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El Rancho Unified Recall: Illegal Campaign Flyer Slamming Proponents Delivered to Pico Rivera Homes

BY BRIAN HEWS

Hews Media Group-Los Cerritos Community News has obtained a two page political flyer, attacking proponents of the current recall of El Rancho Unified School District Board President Jose Lara and Clerk Leanne Ibarra, sent out by a questionable association called the Pico Rivera Parent Teacher Student Association.

Nothing an be found on the internet with the name Pico Rivera Parent Teacher Student Association (Association).

Residents told HMG-LCCN that the flyer was delivered in north Pico Rivera,  by “walking man” delivery, which is much cheaper than a USPS mailing and does not require identifying paperwork.

A walking man delivery company is independently owned and virtually untraceable, using several employees to walk streets who place flyers on a home’s front door or a perimeter fence.

Under California Fair Political Practices Commission rules, any political communications must have a disclaimer that identifies the person or entity who paid for the communication and their corresponding FPPC identification number, otherwise known as the “paid for by” disclaimer.

The Association’s flyer had no such disclaimer, a blatant violation of FPPC rules, which carry heavy fines if the person or organization is identified.

The flyer, which had several grammatical errors and misspellings, attempted to counter information contained in a flyer sent out by recall proponents earlier this year.

In that flyer, the Committee to Recall Jose Lara and Leanne Ibarra 2019 ID #1419406 (Recall) pointed out what HMG-LCCN exclusively reported in a series of articles earlier this year that uncovered a wide-ranging scheme involving over $212 million in school bond funds perpetrated by Lara, his board ally Gabriel Orosco, and later by Ibarra, engaging in pay-to-play politics, financial cover-up, blatant conflicts of interests, and willful violations of California’s Education Code.

The HMG-LCCN series led to the resignation of Jaime Ortiz, owner of HPLE, the ERUSD bond management construction firm, the resignation of Superintendent Karling Aguilera-Fort, and triggered a comprehensive LA County Office of Education financial audit that is now underway.

The Recall flyer cited  “poor financial and bond project management, the hiring of HPLE who had political and financial ties to Lara and Ibarra, the manipulation of bond oversight committees, and the LACOE audit.”

The flyer also noted the loss of the Generation First Degree -Pico Rivera Foundation that was funded by Congressman Gilbert Cisneros and his wife Jackie and the twenty-three principals and teachers  who recently received potential layoff notices.

The mysterious Association flyer countered those claims (using bad grammar) writing, “the conservative old guard has is [sic] misinformation,” and attempted to blame former President Dr. Aurora Villon for hiring HPLE and Ortiz.

Yet it was Villon who fired Ortiz in 2018, only to be rehired by Lara, Orosco and Ibarra when they gained the majority in Nov. 2018. 

In a blatant pay-to-play scheme, Ortiz gave Ibarra’s campaign $10,000 with Ibarra casting the crucial vote to rehire Ortiz in January of this year.

The Association flyer also indicated that the LACOE audit was “welcomed by Lara and Ibarra.”

But several documents obtained by HMG-LCCN in May of this year clearly refuted Lara’s fraudulent claims, which further implicated him and the others in the bond scheme corruption and cover-up.

The Association flyer also called out Dr. Villon for nepotism and retaliation after her grandson was not hired as an intern by HPLE and Ortiz.

An angry Villon told HMG-LCCN, “I never asked Ortiz to hire my grandson, as a matter of fact Ortiz tried to bribe me by trying to hire my grandson.  I told him my family wanted nothing to do with him and his company and that his offer was an indication of his penchant for corruption.” 

Another statement indicated that Dr. Villon attempted to land the ERUSD Superintendent job by packing the Board in the 2018 election.

“Really? Orosco and Lara tried to appoint me during the search process,” said Villon. “I refused, and when Lara asked for my endorsement and I denied it, he turned around and told the community that I tried to force them to make me Superintendent.”  

Former Durfee Principal and ERASA President Sam Genis, who was harassed and demoted by Lara, Orosco and Ibarra, was also targeted by the Association flyer.

A twenty-eight year employee, Genis did not have a single negative evaluation in his personnel file, yet he was demoted this year.

Claiming the recall proponents are using the demotion of Genis to gather signatures, the flyer claimed Genis “was the highest paid principal in Pico making $187,000 per year, while running an underperforming school for years, verified by state rankings.”

Genis told HMG-LCCN, “The salary number is highly inflated, I am not the highest paid principal at ERUSD,” said Genis. “I got to Durfee in 2013, that spring was the last time they tested, it was not until 2017 that the California Dashboard came out, when it did, Durfee showed the highest improvement in Math in all of ERUSD.

The flyer also claimed, (with another spelling error),  “Genis was appointed by his broher [sic] who was ERUSD Superintendent at the time.”

“My brother was Assistant Superintendent when I started at ERUSD in 2001, Art Narvaez was Superintendent at the time, he hired me, not my brother.”

The flyer ended with another glaring grammatical error, “when the old conservative guard message hasn’t worked in 3 elections, they resort to making up and distorting up [sic] facts.”

Several texts and emails into Lara, Ibarra, and Orosco asking about the flyer went unanswered.

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