Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 4 Share on Twitter 2 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

What Message Does Ref Rodriguez Send to the Children of Los Angeles?

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     (# of views)   No comments
Author 503224
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Carl Petersen
Become a Fan
  (5 fans)
- Advertisement -

"My focus remains on my job and duties as a board member."

- Ref Rodriguez


(Image by Carl J Petersen)   Details   DMCA
It has been nine months since the news broke that Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board Member Ref Rodriguez was being charged with participating in a conspiracy that hid the true source of almost $25,000 in campaign donations from the public. While his lawyer claimed that the accusations were "much ado about nothing", the District Attorney's office felt that they rose to the level of a "Felony Complaint". Through the use of legal maneuverings, Rodriguez' attorneys have successfully pushed back his court date. Meanwhile, Rodriguez continues to sit on the School Board representing constituents that he is alleged to have defrauded.

- Advertisement -

A month after this indictment, Partnerships to Uplift Communities accused Rodriguez of transferring "more than $285,000 in public funds from the charter school network he co-founded to two businesses with which he had personal ties." State investigators had previously found that this same charter school operator had previously "showed an alleged conflict of interest in the awarding of millions of dollars in food contracts" while Rodriguez served on its governing board and as treasurer of the group. Recently, Rodriguez was forced to recuse himself from a vote on extending the Inspector General's contract since both of these matters were referred to this office. However, his three charter industry allies, Monica Garcia, Kelly Gonez and Nick Melvoin, all voted against renewing the contract.

On March 16, Rodriguez says that he only had "two glasses of wine" while visiting the Yard House in Pasadena. Still, security felt that the LAUSD Board Member was "displaying aggressive behavior" was "acting loud" and refused "to leave the restaurant." Police were called and Rodriguez was taken into custody. His conduct during the arrest is available for the public to witness as it was captured by a bodycam attached to one of the officers.

What message does the actions of Ref Rodriguez send to the students of the LAUSD? What about his fellow Board members, none of which have called for his resignation? The message is clear; loyalty to political affiliation trumps everything else. You can lie on government forms as long as you are pushing a favorable political agenda. A public servant can be targeted because he might expose wrongdoing by your allies. Public drunkenness and other acts of moral turpitude should be ignored as long as the offender provides a reliable vote.

- Advertisement -

Ref Rodriguez claims that he is working for "our children and community." In reality, he continues to erode the expectations our children should have of elected officials. This damage is much worse than any good a board member can accomplish. He must resign now!

____________________________________________

Carl Petersen is a parent and special education advocate, elected member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council and was a Green Party candidate in LAUSD's District 2 School Board race. During the campaign, he was endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action and Dr. Diane Ravitch called him a "strong supporter of public schools." His past blogs can be found at www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com. Opinions are his own.

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Carl Petersen Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linked In Page       Instagram Page

Carl Petersen is a father of five, including two daughters who are on the autism spectrum. His involvement in education issues began when the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) refused to provide services that his daughters' teachers (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Make it a Headline When Trump Actually Tells the Truth

California Senate Candidate Alison Hartson on Education

Three Headlines That Got Buried Last Week

If Money Continues to Talk, We're Screwed

Finding Hope in Florida

Bright Shiny Objects: Trump's Real Art is Diverting Attention