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FROM CONGRESS TO SCHOOL BOARDS: THE RACES TO WATCH

It's a presidential years, with all eyes focuses on the race for the White House, but here are 10 local races worthy of your attention.

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WHO'S RUNNING FOR OFFICE IN 2016?

UPDATED FOR NOVEMBER! The exclusive East Bay Citizen Candidates List is back by popular demand. See who is defiintely running in 2016 and who is thinking about it from Congress all the way to your local East Bay city.

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Friday, September 30, 2016

EBCampaign: MIKE HONDA's cyber shot will have lasting effects; ELLEN CORBETT's opponent loves her; Bacon!

38 DAYS UNTIL ELECTION DAY |
Granted, there is still six weeks before voters in the nationally watched 17th Congressional District register all of their votes. Much can still happen in this suddenly raucous and hard-hitting race. But the hit Rep. Mike Honda's campaign registered on challenger Ro Khanna last week was one of the most devastating in recent memory. It has everything a campaign would want. It was stealth, timely, well-researched, a well-honed message, and most importantly, strongly reinforced the notion held by some that Khanna will do anything to get elected to Congress. In addition, the plot is straight out of Hollywood. Silicon Valley's congressional seat roiled by a cyber hacking scandal? A "modern-day Watergate." You can't make this up!

Aside from that, the allegation appears legitimate and will likely stick from here to Nov. 8. The narrative is just too solid. Khanna campaign manager Brian Parvizshahi had access to the Honda donor data starting in 2012. Evidence from the Honda fundraising consultant's Dropbox account shows, as Honda's campaign calls it, Parvizshahi's "digital fingerprints" all over the files up until last year. In addition, Parvizshahi's rise from Khanna's data director to 25-year-old campaign manager for one of the biggest congressional races in the country seems odd. Parvizshahi's quick resignation also fuels fire that  wrongdoing may have occurred. These facts should appear believable to voters and that's all that matters, not whether a lawsuit is allowed to run its course and determine culpability. The Honda campaign doesn't want anybody to go to jail (we don't think), they just want their candidate to return to Washington in November.

Rep. Mike Honda, center, with camapign manger
Michael Beckendorf,right, at the state Democratic 
Party Convention in San Jose last February.
This goes the same for Khanna's gambit this week to ask a U.S. District Court judge to grant expedited discovery in the case. The motion was denied Wednesday evening. But the real reason, Khanna admits, for seeking the motion was an attempt to adjudicate the lawsuit in the court of public opinion by forcing Honda to submit to a deposition sometime before Election Day. Then, Khanna's attorney would have asked Honda under oath about the case and whether he perjured himself by asserting in the lawsuit that he never seeks out his opponent's donors. Also likely would have been questions about Honda's ethics investigation, namely his "1,000 cranes" strategy.

Khanna is in a difficult position now. One he has never experienced during his previous two runs for Congress. This is the first instance where he is being tested not as the stalking horse in the race but the leader of the pack. The perspective is far different and Honda's bombshell may have put the incumbent back in the race with momentum to overtake Khanna at this most crucial moment in the campaign. At this point, Khanna can only attempt to chip away at  the periphery of the lawsuit, like claiming perjury and labeling it a purely political ploy. Maybe a single debate could change the tide for Khanna (no word on that). But it also appears Khanna will be forced to be highly aggressive (almost dirty) since Honda campaign manager Michael Beckendorf is showing that he prefers to come at Khanna with a frenetic, fast-break style that will not be neutralized by sitting tight and hoping his very small June primary lead holds in November. It appears the winner of this race will be who hits the hardest.
*****
East Bay park district candidates Daniel Chesmore
and Ellen Corbett at a forum Sept. 19 in Oakland.
CORBETT'S BIGGEST FAN Following an Oakland League of Women Voters candidates forum last week for the open Ward 4 seat on the East Bay Regional Park District board being sought by Ellen Corbett, an awkward moment arrived. While chatting to some in attendance, Corbett turned away from the group to speak to another voter, but at the same moment one of her opponents, Daniel Chesmore, outstretched his arms to warmly embrace Corbett. She then looked back, somewhat surprised, and hugged Chesmore before quipping, "My opponent loves me." Meanwhile, Corbett's campaign to replace long-time Director Doug Siden, who is retiring from the board, raised just $9,400, according to the latest finance reports. Overall, the former state Senate majority leader's campaign has more than $25,000 in cash with roughly $6,000 debt. More than enough to win the seat, but how long will Corbett stay at the park district? Just for reference: the Ward 4 seat basically covers the same geographical area as Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan's District 3 seat. Chan is up for re-election in 2018.
*****
BOO BIRDS Supporting Republican presidential Donald Trump while also running for the Assembly in Oakland, one of the most progressive areas in the country, is more than a daunting task for 18th Assembly candidate Roseann Slonsky-Breault. She was also a delegate for Trump at the Republican National Convention this summer. In the two-person June primary, Slonsky-Breault received just over 12,000 votes and lost by a whopping 78 percentage points to Democratic Assemblymember Rob Bonta. The rematch almost assuredly will be the same result in November. But it got worse for Slonsky-Breault earlier this month when a group of seniors booed and hissed her for supporting Trump and all things conservative. One witness told the East Bay Citizen the scene was one of the most hilarious of the campaign year.
*****
EVERYBODY LOVES BACON A Goldendoodle named Asbury has again endorsed Fremont Councilmember Vinnie Bacon. However, bias is certainly involved since the canine, who appears in his campaign commercials, belongs to Bacon. The low budget commercials have been part of Bacon's campaigns since 2008 when Asbury first appeared barking, "Bacon, Bacon, Bacon for Fremont City Council." Bacon's newest ads, which appeared this month on CNN, reintroduces his most loyal supporter. So, who is the voice of Asbury? "It's me," Bacon admits.

*****
NO MORE QUIRKY DRIVING Assemblymember Bill Quirk's 2016 legislative year has focused on the road. Two of Quirk's bills signed by Gov. Jerry Brown this year have gotten significant media play. First, his legislation allowing motorcycle riders to legally lane-split received major attention, if not because most people may have believed the practice was already legal. Then this week, Brown signed another Quirk offering that could put a significant crimp on drivers fiddling on their cell phones while driving. Quirk, visiting the Hayward City Council this week and said the new law basically limits driver interaction with their phones to a single swipe to account for ride-hailing drivers and everyone else trying to access maps for navigation, but nothing else. Quirk is facing Republican Luis Wong in November. Quirk won 77 percent of the vote in the two-person June primary.
*****
Assemblymember Catharine Baker, a 
Republican; Democrat Cheryl Cook-Kallio.
HERE & THERE Republican 16th District Assemblymember Catharine Baker organized a "Taco Tuesday" phone banking event this week... On Friday, the Sacramento Bee reported voting patterns in the State Legislature this session showed business-friendly Democrats siding a tad more with Republicans. But it also showed Baker voted in a similar fashion with Assembly Democrats 80 percent of the time. That flies in the face of rhetoric from her Democratic challenger Cheryl Cook-Kallio, who is arguing Baker is not the moderate Republican she claims to be, but votes in lock-step with conservatives. Maybe so, but not this election cycle...

