Alum Rock stages second leadership coup within 3 months

Staging its second coup of the year, the Alum Rock school board deposed President Esau Ruiz Herrera Thursday and replaced him with political opponent Andres Quintero.

By a 3-to-1 vote, with Herrera dissenting, the board upended its leadership with just four weeks remaining in his term. Trustee Dolores Marquez was absent.

Quintero ally Karen Martinez was selected as board vice president.

The vote appeared to be retribution by trustee Khanh Tran, who himself was ousted when when he put his leadership up for a vote in August and was outmaneuvered by Herrera.

“Esau is just not the direction this district wants to go,” Tran wrote in an email. “Also his recent character and actions to mislead the board in attempt to secure his presidency is dishonorable.”

But Herrera was quick to lash back, questioning Tran’s communications in seeking to set up the meeting.

On Wednesday, Tran emailed his colleagues that he wanted to meet Thursday “to remove current president and vote in Andres Quintero as president and Karen Martinez as vice president.”

The exchange, Herrera wrote after the board’s action, may violate California’s open-meeting laws.

The email “does not inspire confidence in the board’s understanding to the Brown Act, and may be deemed a violation of that law,” Herrera wrote. The leadership switch was “unfortunate,” he wrote, “in the absence of any compelling reason.”

So why indeed the rush to change the guard for so brief a time?

Because, Tran explained, he is going to miss the board’s Dec. 14 meeting to select new leadership. “Santa is coming early this year,” he announced at an earlier board meeting, and said he would be vacationing in Singapore. (He later asserted that he would be on a business trip, then take vacation.) Marquez also said she could not make the Dec. 14 meeting.

While the board sought to change its reorganization meeting to …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

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