|Rep. Eric Swalwell and Stan Dobbs in Washington D.C.|
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.Nothing lifted #Hayward kids higher in past few yrs than work of @stan_dobbs. The Board just hurt thousands of kids. https://t.co/dGlZQnydha— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) September 15, 2016
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.