Berkeley mayoral candidate Zachary RunningWolf was arrested, it was reported this week, for vandalizing a Bank of America building in Oakland during a Sept. 10 protest. A RunningWolf supporter told The Daily Cal that the candidate's arrest will hamper his chances Nov. 8. “When you can’t be out there campaigning, you’re at a disadvantage. This is called interfering with an election.” RunningWolf is best known for protesting the removal of trees around Cal's Memorial Stadium by climbing one and refusing to come down...
*****
MEET THE CANDIDATES Berkeley-Albany-Emeryville League of Women Voters forum, Saturday, Oct. 1, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. featuring 13th Congressional District candidates Rep. Barbara Lee and Sue Caro; State Senate 9th District candidates Nancy Skinner and Sandre Swanson; and 15th Assembly District candidates Assemblymember Tony Thurmond and Claire Chiara...

San Leandro City Council District 2 candidates Ed Hernandez and Bryan Azevedo meet a the Eden Area League of Women Voters foru,, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 6 p.m. at the San Leandro Library...

Berkeley mayoral candidates square off Thursday, Oct. 6, 7 p.m. at Berkeley City College's main auditorium, 2050 Center Street.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

San Leandro sets the stage for third dispensary, without open bidding process

San Leandro Mayor Pauline Cutter already has
a operator in mind for the city's potential 
third dispensary.
SAN LEANDRO CITY COUNCIL |
San Leandro’s medical marijuana dispensary ordinance was amended Monday to include a possible third permit. The San Leandro City Council only recently awarded a second permit in July, and now with its latest action, is setting the stage for third dispensary even before the initial permit holder Oakland’s Harborside last year has even opened its doors.

In addition, San Leandro Mayor Pauline Cutter suggested Monday night the process for determining the third permit holder may move forward without an open process. Cutter said Blum Oakland should receive the forthcoming permit. “We have a candidate that is qualified and I would like to award it to Blum,” said Cutter.

Blum Oakland ranked third in the city’s initial bidding process last year behind Harborside and the Davis Street Wellness Center group. Permits for the top two operators have since been approved, but neither is ready for business.

The city council also removed a portion of the ordinance that barred dispensaries from locating less than 1,000 feet apart. Councilmember Jim Prola said the prohibition was a vestige from the city’s early medical cannabis dispensary ordinance drafts. The city initially worried then-U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, known for her aggressive crackdowns on dispensaries in the state, might target potential San Leandro operators if they were clustered in one area, said Prola.

San Leandro Councilmember Benny Lee, who abstained Monday night, expressed unease over approving yet another dispensary permit within such a short period of time. “I think we’re jumping the gun since the first dispensary hasn’t even opened and we’ve just about approved the second dispensary in a process that was not an open,” said Lee. “We’re changing the rules on the fly…I don’t think it is wise to rush at this.”

Dan Grace, a local medical cannabis cultivator affiliated with Harborside San Leandro’s operation, said the city’s approach since awarding its first dispensary permit has been unfair. “The city has not been a good partner,” said Grace. “All along the way the City of San Leandro has moved the goalposts. It’s like a bait and switch.”

At this time, there is no process for how the city will grant its third permit, pending further direction from the council, said City Attorney Richard Pio Roda. However, Cutter and Prola said they would support relying on the city’s original Request for Proposals from a year ago. “Three dispensaries rose to the top,” said Prola. “I don’t think we need to go through another procedure.”

Governor signs bill limiting Eden Health District’s administrative spending

EDEN HEALTH DISTRICT | Legislation that could be the first nail in the Eden Health District’s coffin was signed last week by Gov. Jerry Brown. The new law, authored by East Bay Assemblymember Rob Bonta, requires the struggling Eden Health District to allocate a minimum of 80 percent of its operating budget for health-related expenditures. The narrowly-tailored bill only pertains to the Eden Health District, which covers much of Central Alameda County.

Following a years-long legal battle with hospital provider Sutter Health over ownership of San Leandro Hospital, the healthcare district’s financial situation has been precarious in recent years. After losing the lawsuit, Eden Health District was ordered to pay $20 million in damages to Sutter Health spread out over 10 years.

In addition to no longer overseeing a hospital, which was its original duty when voters created the district in 1948, its grant-giving ability has also been severely limited in recent years. Much of its income comes from medical office properties the district owns in Castro Valley and Pleasanton. The healthcare district is not funded by any taxes. Nearly two years ago, Eden Health District spent just 12 percent of its budget outside of administrative costs.

“The Eden District now essentially functions as a commercial real estate management operation, rather than a healthcare provider for the public,” said Bonta. “Unfortunately, the mismanagement of the district and failure to meet the stated mission has gone on for too long and has violated the public trust by spending a disproportionate amount of their budget on administrative costs and not on helping people.”

Bonta’s bill faced little opposition through the legislative process before being signed by Brown on Sept. 21. Hayward Assemblymember Bill Quirk also offered legislation related to Eden Health District this session. Quirk’s bill would have been far more punitive and ask for an immediate dissolution of the healthcare district. That bill, however, was shelved, in favor of Bonta’s legislation.

But the push by Alameda County officials and local mayors to dissolve Eden Health District may only be beginning. The Alameda County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), which oversees the boundaries of jurisdictions in the region, is currently discussing the district’s future, including the possibility of dissolution. A final report commissioned by LAFCO is scheduled for January 2017, according to a timeline offered last month. LAFCO's next meeting is Nov. 10.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Khanna says Honda perjured himself; judge denies Khanna's motion

Ro Khanna taking questions from supporters
Sept. 22 at a town hall in Fremont.
CONGRESS | 17TH DISTRICT |
ELECTION 2016 |
Ro Khanna believes Rep. Mike Honda committed perjury when he claimed in a lawsuit last week to have never solicited Khanna's campaign contributors.

Khanna's attorney issued a response Monday to a lawsuit filed recently by the Honda campaign alleging a "cyber attack" by Khanna's campaign manager on its digital files containing confidential donor information.

The Honda campaign filed its own response in federal court Wednesday afternoon opposing Khanna's motion.

The motion sought by Khanna asks to allow expedited discovery and possibly a deposition of Honda, Khanna told the East Bay Citizen. He also asserts four of the six people who claimed they were harmed by Khanna’s campaign emails were actually coerced by Honda to produce false affidavits.

“We want to expedite discovery to depose them and ask them why they lied,” Khanna said in an interview. “Honda committed perjury and encouraged six people to do the same.”

According to the filing, Khanna’s attorney wrote Honda’s claim in the lawsuit that he never solicits supporters of his opponents is false. “Yet he has actively solicited Mr. Khanna’s supporters–a practice he continues to this day–and Honda’s papers explicitly reveal files entitled “Khanna Donors” which Honda continues to access,” wrote Khanna's attorney David Berger.

Rep. Mike Honda at a social security town hall
in Fremont last month.
In an interview, Khanna refuted the claim by some Honda donors that they did not have prior contact with him, including San Francisco attorney Dale Minami. “He doesn’t know me?” said Khanna. “I sponsored a table in 2011 for an event he organized.” Another sought Khanna out for an internship, he said.

