At least, this time around, Eric Swanson appears to be writing his own letters during the election season rather than having others violate the law by doing it for him, as was done in 2006. But also, at the very least, Hesperian Unified School District voters should not ever forget the facts regarding Eric Swanson and his very recent bouts with the legal system. Just like Lucy, Eric got some 'splaining to do.


First, according to the extraordinary audit of California Charter Academy, "Eric Swanson was a member of the governing boards for CCA charter schools #262, #297, and #377 until June 30, 2001. The same day that he resigned from the three boards, the company for which he is president, Community Information Services Online (CISO), received a purchase order from CCA charter schools #262 and #297 to purchase computers with the charters' Education Technology Grant funding. In addition, CISO received funding from the four CCA charter schools and EASC for Internet and other services. Payments to CISO were almost $591,000 from the CCA charter schools for services related to the Digital High School (DHS) grant and $118,000 for Internet access and other services. Despite the amount of funds involved, EASC never asked for competitive bids for the DHS grant or Internet services, but rather offered CISO a sole-source purchase order. No contract ever existed between CCA and CISO and as a result, CISO was paid over $708,000 without a description of the goods or services to be provided under the contract, the conditions for payment, or any other normal contract language." Mr. Swanson also earned a subpoena from a grand jury for his actions and involvement with CCA. No telling how this will end, but there are a couple of trials in the matter slated to start very soon.


Second, Swanson and former superintendent Dick Bray both sat on the board of the pathetically managed ExCEL Institute. ExCEL board members had exclusive authority for hiring Institute trainers. And lo and behold, according to Institute and HUSD records, Rebekah Swanson and Sandy Bray, Eric and Dick's spouses, both received substantial funds from the Institute for their role as trainers. Mrs. Swanson was also doing what is known as double dipping because she received her regular Hesperia Unified School District salary for the exact same time that she also received ExCEL Institute money, for the exact same hours of labor.


Third, San Bernardino Superior Court records demonstrate that Applied Card Bank sued Eric Swanson, in 2006, for not paying his personal bills. But he did do one smart thing when he was sued; he hired Tristan Pelayes to represent him. So he should be very familiar with the attorney's work product if voters see fit to put him back into public office. Swanson can obviously attest to just how valuable it is to have Mr. Pelayes as your attorney.


It is very easy to seemingly stand for student safety. But Swanson owes the voting public several explicit explanations for his many recent personal legal troubles before he simply starts asserting to care about something other than his own self-interest, as his many actions described above attest to show as his true primary concern.


Pedestrian safety along city streets is a city, not school district, issue. The district must deal with the issue of course, but please note that Swanson put forth no suggestions on the subject, other than spend, spend, spend money that just isn't there anymore. The expansion of the no-bussing zone was a necessary fiscal step, in lieu of Sacramento adequately funding public education this year, and it was done under the approval of HUSD administration. What else could be done to save the 800k...fire ten teachers? That would certainly not be a better solution to the fiscal problems currently confronting the district.


I would also respectfully submit that parents bear responsibility when it comes to getting their kids to and from school. I know that our family, like many other HUSD parents, works very hard to get our students to school, well rested, fed, and ready to learn, everyday. In fact, I consider that to be one of the most important parts of my parenting job. Just like paying your bills and not using elected positions for personal gain are important parts of being a good responsible citizen. Right, Eric?