County Schools Chief Jon Gundry Accused of Racism, Harassment, Paranoia in Retaliation Lawsuit

Things are looking grim for county schools chief Jon Gundry. Last week, a judge ruled that a lawsuit could continue to trial against the superintendent and the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE), which oversees 31 school districts in the South Bay. Micaela Ochoa, the former chief business officer for the SCCOE, accuses Gundry of wrongful termination and retaliation against her and others after they refused to help him break the law. In one instance, Ochoa says, Gundry tried to get staff to misreport his moving expenses to the IRS so he could avoid paying taxes. On another occasion, Ochoa informed the superintendent that he and his communications director, Ken Blackstone, were not complying with the Public Records Act by hiding consulting contracts requested by San Jose Inside. In that instance, Gundry was found to be signing secret deals just a dollar under the $100,000 threshold that requires him to inform the elected board of trustees. It gets worse. Ted O, the SCCOE’s former director of internal business services, gave a deposition in which he said that Gundry was often paranoid and berated staff. O said that he was so concerned Gundry might attack him that he bought pepper spray. Maribel Medina, formerly the SCCOE’s top attorney, also filed a lawsuit against the SCCOE and the superintendent after being fired by Gundry in 2015—together, Medina and Ochoa’s departures cost taxpayers more than half a million dollars in payouts. In her deposition, Medina said that the superintendent told her to answer him by saying, “Si, señor.” In response, Medina reportedly accused of him of treating her like a Mexican day laborer instead of an attorney. The SCCOE board will have to decide if it wants to settle the lawsuits or go to trial, but trustees could be closing in on another big decision. The board has been evaluating Gundry’s job performance in closed session since mid-January. Blackstone, who told Fly the SCCOE would not comment on pending litigation, has seen his position eliminated through layoffs. His last day is June 30.

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  1. Sure is a lot of imaginary racism going around these days. Especially in deep pocketed government bureaucracies.
    Drain The Swamp!

    • ” imaginary racism” ! This is not a funny Joke! Did you just not see what happen to La bron James house in Los Angles! or do we just imagine it happen.
      In just under a week the Smithsonian Institute had two different racist attacks, with nooses being left first in a tree at the Hirshhorn Museum, and next at a display about segregation at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. According to, “On Wednesday afternoon, tourists visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture found a noose in an exhibition on segregation. Park police came to investigate and removed the noose, and the exhibit gallery was reopened within three hours, Smithsonian officials said. ‘The noose has long represented a deplorable act of cowardice and depravity—a symbol of extreme violence for African Americans. Today’s incident is a painful reminder of the challenges that African Americans continue to face,’ wrote Lonnie Bunch, the director of the museum, in an e-mail to staff.”

      Nooses have been found in other places in D.C. as well. A few weeks earlier at American University nooses were used in a display that also involved hanging bananas, a means of attacking an African American sorority on the campus. “American University is investigating what it’s calling a racial incident after bananas were found hanging from strings tied in the shape of nooses in three places on the campus in Northwest D.C.,” reports. “The displays were found in three places around the campus. In a memo to the college community, Fanta Aw, American’s vice president of campus life, said some of the fruits had the letters AKA written on them — which Aw said stood for Alpha Kappa Alpha, a sorority whose members are predominantly African-American.” Investigators suspect that the incidents may be tied to the election of the first black woman as student body president.

      • > ” imaginary racism” ! This is not a funny Joke!

        “Tribalism” is the central reality of tribalists.

        The essential ethos of tribalism is: “my tribe good, other tribe bad”.

        Tribalists are, at the same time, “supremacist” about their own tribe, and “racist” towards other tribes.

      • Yes I saw LBJ’s house. Very small chance the motive was racism. The motive was almost certainly attention seeking. And it succeeded because you’ve been programmed to see racism (and sexism and homophobia) where none exists.

  2. My comment is awaiting moderation.
    Gee, I wonder what could have prompted this recent immoderate moderation on SJI.
    Maybe Alma Burrell knows.

  3. Jon Grungy sounds like a perfect candidate to run for public office , if he’s a democrat !
    I seem to have missed the part about him tying a noose around anyone neck.

  4. This guy. What a shady, dishonest thief! Consulting with outside I can not believe that to teach in the city of San Jose I submitted a total of **12** attached documents, in addition to the eight page online application, and have a thorough background check, be fingerprinted by scc sheriff’s department, and screened for TB by my physician, before I can step foot in a classroom to make a whopping (wait for it….70k per year and that’s with 12 years teaching experience. But for some damn reason he is the sup of ALL county schools. Fail.

    • Oops I deleted part of my comment. What I meant to say is if you work for a public office you may be subject to a pub rec req by any one! He knows this. Trying to cover stuff up is bound to fail and make him look like the scum that he appears to be. It’s public record!! Read: call don’t text. All emails, records, texts, etc are subject to being made publically available and also used against you in litigation. Good God he MUST know that.

  5. Most of us who worked for Colleen Wilcox back in the day, especially the handful at the top of the org chart, (I served on her Superintendent’s Council [four assistant superintendents and three executive directors]), found ourselves increasingly worried about the damage to the SCCOE’s culture that we witnessed firsthand during her several year reign. I have watched from afar these 17 years as one after another of Wilcox’s successor’s have limped through their brief tenures and, sadly, we Council members were spot on. When she left, the havoc caused by her seven or so years of “leadership” had only just begun. Thank Colleen for the nearly twenty years of corruption and scandal and back-stabbing that she bequeathed. But most important of all, thank her for depriving the hundreds of thousands of kids in Santa Clara County who SHOULD have been the SCCOE’s focus during those decades.

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