The lawsuit, wrote Khanna’s attorney, is “political gamesmanship” and no evidence was presented by Honda that the alleged incident “caused any tangible harm.” Honda also took no action in the roughly four months after the alleged incident became know to the campaign in late May, according to the filing.

Khanna’s legal move, however, appears centered on forcing Honda’s hand to submit to questioning from his lawyers. The motion, in theory, would push adjudication of the case until after the Nov. 8 election, but buy time for Khanna’s attorney to potentially depose Honda before Election Day, along with the up to six who submitted signed affidavits on the incumbents behalf.

The motion filed by Khanna's attorney also claims Honda's attorney has not handed evidence over to them. “This brief extension is necessary because Honda refuses to produce the targeted, minimal discovery necessary to conclusively prove that its allegations are not merely false–they are sanctionable.”

In a response to the motion, Honda's campaign filed a response in federal court Wednesday afternoon saying Khanna's attorney failed to adequately give them time to discuss the case this week and is more than willing to share its evidence in a timely manner. "Having rebuffed Plaintiff's efforts to meet and confer, Defendant Ro Khanna for Congress, Inc. and Defendant Ro Khanna, shamelessly seeks to distract the Court with red herrings and innuendo," wrote Honda attorney Gautam Dutta.

Honda’s campaign said Wednesday the motion is merely an attempt to obfuscate evidence that Khanna’s campaign manager and the candidate illegally accessed the Dropbox account containing Honda's fundraising data, or, as the Honda campaign manager Michael Beckendorf called the incident, “a modern-day Watergate.”

“The response is nothing more than Ro Khanna using Republican bait-and-switch tactics to distract voters from his illegal Russian hacker-esque cyber attack on Congressman Honda’s campaign,” said Vedant Patel, Honda’s campaign communication director. “The fact, through clear digital fingerprints, are that Ro Khanna and his staff had access to important and confidential files related to the Honda Campaign and were using these files illegally in clear violation of federal law.”

In addition, Honda's latest filing asks the court to order Khanna hand over all documents allegedly obtained by his campaign manager Brian Parvizshahi from the Dropbox account containing Honda's donor information; emails from Khanna's personal email, specifically on Oct. 3, 2015; and Parvizshahi's job application with the Khanna campaign. Parvizshahi resigned on Sept. 22, the same day Honda's campaign filed a lawsuit alleging he violated the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Hayward councilman received $9,000 contract without school board approval

Hayward Councilmember Mark Salinas was given
a $9,000 contract by the school district without any
apparent approval by the school board.
HAYWARD | Hayward Councilmember Mark Salinas received a contract for unidentified services with the city's school district worth nearly $9,000 last year, and the school district has no idea how it was approved or what job he performed.

Salinas was given a "professional expert" contract for roughly three months of work from March 2015 to June 2015, according to public records. Salinas turned in time cards with work totaling 149.5 hours, billable at $60 an hour, for a grand total of $8,970.

However, Hayward school officials say the contract was never approved by the school board, said Board President Lisa Brunner. "There is no record of what he was supposed to do," Brunner said of Salinas' contract.

Brunner said the school board had no idea so-called professional expert contracts were being used by the district until last Spring after an investigation was launched over the existence of two Made in Hayward Foundations. She believes Salinas' contract was moved forward by now-fired Superintendent Stan "Data" Dobbs. "I don't believe these types of contracts should be given out and I understand this was done under the direction of Dobbs," said Brunner

School Trustee Luis Reynoso said the board requires any contract worth more than $5,000 to be submitted for approval and, in this case, its procedures were not recognized. "This is another example to the board of how the superintendent was not providing good financial stewardship of the student's money," said Reynoso.

Just last week, during a Hayward City Council meeting, Reynoso charged that some Hayward councilmembers had personally profited from ties to the school district. A majority of the City Council is backing a political group hoping to replace three incumbent school board members this November, including Reynoso.

“Some of you or all of you are making money off the district,” Reynoso said Sept. 20. “We don’t need your services. Please don’t make money off our children. Now I can see why you support our superintendent.”

Hayward Mayor Barbara Halliday, however, strongly admonished Reynoso for his allegation, saying “We were just accused of many things that we as a council have not done,” said Halliday. “I am not going to sit here and be accused falsely and have my councilmembers accused falsely of doing something that we have not done.”

In an interview last week, Salinas declined to answer any questions about the work he performed for the contract. "You guys are just fishing for something," said Salinas.

The use of professional expert contracts came under scrutiny recently in the school district's report on Dobbs, who was fired earlier this month. A similar type of contract was used to give former Hayward Councilmember Olden Henson a contract of up to $40,000 to create a non-profit group named the "Made in Hayward Foundation." The school district's investigation into Dobbs found the contract was surreptitiously placed on the board's agenda in 2014 under the guise of Henson being a "substitute teacher." However, Henson was never paid for his work and retained ownership of the original non-profit's paperwork.

The premise behind professional expert contracts is they sidestep the normal and transparent bidding process under the notion the type of services needed require specific expertise not available within the existing staff. When Brunner was asked whether she believes the type of administrative knowledge required of Henson and Salinas was absent among the school district's staff, she answered unequivocally, "No."

It is not clear how Salinas' contract was initially approved, but each of the three time sheets submitted were approved by the school district's business department. Over the course of the contract, Salinas almost exclusively billed the school district for two hours during the work week between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. On some days, Salinas billed an additional two hours in the evening between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Salinas is also a teacher at Chabot College and Cal State East Bay, in addition, to working for the Hayward Promise Neighborhood, a federally-funded program to help students in the city's impoverished Jackson Triangle neighborhood.

Mike Honda equates Ro Khanna to a Russian hacker

The race between Rep. Mike Honda, left, and
Ro Khanna is heating up.
CONGRESS | 17TH DISTRICT |
ELECTION 2016 |
Rep. Mike Honda described opponent Ro Khanna as a "Russian hacker" in his first public comments since his campaign filed a civil lawsuit against Khanna, also a Democrat, and his campaign manager for illegally accessing their fundraising data.

“Mr. Khanna claims to be the voice of ‘new politics’ but this recent incident highlights that he and his campaign embody the absolute worst of Washington - lies, deceit, and conduct we would expect from radical Republicans or Russian hackers but not from someone who calls himself a Democrat,” Honda said Tuesday.

Honda’s comments, in which he also strongly questioned Khanna’s integrity, may be the strongest the 16-year incumbent has ever levied against an opponent, certainly during the current election cycle and rivaling the boastful diatribe that followed his victory over Khanna in November 2014.

Honda said he was shocked to learn about the activities by Khanna’s campaign manager Brian Parvizshahi alleging he accessed, over a three-year period, data pertaining to Honda’s campaign donors. The alleged incident occurred after Parvizshahi was an intern in 2012 for the fundraising consultant used by the Honda campaign.

