after he poops the otherway too.

      He’s a grown man who wants to represent the district on the city council and he can’t respond for himself?

      • L. Perez said, “but it comes instead from the paid staff of our city council member, his sister, Nora Campos?” Excellent point. I don’t think that is right either.

        On another note, I went to a community meeting on selecting the new IPA and Xavier Campos showed up representing his sister. I was surprised to see that since it is my understanding that that is against City policy. (I think you can’t have a spouse, girl/boy friend, family member working for you.)

  2. > District 5 San Jose City Council candidate Xavier Campos still refuses to address any details about the two decades he spent working at the embattled Mexican American Community Services Agency (MACSA).

    Did he really “refuse to address any details”, or did he just say: “I know nothing.  NOTHING!”

  3. “Five days after MACSA’s Youth Center on 660 Sinclair Dr. was raided by armed investigators from the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office , Campos, the organization’s former chief operating officer (COO) insists through intermediaries that there’s no reason for him to address the issue.”

    THERE’S NO REASON EXCEPT THAT HE’S RUNNING FOR CITY COUNCIL AND WANTS TO BE IN CHARGE OF THE CITY BUDGET.

    “With less than two weeks left until the election, Campos will address the issue only through an aide to his sister, Nora Campos, the current District 5 councilmember.”

    WHY IS COUNCILWOMAN CAMPOS’ STAFF ANSWERING QUESTIONS FOR XAVIER?  ARE THE TAXPAYERS FOOTING THE BILL FOR HIS POLITICAL CAMPAIGN “STAFF”?????

    “On May 16, Campos told the Mercury News that he “wasn’t involved in delaying payment to the retirement accounts,” and insisted that his role as COO was limited to implementing after-school and anti-gang programs. On May 11, the Merc wrote that Campos “says he was aware of MACSA ‘s cash-flow problems but not the diversion of funds.””

    HE INSISTS HIS CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER STATUS WAS TITLE ONLY AND HE “JUST” RAN THE AFTERSCHOOL AND ANTI-GANG PROGRAM?  I WONDER IF HE TOOK THE C.O.O. PAY AND HAD ANY QUALMS ABOUT SPENDING THE MONEY THE NON-PROFIT OBVIOUSLY NEEDED FOR PROGRAMMING IF HE KNEW HE WAS STILL ONLY DOING THE JOB OF THE YOUTH DIRECTOR FLUNKY HE WAS BEFORE HIS COO TITLE?

  4. Bonilla is a city employee right? Paid staff to Councilmember Campos?  Why is the city paying for this???  Xavier Campos’ misdeeds at MACSA have nothing to do with city business.  He’s not an elected official and he’s not on city payroll.  Why is he getting the press secretary from a paid and elected council person to be his spokesperson in an official capacity?  Isn’t this a violation of some code?  It should be.  I am sick and tired of city funds being used for pet projects of council that do not benefit the taxpayer.  Nora Campos your competition for Assembly is unknown and unelectable but I will vote for them anyways because it will be a cold day in hell before I vote for someone like you who misuses taxpayer money in such a shameless way.

  5. Does anyone happen to have the links to any articles where Xavier Campos does address the MACSA embezzlement allegations?  The only one I can find is a Merc News article where he says he won’t address it but that he is proud of his work at MACSA.  Is that the answer that Bonilla refers to as having given time and again but people aren’t satisfied with?

    Carrasco is not without fault in her own personal accounts.  The bankruptcy is something to consider the biggest difference for me is that she didn’t try to conceal it and when it came up she gave a full response to the media about it.  She screwed up her personal finances and her punishment is that she probably cannot buy a home for a few more years.  I can’t help but think that the theft of nearly half a million dollars from teacher’s pensions is a little more serious than that.  Has the money been fully recovered for those teacher or are they simply out of luck?  It is pretty unconscionable to steal from pensions in these dire economic times.

  6. To be fair, I just did a little checking and it is my understanding that Nora’s PR person is NOT a paid City staff member. Bonilla is Nora’s campaign PR person. Not sure how Nora’s campaign contributors feel about her allowing her paid by their donations PR person to speak on behalf of Xavier, but this person is not working for the City.

    The bottom line is that Xavier is probably following his lawyer’s advice and keeping quite until the investigation is completed. Lawyers look at it like this, there’s no need to comment if there is no evidence against him. 

    I do think that morally Xavier should stand up and say something about this situation, but in today’s day and age people rarely are allowed to do the right thing without suffering serious consequences.

    • I know the Merc reported that Xavier Campos was well behind Carrasco in the fundraising last reporting period maybe he’s so far behind that he can’t afford an entire campaign staff so he’s borrowing from his sister.

      You raise a good point about contributors to sister Nora’s campaign.  They’re being duped to thinking the money is being spent to get her elected to Assembly not to defend her brother in his run for city council.  If its not a misappropriation of funds it at the very least is shady and in the gray areas.  You can’t tell me someone as politically savy as Nora Campos doesn’t know this.  Her instinct to protect her brother is admirable but to do it at the betrayal of the trust people have put in her is terrible.

  7. It is very believable that Campos as COO MACSA knew ” nothing ”  just like Mexican Hertiage, REP. Hayes Mansion, Hiastory San Jose, Team San Jose and dozens of managed / political insider community organizations knew ” nothing ” until they needing 10’s millions in city taxpayer bailouts and no accountability to voters or taxpayers

    Do you want someone who knows ” nothing ” when they should be fully informed representing District 5 ?

    Ops, sorry representing unions at City Hall   Siting there with blank look knowing ” nothing ” is Ok because he will “Vote Union” without question no matter city or taxpayer consequences and knows nothing about anything

  8. Bonilla asks “or the fact that she didn’t pay her library fines”

    I’ve been telling for years- there is gold mine in these fines andcampos shoo,d lead the charge. I wolf guess there is over $1 million. ( cost to run a community center?).

    Offer an amnesty for 50% of the fine, then they could borrow again.  Helps the family get back into the learning thing. Imagine the families the can’t go to the library because their bill is do high.  Let’s get them back into the system,

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