HAYWARD SCHOOL BOARD SCANDAL | Another school board meeting in Hayward, another chance lost to confront serious allegations of potential violations of the state's sunshine laws.
Since allegations surfaced July 25 of an undisclosed romance between Hayward school board President Jesus Armas and fellow member Maribel Heredia, the pall of obfuscations has hovered over the fractured board and seemingly unmotivated school district staff.
For a third consecutive meeting, a viable plan was not offered by school district staff to either conduct an investigation into the affair or author language to be added to its bylaws. The school district's legal counsel have also yet to have advised the board of the ramifications of the allegation and how to proceed forward.
Despite the school administration's inaction, two current members of the school board, William McGee and Dr. Luis Reynoso have both questioned, at least one instance of suspected collusion between Armas and Heredia, occurring earlier this summer regarding a vote to reinstate the employment of the principal at Hayward High School.
On Wednesday night, Reynoso again broached the subject. “It about a collusion of votes,” he said. "We initiate action through a majority.” Reynoso says time is of the essence and estimates the board will cast over 100 votes from now to November. “We need to do this as quickly as possible, we need to get this going.”
He also sought to apologize to the community for what he believes was an improper abuse of power on Aug. 22 by Armas when he asked district employees in the audience that night to raise their hands. "It's the reason why we need a vote of no-confidence," he said.
HEREDIA'S EXCUSED ABSENCE Earlier in last Wednesday's school board meeting embattled Hayward school board member Maribel Heredia publicly apologized for missing the Aug. 22 meeting. During that meeting, school superintendent Dr. Donald Evans reported Heredia was in Southern California for a "family emergency."
Heredia reiterated Wednesday she traveled to be with her children's great-grandmother, who had fallen ill. While stifling tears, Heredia revealed the loved one, related to her estranged ex-fiance, had passed away last week.
A story in The Citizen last month, citing Heredia's Facebook postings, revealed what appeared to be a late summer vacation in Newport Beach.
Her excuse, though, seemed to have emboldened Heredia, who became far more assertive and lively following the disclosure. The board ultimately approved paying Heredia for the missed meeting.