It is alleged Parvizshahi continued accessing sensitive information from the Honda campaign after the consultant neglected to revoke his access to the cloud data service. Parvizshahi’s activity continued, according to the lawsuit filed Sept. 22, through his elevation from data director to Khanna campaign manager in 2015. Parvishahi resigned just hours after news of the lawsuit was made public last Thursday.

“Mr. Ro Khanna has shown a complete disregard for the law and cannot be trusted. His conduct is unbecoming of any individual running for office and his severe lack of judgment, character and integrity is a clear indication that he is unfit to represent this district,” said Honda.

“Silicon Valley is the epicenter of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that fuels the tech community. Mr. Khanna's illegal activity sends a chilling message to all businesses, innovators and residents across this country who cherish their privacy and the rights of privacy for all Americans.”

Khanna, in a text message alleged Honda may have committed perjury in the lawsuit against him and his former campaign manager. Khanna, in reference to Honda, added, “He’s become a joke.”

"I guess the rumors that Mike has gone a bit unhinged since losing the primary are true," said Khanna. "It's sad to see. This is not the Mike Honda I knew. I hope he finds more peace and dignity in retirement. It's hard to take him seriously anymore when he's comparing me to Russian hackers."

Monday, September 26, 2016

EBCampaign: Did FREMONT'S MAYOR get left hanging? ALAMEDA COUNTY DEMS slam grand jury for racial bias

42 DAYS UNTIL ELECTION DAY |
Fremont's City Hall chambers--not really much of a hall, really, nor a chambers--was packed Friday night to hear from mayoral candidates Mayor Bill Harrison and Vice Mayor Lily Mei. Growth, whether smart, dumb, or ravenous, is definitely on the minds of Fremonters this November. When Harrison, a first-term mayor, said he would not take a pledge against accepting campaign contributions from developers, members of the audience, presumably Mei supporters (she does not accept developer dollars), derisively laughed at him. Harrison appeared blindsided by the guffaws for a full minute while his challenger answered another question. But that wasn't the only embarrassing moment Friday night. At the conclusion of the roughly 45-minute candidates forum, Harrison rose from his seat and turned to shake Mei's hand, but instead she stayed seated and bent over, momentarily disappearing from the audience's vantage point as Harrison stood awkwardly with his outstretched hand. When asked if Harrison thought Mei had dissed him on the dais, he said, "I thought so, but whatever." Afterwards, Mei dismissed the diss. "It's not like that." She later explained that she was reaching down for the water bottle she placed under the desk. "Our water bottles were next to each other. I thought he was reaching for his," she said. These types of incidents tend to occur whenever a sitting councilmember challenges an incumbent mayor. They also tend to spill out during City Council meetings, too.
*****
Oakland Council President Lynette Gibson
McElhaney, right, with challenger Noni Session
during a forum in August.
GRAND JURY BIAS? Last week, the Oakland city administration received an extension to file a response to the Alameda County grand jury report released in June. The report basically reiterated scathing articles in the East Bay Express against Oakland City Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney. The grand jury found McElhaney's used her position for personal gain when she interfered with the zoning process for a proposed building next to her home. The grand jury said McElhaney's actions were a conflict of interest and a violation of government ethics. Meanwhile, McElhaney is up for re-election this November against first-time candidate Noni Session, a well-known Oakland community activist. McElhaney should have no problem defeating Session, but incumbents are always a jittery bunch. A week ago, during the Alameda County Democratic Party's endorsement meeting, some central committee members slammed the grand jury for exhibiting a bias toward McElhaney, in addition, to other black elected officials in recent years. One member, during the party's deliberations for McElhaney's race, said the process the Alameda County grand jury uses to choose which cases it pursues to tilted against minorities. The party ultimately endorsed McElhaney.
*****
WHAT DIDN'T SWALWELL KNOW One of the main criticizes lodged by Eric Swalwell against Pete Stark four years ago was that the 40-year incumbent had become far too removed from the communities he represented. After Swalwell upset Stark, he embarked on a long and deliberate public relations effort to highlight his tireless travel from D.C. to the East Bay virtually every weekend. The idea was encapsulated within the posting of his penny loafers entering and exiting airplanes. Four years later, it appears Swalwell needs to spend far more time in Hayward. His support of disgraced Hayward Superintendent Stan Dobbs looked foolish even before the school district’s devastating report on his wrongdoings was released Sept. 15. That’s because a majority of what was found by the investigator was known to Hayward political insiders for quite some time. News of Dobbs’ handling of the Ray McDonald appearance at Tennyson High School and the print shop scandal involving a school board member’s City Council campaign was already public knowledge. Less so was the affair with the former school district employee and controversy over the Made in Hayward Foundation campaign that followed former Hayward Councilmember Olden Henson never getting paid for starting the non-profit. Aside from the conspiracy against a school board member alleged by Dobbs and the physical abuse, according to his former mistress, everything else in the report should have been known beforehand to Swalwell and his staff, that is, if they were somewhat in tune with the other the "other side of the hill" in Hayward. And when it comes to Hayward’s school board election this November, there is some belief (Dobbs, apparently, included) that if the right combination of the pro-Dobbs slate of candidates, now backed by Swalwell, win along with School Board Trustee Annette Walker, up for re-election, that Dobbs to conceivable return to his post after the election.
*****
CLASS-LESS A grassroots organization named C.L.A.S.S. is offering a slate of three candidates to oppose the three school board incumbents. The tenor of the board has long been criticized, but oddly the political action committee leading the effort is bankrolled by the California Apartment Association and the Hayward Chamber of Commerce. What exactly is the message? Vote for these candidates who are backed by interests that effectively want the parents of Hayward school children to scramble just to afford rising rents and another group that wants to keep down wages? In addition, one of the main proponent of C.L.A.S.S. is Hayward Councilmember Sara Lamnin, a candidate who lost numerous council and school board races before getting elected two years ago on the strength of more than $100,000 in special interests backing from SEIU Local 1021. The intersection between the union and its rival, the California Apartment Association, is just another screwy development in Hayward. Meanwhile, during a recent endorsement meeting for the powerful Alameda Labor Council, one Hayward school board candidate named Wynn Grcich refused to sit next to embattled school trustee John Taylor, who was accused of misusing the district's print shop for his recent City Council campaign. Grcich, who was also a council candidate in June, reportedly told the labor council she would not sit next to a "corrupt" individual like Taylor.
*****
Rep. Eric Swalwell and Assemblymember
Catharine Baker last week.
HERE & THERE Almost $700,000 has been spent already in the 16th Assembly District by the Democratic and Republican state parties since June 30. The total also includes county committees from each party…Rep. Eric Swalwell supports Democrat Cheryl Cook-Kallio in the 16th Assembly District, but why did he appear last week on a panel in Pleasanton with Cook-Kallio's opponent Republican Assemblymember Catharine Baker?... In Alameda, long-time incumbent City Treasurer Kevin Kennedy and City Auditor Kevin Kearney--"The Kevins"--are basically running as one against two challengers backed by the local public safety unions. Lawn signs featuring both candidates can be see around Alameda. While the commingling of campaigns is odd, it's not illegal. That's because Alameda does not have limits on campaign contributions. If so, there could be questions of whether the contributions are being used evenly by each candidate or benefiting one candidate over the other.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Alameda mayor's husband files legal claim against city following his arrest

ALAMEDA | Joel Spencer, husband of Alameda Mayor Trish Spencer, has filed a legal claim against the city alleging that Alameda police officers filed an untruthful report about his conduct following his arrest last March for drunken driving on Central Avenue.

