Chris Stampolis Should Resign from Santa Clara Unified

Videotape evidence appears to show Chris Stampolis, a Santa Clara County Unified School District board member, forming his hand in the shape of the gun and aiming it at a school principal. These are not the first charges of aggressive behavior against Stampolis.

In a highly charged TMZ tape, Stampolis is heard angrily berating a storage clerk. Now he is accused of harassing a middle school principal, his actions—despite denials—are caught on video.

Stampolis would like people to believe these are politically charged accusations, made by people who don't like his politics. But the tape doesn't lie and it is clear he has an anger problem. He should resign and seek help for his obvious anger management issues.

It is also disturbing that his bullying is often directed toward women. Both the storage clerk and the principal are females.

This is contrary to Stampolis’ long professed political beliefs. He has been a supporter of women's rights in general. But his personal actions put those public comments into doubt.

With the heightened awareness of domestic attacks against women in the NFL, on college campuses and in the general population, we all need to speak out when violence or the threat of violence is readily apparent.

It is incumbent upon all of us to speak out when individuals openly exhibit hostile behavior on a repeated basis. Stampolis needs help. We should all encourage him to get it before his anger gets someone hurt.

Rich Robinson is an attorney and political consultant in Silicon Valley. Opinions are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of San Jose Inside.


  1. He should play until he’s charged with a crime. Oops! Sorry I mistook this for your article on the NFL.

  2. Just for the record. I did not call for Mr. Stampolis to be fired from his job, but that he step down from public service. There is also a difference in the public evidence available in this situation. I have always supported the notion that a potentially violent person should be incarcerated if the situation was merited by the facts. In this particular case, it is important to take Mr. Stampolis out of the situation so nobody, including himself, gets hurt.

    • Are you calling for Ray McDonald to “step down” too?

      As far as I know, Stampolis is only loud and invades other people’s personal space. Is he a bigger threat to himself and others than a person that has actually been arrested for domestic violence?

      It was you that wrote, “With the heightened awareness of domestic attacks against women in the NFL, on college campuses and in the general population, we all need to speak out when violence or the threat of violence is readily apparent”.

      If you aren’t calling for Ray McDonald to “step down”, then one can only assume that your attacks are politically motivated, and that you aren’t sincere.

      • Are you serious with this? I mean, first off, YES, he is a bigger threat to the public than Ray McDonald, who, by the way, is a football player. You generally don’t expect a member of the Board of Education and President of the Little League to act like this. So comparing a professional football player’s conduct, while despicable and disgusting, to a BOE member is NOT the same. We, in general, expect a little more from the BOE member.

        Secondly, we’re going with the “Two Wrongs Make a Right” model? Ray MacDonald doesn’t get suspended so that clears the road for Chris Stampolis to: 1) Yell and scream at a woman on audio tape (see TMZ, search his name); 2) Cause principals and teachers to leave multiple schools just to get away from him; 3) Treat multiple female principals as though they are his beckon call because he is who he is. This doesn’t include that he was trying to lengthen the library hours for his kid’s middle school because for whatever reason, this unemployed (as far as I know) father (who filed a restraining order against his wife!) can’t pick up his kid on time and somehow needs the rules changed for him.

        So is this “political?” No, it’s common sense. When a BOE member comes over to the middle school and makes these type of gestures AT A SCHOOL, it’s time for him to go. And if you can’t see that then you have no business attacking the author or anyone else.

        In sum: Get a clue.

      • There is a distinction between an occupation of playing football and being in a position of authority in a school district. There is also a difference in the compelling nature of the public evidence. If McDonald worked with children or women, it might be more compelling to have him removed from his position. Likewise, I am not calling for Stampolis to be removed from his job, which does not include school staff.

        It may seem nuanced, but it is not. Stampolis should be given due process, but he should be taken out of the position of authority while the investigation continues.

        I have been very consistent on this point. When Mayor Gonzales was indicted for conspiracy, I opined that he should resign for the good of the city–even though, as a lawyer I opined that the charges against him were not sustainable. The good of the city had to be put before the Mayor’s troubles. When he was exonerated, I opined, then he could make a political comeback.

        Finally, I like Stampolis politically and have long considered him a personal friend–so the idea this is politically motivated is hooey. But it is painful and necessary that he be removed, for his own safety and those who are intimidated by his presence.

        • It really isn’t about what McDonald and Stampolis decide to do, it’s about propriety and civic responsibility.

