SCCOE Superintendent Lies Under Oath, Accuses Reporter of Hacking His Facebook Account

On Wednesday the county Board of Education will, again, discuss Superintendent Jon Gundry’s job security. Lawsuits filed by his ex-employees will likely be top of mind. Last week, Fly picked through the lawsuit filed by former chief business officer Micaela Ochoa. In sworn declarations, former staffers shared accounts of those annoying boss things, like racism, paranoia and harassment. We decided to take another look at Gundry’s own deposition, and it appears the head of the county Office of Education (COE), which oversees the South Bay’s 31 school districts, gave conflicting accounts about flouting the Public Records Act—under penalty of perjury. Two years ago, San Jose Inside wrote some stories about secret consulting contracts the superintendent had signed, or was attempting to sign, without bothering to inform his publicly elected board. In one case, Gundry hired consultant Mark Skvarna and didn’t think it was really necessary to require written documentation of work performed by Skvarna, who incurred $20,000 in travel expenses. Apparently, Gundry preferred to work with a guy who doesn’t write anything, whether it be email or text, even when communicating with the IRS, CalPERS and CalSTRS. But when Ochoa’s attorney, Sonya Mehta, asked Gundry about documents that the COE failed to release, as well as how decisions were made, the superintendent said no one consulted attorneys about the non-disclosures. This not only contradicts the sworn account given by COE spokesman Ken Blackstone, who says Gundry told him to speak with outside counsel Patty White, but also another sworn declaration Gundry gave to the court months later, in April. The COE has no comment on the contradiction. That’s not surprising. According to court records, Gundry considers Metro, San Jose Inside’s parent company, a “tabloid” and believes managing editor Josh Koehn hacked his Facebook page to publish the superintendent’s selfies. That’s giving a simple journalist way more credit for technical skill than he deserves. The Kardashianesque photos were actually public for the world to see, to re-post and to cringe over.

Below are excerpted transcripts that show Santa Clara County Office of Education Superintendent Jon Gundry offered conflicting accounts about turning over records to Metro/San Jose Inside in sworn statements to the court.

In a Dec. 16, 2016 deposition, Jon Gundry (A) says he never told Ken Blackstone to consult outside counsel on San Jose Inside’s records request:

Jon Gundry - No outside counsel

 

Two days earlier, in a Dec. 14, 2016 deposition, Ken Blackstone (A) says Jon Gundry told him to get outside counsel’s opinion on San Jose Inside’s records request:

Ken Balckstone - outside counsel

 

Four months later, in an April 10, 2017 declaration, Jon Gundry said that he told Ken Blackstone to speak with outside counsel on San Jose Inside’s records request.

Jon Gundry - Yes Outside CounselSo which one is it?

Send a tip to The Fly

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

6 Comments

  1. Josh can you get to the bottom of something for me… Maybe I already know the answer but…

    How is it we keep getting clowns like this in office? How come it takes this long to get them out? It just seems to be a revolving, revolting door of the same old BS but with fresh faces. Someone gets ousted, someone new either wins a special election or gets appointed, and suddenly they get a blank check and authority to do stuff like this.

    I just don’t get it… I mean I do.. Somewhere up the chain is someone counting on this person to have all this power so they get a kickback, but is it really that simple?

    • @Robert M. Cortese,

      Most counties in California elect their county superintendent of schools, so the voters control who they ‘hire’ to oversee their schools at the county level and can make a change of county schools superintendent any time there is an election. Santa Clara County does not elect its county superintendent of schools. Our county superintendent of schools is hired by the Santa Clara County Board of Education. So if voters want to see any changes, they need to go to the SC County Board of Education and voice their concerns.

    • > How is it we keep getting clowns like this in office?

      “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” — Winston Churchill

      “Democracy” puts ambitious, socially needy people in public office. But “ambition” and “social neediness” are not the same as competence, leadership, or integrity.

      Sorry, Democrats, but it’s the truth.

  2. People like Gundry can remain on the job only by the acquiescence, misfeasance, or malfeasance of the governing board. Reminds me of the SCC Water District.

    • You got it right J. Idiots elect these morons and then they get tax dollars salary that we are the losers in the end. They lie, cheat, pat each other on the back, pad their pockets with inflated salaries and give each other huge pensions, Oh my, sounds like the city council as well.

  3. This useless agency should simply be dissolved and buffoons like this forced to get jobs in the real world.

Leave a Reply