Alameda police arrested Joel Spencer on March 17, and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office subsequently charged him with a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence. According to court documents, Joel Spencer’s blood-alcohol level was 0.15 percent, or nearly twice the legal limit. Spencer, 57, pleaded not guilty and is still awaiting trial.

But according to the notice of claim filed by Joel Spencer on September 16, his attorney alleges that Alameda police essentially targeted him and pulled his vehicle over without probable cause as part of an elaborate conspiracy to embarrass him and the mayor. “The police reports completed by the officers did not fully and truthfully report the incident, but also included false/untruthful claims about the driving and conduct of the claimant, ” wrote Andrew Dosa, attorney for Spencer. [READ THE ENTIRE STORY AT ALAMEDAMAGAZINE.COM]

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Stalker! Fired Hayward superintendent attended school board candidates forum

HAYWARD | Hayward School Board Trustee Luis Reynoso says his eyesight isn't so good in poorly-lit room, so during a candidate's forum Wednesday night he quietly turned to an opponent seated next to him and asked if that was indeed recently fired Superintendent Stan "Data" Dobbs seated in the audience. School board candidate Wynn Grcich nodded yes.

Dobbs was fired with cause by the school board on Sept. 14 for a long list of transgressions included the consistently display of what a investigator determined was an "explosive temper" and inability to be held accountable for his misdeeds. Dobbs also allegedly hit a former school district employee while having an extramarital affair with the woman.

According to source who deliberately sat behind Dobbs at the hour-long candidates forum at City Hall, he another person repeatedly giggled whenever Reynoso spoke.

However, Dobbs did not stay for the entire forum, which later turned combative after candidate Joe Ramos called another candidate Robert Carlson a "knucklehead" for supporting Dobbs and slamming Daniel Goldstein for saying he "admired" the former superintendent. Goldstein later boasted, in what is likely to became a classic quip, "I can read fast."

Meanwhile, Hayward's zombie superintendent appears to be in no hurry to move on from his controversial tenure at the school district. On Sept. 16, less than two days after being fired, Dobbs showed up among his former peers at a monthly meeting of Alameda County superintendents in Oakland.

At the meeting, Alameda County Superintendent Karen Monroe thanked Dobbs for his efforts and gave him a ceremonial gavel to commemorate his two years as chair of the group, known as the "superintendent's council."

Khanna’s campaign manager resigns; Khanna served lawsuit at town hall

Ro Khanna addressing voters at a campaign
town hall Thursday night in Fremont.
CONGRESS | 17TH DISTRICT
ELECTION 2016
Ro Khanna's campaign manager Brian Parvizshahi has resigned following a lawsuit filed Thursday alleging he illegally accessed donor lists from Rep. Mike Honda's campaign.

Khanna made the announcement prior to a previosly scheduled campaign event in Fremont Thursday evening. Parvizshahi made the decision to resign, said Khanna, "because he didn't want to be a distraction to the campaign."

Honda's campaign alleges Parvizshahi violated the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act since early 2013. Parvizshahi gain access to "thousands" of  donor records when he interned with the fundraising consultanting firm used then by the Honda campaign. 

Parvizshahi's access to the records, however, were never revoked by the company, allowing him to access sensitive campaign information while employed by the Khanna campaign starting in 2014, the lawsuit alleges.

"None of that information came from Brian or the Honda campaign," said Khanna. His campaign also plans to seek sanctions on the Honda campaign over the lawsuit, along with its attorneys, he said.

Meanwhile, Khanna questioned the timing of the lawsuit--just six weeks from Election Day and two weeks before the arrival of vote-by-mail ballots in voter's hands. "It's shameless. It's why voters want change in this district," said Khanna. 

At the beginning of the town hall event Thursday evening in Fremont, Khanna was served with the lawsuit. The scene did not occur inside the small meeting room, but just outside, likely thwarting what may have been intended to be an attempt by the Honda campaign to publicly embarrass Khanna in front of his supporters. 

Honda files lawsuit against Khanna, his campaign manager for cyber crime

Rep, Mike Honda's campaign reveals the contents
of a civil lawsuit filed against Ro Khanna and his
campaign manager Thursday in San Jose.
CONGRESS | 17TH DISTRICT |
Ro Khanna’s most effective talking point for nearly a year has been repeated references to his opponent Rep, Mike Honda’s on-going ethics investigation. The constant drumbeat, in fact, likely earned Khanna a big upset over Honda during the June primary.

But, now a civil lawsuit filed by the Honda campaign Thursday may undo the challenger’s momentum going forward to November. In the complaint, it is alleged Khanna’s campaign manager illegally accessed “thousands” of donor records from the Honda campaign, including the so-called “1,000 Cranes” documents and resulting news article last December, which led to Honda’s current legal problems.

“Ro Khanna’s campaign for Congress has been taking part in an illegal cyber attack and data breach for many years,” said Vedant Patel, communication director for the Honda campaign. “This is a modern-day Watergate,” added Michael Beckendorf, its campaign manager.

In the lawsuit filed Thursday morning, the Honda campaign alleges Brian Parvizshahi, Khanna’s campaign manager since 2015, accessed a Dropbox account that contained information related to Honda’s previous donors. The data breach was identified by the Honda campaign on May 31. Khanna is also named in the suit as a conspirator.

Specifically, the lawsuit alleges Parvizshahi's actions violated federal law, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and theft of trade secrets. Gautam Dutta, an attorney for the Honda campaign, said the charges against Parvizshahi are serious. “We are still uncovering the full extent of what happened and our discovery process is ongoing,” said Dutta.

It is alleged Parvizshahi accessed donor data files belonging to the Honda campaign since February 2013. A year prior, Parvizshahi was an intern at the fundraising consulting firm also used then by Honda. At the time, he was given access to Honda’s donor files. However, Parvizshahi only last one month at the firm, but his access was never revoked by the company. In 2014, Parvizshahi served as data director for the Khanna Campaign and last year was elevated to campaign manager for the current election cycle. From February to September 2013, according to the lawsuit, Parvizshahi edited or added to the Honda donor files seven times and “modified” records 44 times between January 2014 and June 2015. Parvizshahi's digital fingerprints on the records revealed his activities each time, according to the suit.

In addition, the central tenet of Khanna’s second attempt at unseating Honda this fall may have been gleaned from Parvizshahi’s access to the donor files. According to the lawsuit, the anonymous delivery of donor information to South Bay alt-weekly Silicon Valley Metro, was procured from the same data breach.

