Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury: Alum Rock School District’s Board Majority Should Resign

Yet another report came out this past week that puts the Alum Rock Union Elementary School District in a bad light. The Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury weighed in on the dysfunction roiling the East San Jose school district with a call for the notoriously obstructionist board majority—trustees Khanh Tran, Esau Herrera and Dolores Marquez-Frausto—to resign.

The 24-page report also advises the board to cut ties with Del Terra Real Estate Services, the firm that’s suspected of fraud yet tasked with managing hundreds of millions of dollars in construction bonds. While civil grand jurors have no enforcement authority, reform advocates hope their findings will add enough pressure to finally convince Tran, Hererra and Marquez to step down.

While the grand jury highlighted problems already cited in past probes, Raymond Mueller—one of a handful of candidates running against the Alum Rock Three in November—says he hopes it spurs some action.

“I think that it has provided a new energy,” Mueller says of the grand jury’s take.

It also details some of Herrera’s intimidation tactics. According to the report, the bellicose board president made a not-so-veiled threat against Alum Rock’s chief business officer for calling attention to some of Del Terra’s questionable billing practices.

“By the time I’m done with you, you won’t recognize your name,” Herrera reportedly said sometime in the fall of 2016.

Trustee Andres Quintero, who’s running for re-election, says that’s pretty typical behavior for Herrera and his allies on the five-member board.

“That was just the tip of the iceberg,” he says. “Those kinds of comments are common in closed sessions, but that was the first time it’s come out because someone came forward and corroborated it.”

Quintero says he’s heartened to see more whistleblowers come forward.

“There’s a board majority that’s out of control,” he says. “There’s really no other option but for these folks to leave.”

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15 Comments

  1. Civil grand jury is right. Any group of council members or school trustees that maintain private relations with a company or lobbyist. Any group of elected officials that have a private alliance or want a construction company or an internet bank to take over city or school contracts are scum. Good job. Inside.

  2. > he Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury weighed in . . . with a call for . . trustees Khanh Tran, Esau Herrera and Dolores Marquez-Frausto—to resign.

    Duly elected, right?

    So, why isn’t democracy working?

  3. Ok, if I am right, the Civil Grand Jury said an ongoing relationship with this contractor is wrong. Now let us say a city council or school board member has a buddy running an internet bank, not a brick and motor bank, and they want the district or city to transfer pension funds to that bank, wrong, right?

  4. Yes right aha? Civil grand jury of Santa Clara all made up of older white grouchy men all republicans written a piece to bash a minority school district. If you look at the report it is all bash language and nothing based on facts. All Trump folks trying to unravel the Democratic institutions (California school districts especially districts in heavily Dems areas). Sad to see some local Dems like Andres Quinteros doing their bidding as puppets.Andres as no spine nor does he stands for anything. This guy Andres took monies and donations from Charter, took donations from Del Terra, and those he owed favors to wen he ran for Assembly. I saw he took $4000 from CEO of Alpha. Karen Martinez who works for Alpha all but puppets for the so called rich folks. Note last year carter wanted to close James Lick High School but cannot do tat because the deed would default back to Alum Rock. So what they do… hoping to unseat current board members so they can get 4-board majority to approve giving away land to charter once they closed Alum Rock and required Alum Rock School Board to give away the land. It is all about monies, powers, and controls of the the land Alum Rock owns. I stand to protect the Alum Rock voters, parents, and children, and not allow them to carry out their plan…. nope will not resign … but will uphold the law and protect Alum Rock.

  5. Jennifer, do we know if this is a response from the real person who is a member of the Board? The grammar is so poor, I have serous concerns. Quintero is no Angel, but he does deserve respect. This comment from Tran shows he has issues and should not be operating complex machinery.

    • It’s from Tran. I’ve corresponded with him from the same email address enough to assure you that it’s a response from the real person.

    • > This comment from Tran shows he has issues and should not be operating complex machinery.

      I would argue with Tran, but why bother. I have never won an argument with an ignorant person.

      > All Trump folks trying to unravel the Democratic institutions (California school districts especially districts in heavily Dems areas).

      “Democracy” is government by the stupidest and most easily manipulated fifty-one percent. All Trump folks are trying to do is save Democrats from themselves.

      But Trumpniks can’t do it alone. Democrats in distress have to decide that they WANT to be saved. They have to notice that when they stop hitting their thumb with a hammer, their thumb doesn’t hurt anymore.

  6. I believe you.

    Current roster has six women
    One could be an Asian American.

    So his comment is out of order.

    His syntax is so poor.

    Signed

    Scraggly beaded white male.

  7. Isn’t this the same Herrera who made the news some years back for taking money for legal services that weren’t provided, or some such scam?

  8. The Civil Grand Jury is an investigatory body created for the protection of society and the enforcement of the law. Although the responsibilities of a juror are many and diverse, the three predominant functions include:

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