This page will be dedicated to Sweetwater High School District (SUHSD) information. There are so many people and issues (many related) that it made sense to create one page to sort it all out. Unlike the blog posts which contain mostly opinion, this page should be as factual as possible. This is basically an interactive index with the web links (embedded in the words) providing the substantive information.

You are encouraged to post comments with new information but please keep it short, factual, and whenever possible, try to cite the source of the information.

(Former) Board of Trustees

Pearl Quinones, President
Jim Cartmill
Bertha Lopez
John McCann
Arlie Ricasa

(Former) Superintendent:


Ed Brand

Other Players


Garcia, Calderon & Ruiz (Now named GCR)

law firm used by SUHSD
billed SUHSD an average of a million dollars per year
– created a PAC called “Citizens For Good Government in Southbay”
to funnel tens of thousands of dollars to current SUHSD Board Trustees
– clients have included San Ysidro School District, Southwestern College, and the Otay Water District
fired by City of Rosemead for questionable and high billing
– according to newspaper reports, issued questionable legal advice as to open meeting laws
– currently having issues with new client Calexico Unified School District
– an actual quote from GCR explaining their modus operandi: “we have an obligation to support good candidates before they are elected and to keep good officials in office.”

“Citizens For Good Government in Southbay”

– Political Action Committee (PAC) created by the law firm Garcia, Calderon, & Ruiz
– PAC used to funnel tens of thousands of dollars from Garcia, Calderon, & Ruiz to current SUHSD Board Trustees:
– Trustee Pearl Quinones: received $4,600 in 2008
– Trustee Jim Cartmill: received $5,000 in 2010
– Trustee Bertha Lopez: received $2,900 in 2008


Boniefacio “Bonny” Garcia

– partner at Garcia, Calderon, & Ruiz (GCR)
– Garcia’s wife, Laura Martinez, gave political contributions to the following Trustees:

– $5,000 to Jim Cartmill in 2010
– $500 to Jim Cartmill in 2011
– $5,000 to Arlie Ricasa in 2010
– $1,000 to Bertha Lopez in 2009
– $900 John McCann in 2011

Rogelio Ruiz

– a founding partner of GCR
sued his former partners “claiming they used company profits to make political donations to help secure work. In his suit, Ruiz said partners Bonifacio Garcia and Yuri Calderon used $15,000 in law-firm proceeds to fund Citizens for Good Government in the South Bay, a political action committee that supported Sweetwater board members and others.”


Yuri Calderon

– partner at Garcia, Calderon, & Ruiz (GCR)
treasurer for “Citizens For Good Government in Southbay”


The Seville Group (SGI)

– The Seville Group (SGI) was the program manager for the Proposition O Bond construction
– SUHSD agreed to pay Seville Group $16.4 million to manage the Prop O construction
– The Seville Group (SGI) donated to the election campaigns of the following Trustees:

Jim Cartmill ($20,000 in 2010)
– John McCann ($12,500 in 2010)
Arlie Ricasa ($10,000 in 2010)


Jaime Ortiz

– program manager for the Seville Group (SGI) that had been in charge of the Prop O funds
– serves on numerous boards including the Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce, the South Bay Family YMCA, and the Mariachi Scholarship Foundation




Greg Vega

– attorney with the law firm Seltzer Kaplan
– hired by Ed Brand to investigate the consulting done by GCR
recommended to investigate GCR by GCR
– author of the “Vega Report”
– Vega Report concluded that Alvey’s actions “may have violated California elections laws when he billed the district for discussions with potential and actual board candidates during the 2010 election cycle.”
many feel that the Vega Report is incomplete and fails to ask some key questions
– previous attorney for SUHSD
– former U.S. Attorney



Bahia del Sur & South Bay Committee

– PACs that used to funnel thousands of campaign contributions to SUHSD Trustees
– back in 2002, a local newspaper noted that promotion opportunities increased if administrators donated to the Bahia or South Bay Committee PACs


2 Responses to SUHSD

  1. You have done a pretty amazing job outlining the corruption at SUHSD – let’s change things at the next election – our community and our children deserve better

    • Unfortunately, it may not happen at the next election. Incumbency, contractor money, and resident apathy are very hard to overcome. Suggestion is to chip away at the last negative (apathy) by engaging more and more people and bringing attention to the missteps that keep occurring.

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