Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Loyalty above all else, except honor.

I gave three members of the APS School Board an opportunity to behave honorably, link.

None did. School Board President Marty Esquivel and School Board Member Delores Griego did not respond at all.

School Board Member Lorenzo Garcia responded, by choosing to not take the honorable path. At best, he showed loyalty to his colleagues by refusing to tell the truth about their denial of due process to whistle blower complaints.

Our email exchange was as follows.

It began when I sent a link to the above mentioned post.

To which he replied; (pasted in significant part)

I have not been able to review your question in a manner that I believe would provide a fair and reasonable answer, to you and or your readers, or myself as a public official. You seem interested in jumping to hasty generalizations in lieu of the very principles you seem to advocate for, or, you are pointing out areas where there are systemic fissures that may or may not be possible to address given the constraints of law. The former is troublesome, and can detract from your stated intent while undermining any credibility of your cause, and or character, given the tactics of alternative and status quo media. Let me be clear; I respect you and you right to inquire, criticize, and disagree on some issues, and share frustrations on occasion about our mutual shortcomings and those of our school system and organizational culture.
If I can, I will arrange a meeting with staff and our attorney and then will respond, although my time is extremely short until Thanksgiving.
To which I replied;
Sir, the question requires no review. It is a simple question; has the Audit Committee reviewed and approved of the handling of a single complaint. The answer is no.

The only way the answer could be yes, is if you and others think that hearing the number of complaints and other near meaningless statistics, without looking at the specifics of any case constitutes "review and approval" in any honorable and ethical sense; it does not.

There are no constraints of law that interfere with the Audit Committee's honest review and approval of whistle blower complaints. David Robbins wants people to believe that Federal law prevents open hearings. Whether it does or not is moot; no one asked for "public" hearings (except that I would insist that mine be, as is my right). The Audit Committee regularly adjourns into executive session. It is Robbin's red herring.

If you honestly believe their are other "legal" restraints, point to them. Allow me to refute the contentions. If there are none, then give whistle blowers the due process they deserve.

From the first time we met, I had a feeling that you were a man of honor, and perhaps courage. That you sit and do nothing while Character Counts! specifically, and character education in general, are simply abandoned, is shaking my faith.

That you would be a tacit party no my several arrests, and to my illegal ban from school board meetings, further compounds my ability to keep an open mind.

I look forward to an open and honest discussion of the denial of whistle blower complaints, the cover up of felony criminal misconduct in the APS Police Department, and the obligations of role models of the Student Standards of Conduct. I don't believe they will ever take place, in no small part because no one in the leadership of the APS will stand on the record and demand them; even you.

Are we on or off the record?
To which he replied;
Thank you for clarifying your request. Why would you ask a question that you believe you already have the answers to? Given that is your premise, I see no further need to discuss this.
To which I replied;
It is about getting you to show students what character and courage look like. It is about getting you to show students what it looks like to respond to a legitimate question candidly, forthrightly and honestly; the standard you hold them accountable to. Perhaps you just don't think that is important; in which case you are corrupt according the Pillars of Character Counts!; the APS Student Standards of Conduct.

Perhaps you don't think your standards of conduct should include a phrase which reads;

In no case shall the standards of conduct for adults be lower
than the standards of conduct for students.

in which case you are corrupt and you have no business taking the role of one of the senior most role models of the student standards of conduct.

Perhaps you are simply afraid.

If there is a third reason, a good and ethical reason that you will not hold yourselves honestly accountable as a role model of the same standards of conduct that you establish and enforce upon students; some other reason than a lack of character and courage; I cannot imagine why none of you will point to it.

Perhaps you are right; there is no further reason to discuss this.

If we really expect students to embrace character and courage and honor,
someone has to show them what it looks like.

Since you expressed no objection when asked, I will assume that we have been on the record, and I will post freely on what happened when you were asked to step up, and did not.
To which, he did not respond.

He offered no objection to being on the record; so there it is.

At best, he put his loyalty before his honor.

At worst, he has neither; he simply doesn't want to be held accountable for his tacit approval of denying due process to whistle blowers and then misleading an investigator from the State Auditors Office who is trying to uncover the truth.

photo Mark Bralley

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