          Ray McDonald’s disposition is up to the 49ers. In Stampolis’ case, the decision to continue as a trustee is his. How can you advocate for the Stampolis’ removal from his position as trustee, and not for McDonald’s removal from his position on the defensive line?

          I also wonder how much influence the 49ers organization exerts over the criminal justice system.

          The 49ers should do the right thing. It would allay some of the doubts about influence, and it would send the right message to the public about domestic violence.

      • Excellent points Mr Randall. Unfortunately once can expect hypocrisy from Mr Robinson when it comes to his politics. Wasn’t Mr Shirakawa one of hsi clients as well? Its documented in Grand Jury testimony where Mr Shirakawa harrassed and attempted to intimidate Magdalena Carrasco and several other women who helped on her campaign including her manager and Mr Robinson never has condemned those actions.

      • hasn’t anyone found it funny that the SJ cops can’t moonlight at the stadium anymore but Ray can still play football. Oh that’s right he is innocent until proven guilty.

  3. An adult who is supposed to be representing our children is making gun gestures on a school campus. With his history and all the tragic events that have happened at schools in this country, this should not be taken lightly. I could only hope that he would do the right thing and step down and get some help. He is also going through an ugly divorce and should focus his time on his family at this time. He is only costing our district more money. If he really was an advocate for our students he would put them first and not his political aspirations. Please resign Mr. Stampolis – for the sake of the students in Santa Clara.

  4. Okay, guys, the Stampolis thing is serious. If you don’t care about the quality of our schools and the people who determine policy and curriculum for our schools, please wander over to the sports page.

    Regarding Stampolis, as I recall, testimony in the out of state incident was that he physically assaulted the woman employee of a self-storage locker, because she would not allow him entrance to a storage facility he was not authorized to access. Also in my memory banks is the fact that he lost a civil suit over this matter.

    Closer to home, in sunny Santa Clara, it was this same angry fellow who was accused of harassing and stalking a male high school student who suggested that Stampolis resign from the School Board. Regarding allegations of threats made against a respected school principle (whose family is so highly regarded in educational circles that a relative of hers has a school named after him), the Court thought enough of her complaint to issue a restraining order preventing Stampolis from stepping onto the school grounds where his son attends and that he was elected to oversee.

    The issue here is Stampolis, not the NFL or which party he belongs to. Any fool can see that both parties elect their share of buffoons. Stampolis clearly needs help before he does something even worse than he’s already done. He’s already done more than enough to get him fired from pretty much any job in the country that involves public contact. Forgetting the accusations of assault and threats of assault, he has a gift for sowing chaos and discord.

    The teachers and administrators fleeing contact with him is not political, it’s a combination of fear and disgust. I know several teachers who have changed jobs entirely, or in large part, because of Stampolis and Ima Bendit (or whatever the heck her name is). Until recently, Santa Clara was known as a terrific district. Now it’s a laughing stock. Until Stampolis and other Board dysfunctionals leave, recruiting and keeping good talent is going to be next to impossible. So, while people like Randall try to obfuscate, our district – and the children it serves — suffers.

    • One more thing about the wacky world of Santa Clara Unified. Initially Stampolis and his mommy, Ina Bendis, were against Magnolia Science Academy. However, they have been very silent about this Gulen Charter School run by the mysterious Iman from Turkey, subject of State Auditor investigation. Why? Well, because Christine Koltermann works for Magnolia Science Academy. Yep, a board member who oversees the lease of a school site, for Magnolia, is President of the Board that approves the lease!! Oh, hold a second, Michele Ryan, is the Dean of Academics at Magnolia Science Academy, and Ryan is on the Santa Clara Unified School Board. Two backers of Stampolis, Ryan and Koltermann are violating Section `1090 of the Government Code!!! Yes indeed, as the code states recusal is insufficient, if one board member has a conflict with a contract, they all do!! Imagine if this had been about free 49er tickets, Ryan, who once said the stadium will be flooded by global warning, and Koltermann, who had Stampolis as her political mentor, would be screaming bloody murder! What is next? Stampolis will be hired as the After School Coordinator and Bendis will teach pre med at Magnolia. Careful, Chris, do not shove anybody at Magnolia, those Gulen imans might get very angry. Ps, Magnolia is under investigation by the State Auditor for mismanagement of district funds. Ps. Stampolis lists his 60,000 from Enrique Arguello of the Laborers as a fee for Praxis House. Why? Because Stampolis has a 35 grand judgement out on him. Ps, I voted no on Measure J because I am against public funds going to private establishments, like stadiums, and like charter schools

