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HMG-CN INVESTIGATION: ABCUSD Bond Public Relations Firm’s Corporate Address is a UPS Store, Client List Also Suspect


May 1, 2018, 4:48 p.m.

By Brian Hews

CERRITOS ~ In March, the ABCUSD Board considered and approved two organizations that will help them pass a much-needed $200 million facilities bond to upgrade its aging infrastructure.

The Board easily approved a contract with Piper Jaffray as the firm to advise the district on the financial complexities of the bond process.

But when a vote came to approve another company for community outreach, AMN Key Solutions (AMN) owned by Ann Nock, the meeting became extremely heated.

The day before, Hews Media Group-Community News published a wide-ranging investigative story about AMN that revealed, among other things, a suspect AMN website and a shocking lack of social media presence.

Board member Chris Apodaca wanted to table (delay) the AMN vote and call a special meeting. The special meeting could have occurred within days, rendering no effect on the implementation of the community outreach.

Vice-President Leticia Mendoza echoed Apodaca’s statements of concern with AMN and asked the vote to be tabled.

Clerk of the Board Olga Rios and Board member Ernie Nishii were also concerned with the website and social media.

Hearing the objections, an angry Board President Soo Yoo interjected saying, “I do not want delays.”

Board member Sophia Tse cut off Apodaca and wanted to move on AMN, as did Superintendent Dr. Mary Sieu who argued against sending out a new bid that “would delay the process.”

The meeting became heated and the vote to table the item was finally called.

Roll call was taken-

Table (delay) the vote – Apodaca, Mendoza, and Rios.

Do not delay the vote – Yoo, Law, Tse, and Nishii.

Yoo then quickly called a vote to approve the AMN contract. Not wanting to show disunity, the Board voted to approve the contract by a 7-0 tally.

But the concerns of Vice President Mendoza and Board member Apodaca about AMN remained.

And those concerns turned out to be valid.

HMG-CN has obtained AMN’s proposal for public relations from ABCUSD through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Nock sent in the “Proposal to Provide ABC Unified with Public Relations Services” on March 7, 2018 to Joshie Cox, ABC’s Director of Purchasing and Risk Management.

The proposal read in part, “AMN has developed and guided hundreds of public school districts [sic] bond feasibility and planning efforts.”

Nock claimed to have three employees and a corporate office in Sacramento listing her address as 3053 Freeport Blvd., Suite 279 in Sacramento.

It was, however, an apparent  ruse.

Upon closer inspection, the 3053 Freeport Blvd., Suite 279 is a UPS Store inside of a strip mall.

 

 

HMG-CN phoned acquaintances in Sacramento who drove by and confirmed the UPS Store and the location.

Other stores in the strip mall include an ice cream store, a nail salon, and a bail bondsman.

A call into the UPS Store confirmed that AMN occupies mail box 279 inside the store. “They have a package and a letter waiting,” the UPS clerk told HMG-CN.

In addition, the address Nock listed on her liability insurance policy as another business address is actually a single family residence in Sacramento located on the 1200 block of Swanston Dr.

It is less than a mile from the UPS Store.

Several texts and emails asking about the corporate address into Nock’s email and phone number as listed on her proposal went unreturned.

Suspect Client List

Also included in the AMN bid documents was a list of 68 clients/school districts Nock claimed she assisted in public relations.

 

AMN’S LIST of clients on her website.

 

It is an impressive list, displaying school districts large and small from Northern California down to Riverside with several well-known districts in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

But can Nock, who worked for George K. Baum (Baum) from 1994-2012, claim that she and her company worked exclusively with those school districts?

Baum’s website seems to refute that claim.

During the investigation, HMG-CN found a list of school districts Baum worked with on their website.

Baum’s “California Education Finance Group,” listed 84 districts that they had assisted in passing bonds since 2002, including the ABCUSD.

 

 

Out of the 84 school districts Baum listed as former clients, Nock listed 57 as clients, giving the distinct impression that her company was exclusive to those clients.

And Nock was blatant in her client listings, boldly claiming the Yorba-Linda Placentia School District was an AMN client.

Yet a 2015 OC Register article about a 2008-2011 Yorba Linda-Placentia school bond indicated “the school board had hired George K. Baum & Co. and its staff of political strategists to help push the measure through so the district could continue an ambitious building spree.”

Later in the article Ms. Nock was quoted, and her position at Baum was “Manager of the Baum Election Group,” which coincided with her time of employment at Baum.

The article also quoted Al Gafford as working with Nock. Gafford ran Board member Sophia Tse’s campaign as well as former Board member Linda Johnson’s campaign.

In addition, similar to Nock, Baum had posted a California map of clients on their website.

Placing the two maps side-by-side revealed striking similarities.

 

 

 

TWO MAPS that show the school districts that AMN and Baum serviced. AMN’s is shown on bottom and George K. Baum’s on top. Light blue represents clients on AMN, black represents clients on Baum’s map.

 

 

HMG-CN then looked at the districts that were not on the Baum list of clients, but listed on the Nock list as clients.

Starting at the top of the map, HMG-CN called several school districts inquiring about services rendered by AMN and Nock.

Four out of the first six districts, Paradise, Willits, Ukiah, and Pittsburg Unified School Districts “never heard of her,” and one, Willits, indicated they worked with Caldwell, Flores, and Winters for election services.

One district, Paradise, indicated that they have not passed a bond since 2001.

When questioned about the client list, Nock once again refused to answer several emails and texts.

Editor’s note: This an ongoing investigation of Nock and other companies involved in  the California school bond process.

 

[email protected]

 

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Theolona Ranger

What about the Montebello school bond and MUSD

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FFLF

This is the result you have of decade after decade of progressive liberal democrat dictatorship! Way to go Cerritos!