The article published Dec. 16, 2015 described Honda’s “1,000 Cranes” list of donors, along with suggestions of pay-to-play politics. The story had devastating effects on Honda and allowed Khanna to cast consistent doubt over the congressman’s ethics. The resulting investigation by the Congressional Ethics Committee further eroded Honda’s once-sterling reputation in the 17th Congressional District and likely proved the difference in last June’s primary, which Khanna won in an upset. Beckendorf said the information in that story matches the data procured by Parvizshahi.

In addition, the lawsuit alleges Khanna used the stolen fundraising data to solicit contributions and support from people who had contributed previously to the Honda campaign. In one email given to the Honda campaign, Khanna instructs Parvizshahi to take the donor of their “friends list.” Sixteen peopel complained to the Honda campaign about unsolicited emails from Khanna's personal email account. Six of them are named in the lawsuit.

In an interview following a campaign event in Fremont, Khanna called the filing a “baseless lawsuit” and denied he or Parvizshahi ever had access to any information belonging to the Honda campaign. Khanna also called the move "shameless" to file the suit just six weeks before Election Day.

Parvizshahi's online activities also came into the spotlight recently. Last week, the founder of Daily Kos, a prominent progressive Website, publicly admonished Parvizshahi for creating  up to two phony user names on the site to attack a negative posting on the Khanna campaign.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hayward’s Barbara Halliday exclaims ‘I am the mayor!’; ejects school trustee, another from council meeting

Hayward Mayor Barbara Halliday booted two out
of a City Council meeting Tuesday.
HAYWARD CITY COUNCIL |
The controversy surrounding fired Hayward Superintendent Stan Dobbs moved from the school board to the city council Tuesday night after Mayor Barbara Halliday ejected two members of the public, including School Board Trustee Luis Reynoso, from the chambers.

Reynoso and several other public speakers excoriated the city council for supporter or staying silent over Dobbs’ dismissal. Reynoso again slammed the council for interfering in the school district’s decision-making process and admonished them for supporting Dobbs in the past. “Shame on you,” he told each councilmember by name.

Last week, a school district investigation included testimony from a former employee who had an affair with Dobbs that he once struck her. Reynoso told the council during public comment, “We cannot tolerate violence against women or corruption in the district,”

Hayward School Board Trustee Luis Reynoso
Few councilmembers escaped Reynoso’s wrath Tuesday night. He also charged the City Council with inaction over a rise in homicides in Hayward. “We have had nine murders and one of them solved. Eight of them were Latinos. And [Councilmember Sara] Lamnin and [Councilmember Francisco] Zermeno said in the press that we’re safe. I guess it’s only safe when Latinos keep dying.”

Then, in a comment that set off the explosive conflict, Reynoso suggested some members of the City Council have previously profited from the school district. “Some of you or all of you are making money off the district,” said Reynoso. “We don’t need your services. Please don’t make money off our children. Now I can see why you support our superintendent.”

The comment riled Halliday, who began a response to Reynoso’s explosive allegation. But, before she could finish a sentence, members of the audience shouted her down.

“Brown Act! Brown Act!” exclaimed Jim Drake, a Hayward resident and frequent public commenter. “You’re not allowed to talk!” (Listen to the audio below.)

While rapping the gavel on the desk, Halliday said, “I am the mayor! I am in charge of this city council and I am always allowed to talk.” Drake was later kicked out of the meeting, as was Reynoso, who also protested the mayor improperly responding during the public comment portion of the meeting.

Such interaction is not permitted under the Brown Act, the state’s government transparency law, since it is viewed as an non-agendized item. Public comment is reserved for citizens to speak on any issue not included on that night’s agenda.

In the recent past, Halliday and some council members have been called out for similarly skirting the Brown Act, especially when it has occurred in response to public criticism of the City Council.

Once Reynoso and Drake were escorted outside the council chambers, Halliday continued. “We were just accused of many things that we as a council have not done,” said Halliday. “I am not going to sit here and be accused falsely and have my councilmembers accused falsely of doing something that we have not done.”

A few speakers later, however, on an unrelated topic, Halliday and another member of the council appeared to acknowledge the prohibition on addressing public speakers and obliquely offered further information to the individual, rather than addressing the speaker directly.

The angry exchange, however, is another example of the controversial tenure and firing of Dobbs that has roiled the community and delved both elected city government bodies into uncommon chaos.

Councilmember Al Mendall said his support for the political action committee seeking to drive Reynoso and two other incumbents from the board this November was not predicated on Dobbs, but only a desire to remake the board. Councilmember Mark Salinas added that at no point during the past few months did he support Dobbs.

However, amid the sense of obfuscation by some councilmembers and their support past and present for Dobbs, Councilmember Marvin Peixoto said he did not participate in the push to defeat Reynoso and others on the school board because of a fear the campaign would further divide the council and school board.

“What’s the Plan B?” Peixoto said if two of the three incumbents win re-election and maintain the current majority that fired Dobbs. Peixoto, a strong opponent of special interest expenditures in Hayward elections after SEIU Local 1021 spent more than $100,000 in an attempt to unseat him in 2014, said he reasoned he could not support the same gambit being used against the school board this year.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Following Kaepernick, Oakland Council member Kaplan took a seat during Pledge

Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, left,
sits during the Pledge of Allegiance at Tuesday
night's Oakland City Council meeting.
PHOTO: Rebecca Kaplan's office
OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL |
A week after voicing solidarity with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his decision to take a knee during the National Anthem, Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan sat during the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of Tuesday night's meeting.

"I feel like the degree to which people have been hostile toward Mr. Kaepernick--in his very justified stance of sitting--has been so outrageous that I felt compelled to speak out," Kaplan told the East Bay Citizen Tuesday night.

"It is essential that we continue the fight to call attention to racial injustice, and racial profiling, and killings of unarmed black people, which is still going on," she added.

An Oakland resident wearing a Colin Kaepernick
jersey speaks Tuesday before the Oakland 
City Council. PHOTO: Steven Tavares
Kaplan issued a statement last week in support of Kaepernick after he sat during a pre-season game last month to protest systemic racial prejudice and police killings.

Aside from the press release, Kaplan gave no indication she was planning to sit during the pledge. She acknowledged Tuesday's meeting was the first opportunity to do so.

Following the pledge, Oakland Councilmember Desley Brooks, who was not yet at the dais, said she supports Kaplan's decision to sit and will follow suit during subsequent meetings. Brooks also donned a Kaepernick jersey during the meeting.

Like the uproar by some towards Kaepernick's protest, Kaplan could face some blow back from residents who believe the act is unpatriotic. She disagrees. "The notion that someone would be upset about someone sitting instead of being upset about someone getting killed is really unjust," she said.

"Fundamentally, the right to speak out against injustice and to make statements against injustice by staging sit-ins, or by sitting during the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem, to me, is central with what American democracy is about. Not only is what he and the others who are doing this not wrong, it's actually in the noblest of traditions of change-making in America," said Kaplan.

The move by Kaplan is not without some political risk. Kaplan is up for re-election this November. While Kaplan's re-election is not view as in doubt, it is likely the most competitive of the five council races this fall. "The risk that people are taking everyday of being subjected to racist violence is more important than whether it puts political risk to me."

