Turmoil at Childcare Nonprofit 4C Council: Workers Report Retaliation; Calls Grow for Audit

For an agency in charge of more than $40 million a year in taxpayer money, the Community Child Care Council of Santa Clara County has been awfully cagey. The 44-year-old nonprofit, helmed by Fred Villaseñor and dubbed the 4C Council for short, is tasked with providing subsidized childcare to poor families. But there’s concern about the agency’s financial stewardship and labor practices, which San Jose Inside highlighted in a report last month. There’s also the fact that Ben Menor, president of its board of directors, has a sketchy record when it comes to handling public money. Many of the allegations against 4Cs surfaced over the course of contentious labor negotiations that have dragged on through 15 months and a litany of litigators. Since San Jose Inside’s report, Villaseñor swapped lawyer number four, James Hendricks Jr., for lawyer number five, Allyson Hauck. The 4C Council has also canned a supervisor for refusing to discipline a staffer who spoke to the press. Others have been written up for walking in only minutes late in the morning or from lunch, sources tell Fly. One got a warning for coming back too early from a break. “They’re on us for every little thing,” says an employee, who spoke to Fly on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. Workers who unionized in July 2015 say management has tried to cut corners by relying on temps who don’t qualify for benefits. Meanwhile, folks in the know say that Villaseñor has been ducking calls from elected leaders looking for answers—namely Sen. Jim Beall and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, or apparatchiks thereof. Local officials have apparently had no better luck. “We don’t have the authority to force an audit,” County Executive Jeff Smith tells Fly. “So there’s been some lobbying to have the state do it.”

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The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.

7 Comments

  1. Just one more reason why cities and counties should not get involved with funding “non profits”. They are routinely disasterous and always overpriced for the services provided.

    • staff of elected officials, its often used derogatory, meaning kind of mindless and unquestioning of the boss, who will do whatever is asked,

  2. Yes! Let’s have an independent, outside AUDIT. They’re taking $40 million of our money — every year! Where is it going??

    They’re looting the treasury. Is there any doubt?

    I have plenty of doubts about their honesty. Why are they so afraid to show taxpayers how our money is being spent?

    • The 4 cs won’t come clean about anything . Why are they buying video surveillence equipment for the lobby and the parking lot? why did they buy 6 brand new cars? Why do they have 3 pensions but not one teacher is qualified to retire on any of them? Why did they spend money upgrading a building for a child care center but abandon it before one child could be admitted? Yes . they need to show what they are doing for the taxpayers who fund them and believe the money is being spent on the staff and families they provide services to.

  3. Can any smart, industrious readers out there tell me how to short San Jose munis? This clown show is long over due to go full Vallejo. I am sure there is a way to game it, any pointers?

    Thanks!

  4. $40 million is the same amount San Jose spent on the entire public works department.
    And I see here on my property tax bill a special assessment of $521.64 for SJ SEWER SANI/STORM.
    Aren’t sewer systems part of public works?
    This is what happens when we elect Democrats year after year.