      • Jennifer, I’m grateful for the reference to section 1090, and apparently the remedy is in section 1092, but there’s an exception in section 1092.5:

        1092. (a) Every contract made in violation of any of the provisions
        of Section 1090 may be avoided at the instance of any party except
        the officer interested therein. No such contract may be avoided
        because of the interest of an officer therein unless the contract is
        made in the official capacity of the officer, or by a board or body
        of which he or she is a member.
        (b) An action under this section shall be commenced within four
        years after the plaintiff has discovered, or in the exercise of
        reasonable care should have discovered, a violation described in
        subdivision (a).

        1092.5. Notwithstanding Section 1092, no lease or purchase of, or
        encumbrance on, real property may be avoided, under the terms of
        Section 1092, in derogation of the interest of a good faith lessee,
        purchaser, or encumbrancer where the lessee, purchaser, or
        encumbrancer paid value and acquired the interest without actual
        knowledge of a violation of any of the provisions of Section 1090.

        I can’t tell whether that has to be the end of this tale without legal advice.

  5. This is absolutely necessary-Santa Clara teachers, staff and parents have known and suffered due to his actions for a long time-many have left because of him specifically. Stop the bleeding. Step down CS.

    • I don’t live in Santa Clara Unified so I don’t know what sort of job Stampolis is or isn’t doing.

      It does seem to me that you and others are jumping on any opportunity to get rid of Stampolis. This is in contrast to the 49ers and Ray McDonald. In the case of the 49ers, they are looking for reasons to defend keeping Ray McDonald on the field. If there is a principle, it should be applied uniformly.

      • some homework. Stampolis has a long and ugly history, here are a few highlights: Censure by the Santa Clara County Democratic Party Central Committee in 2002; an 2006 indictment by the SCC DA for violating FPPC reporting rules; a 2008 arrest for assault in Los Angeles; allegations that he stalked a high school student in 2013. Listen to recordings of SCUSD board meetings — better still, go to one and watch the show. Just be sure to have a big meal first because they last forever because Stampolis and his principal apologist Ina Bendis love the sound of their own voices. Ever heard the expression, where there’s smoke there’s fire?

          • The discussion is about a public official. I don’t get this logic: because people continue to buy tickets to NFL games and watch them on TV (generating the big advertising bucks that float these bloated entertainment enterprises) alleged criminal behavior by public officials shouldn’t be investigated or prosecuted.

            There’s a very simple answer for those who disapprove of the NFL: stop buying tickets and watching the games. Boycott sponsors. Picket the stadium. As the saying goes, money talks.

        • FLY ON THE WALL Watching: With respect to the 49ers responding to financial pressure, it just occurred to me that these cases are joined at the hip.

          Is Stampolis going to be pressured into resigning? Is he afraid of not got getting financial support, or of not being reelected in two years? If you want to see Stampolis hit the road, a way to get this done is to pressure the 49ers to take Ray McDonald off the roster. Why? The two are related. If nothing happens anywhere, no one is going to listen to anyone. If Ray McDonald sits, that makes Stampolis and his supporter take notice. And vice versa.

          So i’m with you all. Stampolis has to go!

  6. Fly on the Wall listed several things that struck me as interesting, since I have a niece going to Bracher and have heard many tails of the curious career of Mr. Stampolis, and the fact that Ina Bendis lists him as an endorser. Curious about this, and the fact that my neighbor is a member of the Laborers Union which apparently paid Mr. Stampolis of 60,000 dollars. My question is why is Mr. Stampolis not being accused of official misconduct over his continued stalking and assault with regards to teachers, employees, and students. Why does the Democratic National Committee continue to elect him to senior positions, and why does organized labor support him?

  7. It’s amazing that S. Randall only seems to want to make this about Ray McDonald. That’s simply not what this post is about. While I don’t know any of the facts about Ray McDonald, it’s clear to me that these are two separate issues and should be addressed as such. (Also for the record, I’m absolutely against domestic abuse and would certainly put the safety of spouses above winning ball games – and I’m all for suspending sports figures without pay if there’s any credible evidence of violence).

    Mr. Stompolis does indeed have, as another put it, a “long and ugly history.” This should be considered the last straw. He definitely needs to go.

    • Consistent isn’t the right term. You have been consistent. I should have used the term “intellectually honest.”

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