Eric Swalwell silent on whether he still supports ex-Hayward supt. who allegedly abused his mistress

Rep. Eric Swalwell and Stan Dobbs in Washington D.C.
HAYWARD | Does Rep. Eric Swalwell still support the fired Hayward superintendent who verbally abused two school board members last year, intimidated employees and allegedly struck his mistress in the middle of coitus?

Swalwell’s office did not respond to an email sent last Friday on his current stance toward former Hayward Superintendent Stan “Data” Dobbs, who the two-term congressman has supported in the past. In fact, as recently as Thursday, the day after the Hayward School Board of Trustees voted to fire Dobbs with cause, Swalwell criticized the action.

“With many challenges still to face, it’s too bad that (the district) has chosen to go forward without the man who helped get it back on the right path,” Swalwell told the San Francisco Chronicle. The article, though, was published shortly before the school district’s devastating report on Dobbs was released late Thursday afternoon.
Swalwell’s support for Dobbs is nothing new. At a town hall meeting in Hayward Aug. 13, Swalwell was asked to by a member of the coalition seeking to replace three incumbents on the school board this November with a slate of their own candidates whether he would join the group.

Swalwell declined, saying he does not typically get involved in local grassroots political organizations. However, he then added strong support for Dobbs retaining his job at Hayward Unified.

"On a personal level," said Swalwell. "They really need to bring back Stan." He then lauded Dobbs for his work in improving home sales in Hayward and promoting local businesses.

However, Swalwell has not made a public statement on the Dobbs firing since Thursday's report that found Dobbs often berated school employees, allowed free reign of the district's print shop to a school board member running for city council; allegations that he mislabeled as a "substitute teacher" a contract to a former Hayward councilmember worth up to $40,000 with the intent to evade the school board's attention; among other transgressions.

The investigation also included a signed statement by a former Hayward Unified employee who said she and Dobbs had a three-year affair from 2012 through early 2015. The woman said Dobbs became jealous of her newfound freedom following her divorce. Dobbs “became very aggressive and hit me to the point that I jumped out of bed and defended myself. I told him to stop and to never hit me again,” the woman told the investigator.

Dobbs denied the affair ever took place and told the same investigator the entire story was a conspiracy created by the woman, her estranged husband and Hayward School Board Trustee Luis Reynoso to discredit him. The investigator, however, found email evidence to the contrary and concluded Dobbs' story was not credible.

The level of ambivalence toward the astonishing allegations made against Dobbs does not stop short of Swalwell. The tweet by Swalwell last Thursday supporting Dobbs was greeted affirmatively by Hayward Councilmember Francisco Zermeno, who responded by simply saying, "Agreed." Then, just last Friday, less than two days after Dobbs was fired with cause, Alameda County Superintendent Karen Monroe invited Dobbs to a gathering of county superintendents and thanked him for his service before presenting him with a ceremonial gavel.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Just days after Dobbs' firing, Alameda County Supt. gave him a warm send-off

Alameda County Superintendent Karen Monroe,
bottom left, in a photo Sept. 16 with other county
administrators, including the fired Stan Dobbs,
pictured second row, right.
HAYWARD | Less than 48 hours after the Hayward Unified School District fired with cause its embattled Superintendent Stan “Data” Dobbs, he made an appearance at an Alameda County Office of Education retreat in Oakland where he was recognized for his service.

"I'll be back," Dobbs reportedly told the group of superintendents from across Alameda County, along with other local officials in attendance.

Dobbs, previously the chair of the "superintendent's council," was on hand to receive a ceremonial gavel given to all out-going chairs, said Dan Bellino, chief of staff for Monroe. Bellino acknowledged that Dobbs is the "out-going chair" not because of the end of his service on the council, but because of his dismissal as Hayward superintendent.

Hayward Trustee Luis Reynoso said the Alameda County Board of Education is undermining the school board's authority by inviting him to the event. "He was given his marching order and he refuses to go," said Reynoso. "If it was so important to give him this award, they could have just sent it to him in the mail with a bouquet from 1-800-Flowers."

Dobbs was fired by the Hayward school board Sept. 15 for a lengthy list of transgressions in a report released last Thursday that highlighted an “explosive temper” and a accusation from a former employee and paramour that he once hit her.

In September 2015, two Hayward school board members, including Reynoso, filed police reports after Dobbs approached both in an aggressive manner during a closed session meeting. The report also highlighted numerous occasions when Dobbs angrily berated school employees with profanities and other invective.

NOTE: A comment attributed to Monroe was incorrectly posted. It is still in the process of discerning its veracity




.

Read full Investigation Report on Hayward Superintendent Stan Dobbs

HAYWARD | Read below the entire investigation report on now-former Hayward Superintendent Stan "Data" Dobbs. Included is the notice of termination given by the Hayward School Board of Trustees on Sept. 15:


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Scathing report of deceit, bullying and conspiracy brings down a Hayward official

Stan "Data" Dobbs was terminated with cause
following Wednesday night's Hayward school 
board meeting.
HAYWARD | An investigation into now-former Hayward Superintendent Stan “Data” Dobbs details a calculating and controlling administrator with a volcanic temper, a bullying backstabber even to his most ardent supporters.

 “Dobbs is inherently dishonest about his guilt when he makes mistakes or does wrong,” according to the investigator’s findings released Thursday. “He never admits when he is at fault. He deflects the blame to other around him, sometimes to the very people that stood up for him.”

The lengthy report was released a day after the Hayward School Board of Trustees voted, 3-0, to fire the superintendent with cause. The findings describe a wide-ranging number of transgressions by Dobbs, including a bid to circumvent the school board’s oversight role by awarding a contract to a former Hayward councilmember worth up to $40,000; and lying about his knowledge of the outreach that brought former football player and alleged rapist Ray McDonald to a speak before at-risk Tennyson High School students last February.

READ: Full investigation and termination notice.

The report also highlights Dobbs’ complete lack of awareness over the scope of the school district’s worsening Measure L school bond budget; and his involvement in allowing school board member John Taylor to improperly use school district resources for his past city council campaign.

In addition, a tawdry years-long affair between Dobbs and a Hayward school district employee is described in detail and includes an allegation that Dobbs battered the woman during an intimate moment. The investigator determined the affair, indeed, occurred, but Dobbs explained away the affair in "fantastic" detail, saying it was a conspiracy hatched by school board member and rival Luis Reynoso; Dobbs’ paramour; and her then-husband to discredit him.

“Dobbs has an explosive temper,” wrote forensic investigator Steve Hummel, “and fails to take responsibility for these outbursts." According to the report, Dobbs’ volatile personality produced numerous incidents of aggression. For instance, Dobbs repeatedly screamed profanities at a new district employee and slammed the office door of a female employee so hard that it broke a picture frame nailed to the wall. Dobbs routinely described his outbursts as merely “expressing my concern,” the investigator noted. Dobbs also displayed his anger towards the investigator, too, calling him an “asshole,” in a response to what may have been a question referring to Dobbs’ affair. (Many of the names in the report are redacted) “It really startled me as I saw the anger in his eyes. I mentally reviewed my options in case he became violent. I sat back and kept quiet while looking at him,” said Hummel, the investigator.

