VOICES--Refugio Rodriguez continues to “represent” the stakeholders of LAUSD Zone 5… six months after allegations of felony charges for perjury and conspiracy. He was also charged with 25 mysterious money-laundering misdemeanors that flummox elections ethicists since there is no limit on self-financing one’s own campaign, completely obviating any need for Rodriguez to have illegally paid his staff to donate to it. Further, it has recently come to light that these crimes may be the tip of the iceberg. And regulators further afield from LAUSD are noticing Rodriguez’ charter chain too.
Come on already. This behavior is sufficiently unethical to be considered apiece with a society-wide censure of Trumpian Tactics.
The blot on Los Angeles’ public school board is unequivocal: it is disgraceful that Ref Rodriguez remains a member of LAUSD.
The charter majority entrenched on the board, led by Monicá Garcia and her merry band of billionaire-backed privatizing-apologists – Nick Melvoin, Kelly Gonez and The Accused himself – seem oblivious to the moral bankruptcy they confer upon our public Education sector.
Even while the #MeToo movement has shortened our public tolerance-fuse for violating personal boundaries, this ethical “correction” should apply to public boundaries too. People who abuse public tax dollars should not be allowed to vote on their disposition. People who exhibit poor ethical judgment should never be tolerated in positions of moral – or policy-setting – authority.
The reason LAUSD’s school board charter bloc condones such Trumpian profiteering is clear enough. Among other partisan actions, they face the imperative to replace its Superintendent with one of their own before Rodriguez is found guilty in a court of law and forced off the school board.
Why are we sitting back and allowing such temporizing to jeopardize our public, and publicly-funded institutions? Ref Rodriguez should be impeached by his fellow school board members, and we should all demand that he step down from the school board now.
(Sara Roos is a politically active resident of Mar Vista, a biostatistician, the parent of two teenaged LAUSD students and a CityWatch contributor, who blogs at redqueeninla.com).