HENSON CONTRACT
Shortly after Dobbs was named superintendent in the summer of 2013, former Hayward Councilmember Olden Henson invited Dobbs to live in his home, according to the report. Henson told the investigator Dobbs spent about six weeks living with him and his wife. However, Dobbs’ employment contract stipulated that he receive $7,500 for moving and living expenses associated with his relocation to Hayward from his previous job in San Diego. Dobbs never reported the gift of housing on a state-mandated Statement of Economic Interest form. Dobbs said he sporadically stayed at Henson’s home only over a two-week period, while also checking into a hotel in Union City about 10 times, said the report. Henson told the investigator that Dobbs also chipped in $180 for various house expenses. During this time, said Henson, he and Dobbs began conversations about establishing a "Made in Hayward Foundation," in which Henson would eventually take the lead in creating. Dobbs denied these conversations took place at this time and instead, Dobbs told the investigator it was Taylor who recommended Henson for establishing the foundation.

Ultimately, Henson was given an expert consulting contract at the behest of Dobbs worth up to $40,000. However, school board approval of the expenditure on Oct. 14, 2014 appeared to have been buried in a six-page budget document that listed Henson as a “substitute” teacher. The expenditure report was submitted by the school district’s head of Human Resources Leti Salinas, the wife of Hayward Councilmember Mark Salinas.

“[The] Board members did not realize that they had approved a special Expert Consulting hiring,” said the report. Furthermore, Henson's suspicions that Dobbs was having an affair while staying at their home was beginning to drive a wedge in their relationship. Henson and his wife are known to be devoutly religious. At one point, Dobbs’ wife questioned over the phone whether he was having an affair with a district employee. “Dobbs was trying to convince her that he had not had an affair with the district employee,” the report said. “Dobbs handed the phone to [redacted] without warning while telling his wife that [redacted] would vouch for him. [Redacted] stated that he felt extremely uncomfortable and that this was the beginning of the end of their relationship.”

RAY MCDONALD AT TENNYSON
The singular event that kickstarted the school district’s early investigation into Dobbs was the curious decision earlier this year to invite Ray McDonald, a former 49ers defensive end accused of raping an intoxicated woman, to address about 200 at-risk students at Tennyson High School.  At the time, McDonald's high-profile trial had not yet started in nearby Santa Clara County. When the story broke in March, Dobbs denied knowledge of the appearance and later appeared to place blame on the Hayward Promise Neighborhood, a federal education program to help disadvantage youth. He then tried to pin the appearance on the then-principal of Tennyson High School. In the report, Dobbs said, “It wasn’t my fault McDonald got to speak.” He then laid blame again on Hayward Promise Neighborhood and another. “[Redacted] knew about McDonald’s background from the very start and hid it from him,” the investigator wrote. “Dobbs wants to be in control of everything he touches,” the investigator concluded. “It is more likely than not that Dobbs knew about the McDonald event…”

THE PRINT SHOP
Similar to a previous report on Taylor’s misuse of a school district print shop to create personal campaign signs at significant discount for his recent city council run, the investigator found that Dobbs was aware of Taylor’s actions and may have even initially encouraged the use of the print shop. In an interview with the investigator, Dobbs threw Taylor under the bus. “When the print shop usage came to light, Dobbs shook his head and said how stupid Taylor had been to do such a thing,” the investigator wrote. “He tried to completely distance himself from Taylor.” Dobbs also claimed that Taylor listed him as the city council campaign's treasurer without his permission. A signature is required for the Form 410 used to declare a campaign committee, but Hummel said Thursday the original, unredacted copy of the signature no longer exists with the Hayward City Clerk's office. Therefore, at this time, there is no way of knowing whether Taylor may have forged Dobbs' name on the document.

MEASURE L FINANCING
Supporters of Dobbs often touted his business and promotional acumen over the years for raising the morale of students, teachers and administrators. But, the report describes Dobbs as oblivious to the growing financial problems that surround ballooning cost overruns associated to Measure L, the $229 million school bond approved by Hayward voters in 2014. Dobbs said he relied on the assistant superintendent of business services and another employee to keep him abreast of Measure L projects. He also relied on contractor’s reports, he told the investigator.

Dobbs, however, had no idea how much over budget the Measure L projects had become, stating he believed it was between $10 million and $12 million in the red. “I asked him if it would surprise him to learn Measure L was way more than $10 million over budget,” the investigator wrote. “He replied that it would surprise him a lot. He had no idea.” Measure L is actually around $35 million over budget, Board President Lisa Brunner said Thursday.

THE AFFAIR
The investigator also found that Dobbs and a school district employee were involved in an extramarital affair. The three-year romance began in 2012 when Dobbs was the head of the school district’s business department, the woman told the investigator, and lasted through January 2015. The revelation became pertinent, investigator Hummel said Thursday, after Dobbs accused school board member Luis Reynoso, along with the woman and her husband of conspiring to discredit him. Dobbs also denied the affair ever occurred. However, the investigator found significant evidence that the affair did exist, including evidence of emails found on Dobbs’ school district laptop linking him to the affair.

The woman was also able to describe the interior of Dobbs’ apartment, including one peculiar detail: that he had decorated it with lawn furniture. Unwittingly, Dobbs independently corroborated the description in an interview with the investigator. Dobbs also asserted that he had never invited school employees to his place. Other times, the couple often met at a Motel 6 in Union City, the report said.

Dobbs, though, labeled the woman a “nut” who sent him “poems, pictures and personal notes” and who “stalked him continually,” said the report. But, later, Dobbs admitted the woman appeared at his doorstep wearing a “trench coat crying her eyes out.” This is how she became aware of  the furnishings in his apartment, Dobbs said.

Then, in what the investigator labeled a “fantastic story,” Dobbs said the woman continued to cry before admitting that Reynoso “had conspired with her husband to set Dobbs up in a sexual scandal to discredit him.” Dobbs added that he did not report the accusation to the police because “What could you report? Somebody conspiring to help you lose your job?... What could I report? A beautiful [redacted] woman is trying to solicit—is trying to, you know, you know… No.”

In two statements, signed under penalty of perjury, the husband and wife, now divorced, scoffed at Dobbs’ allegation. The woman said the affair was a mutual relationship between consenting adults and not a case of sexual harassment. “Dobbs was very careful to keep the relationship secret because he was married." She added, Dobbs’ claim of a conspiracy is “absolutely false.”

In the Summer of 2014, once the woman and her husband had divorced over the affair and other marital problems, she said, Dobbs once became “angry and jealous of me being free from my marriage and open to seeing other people.” While, in what she described as an intimate moment, Dobbs “became very aggressive and hit me to the point that I jumped out of bed and defended myself. I told him to stop and to never hit me again.” For all intents and purposes, this was the end of their relationship, she said.

The ex-husband said he had never spoken to anyone else at the school district and had only contacted Dobbs in 2012 to confront him about the affair. Dobbs denied the affair to the husband. However, the investigator was able to locate an email from Dobbs to the woman that read, “Your husband called me. He knows. Fix your shit.”