With elections just around the corner, tension is building between community members and Delhi Unified School District Board member Jesus Rodriguez.
Rodriguez, who recently entered his bid for re-election to the Migrant Parent Group of Delhi High School, was proven to have engaged in a number of unethical activities. Evidence was brought forth at a recent school board meeting that Rodriguez spread sexual rumors and sexually degrading descriptions of employees. Rodriguez was also found to have disclosed confidential information, as well as violated district protocols related to requesting information from staff.
Community members questioned Rodriguez’s concept of conflict of interest as he decided to vote against his own censure during a special Board meeting. Additionally, Rodriguez’s wife Francisca Briones is the principal at Shattuck Educational Park and as a Board member, Rodriguez plays a role in Briones’ employment status.
Even though Rodriguez was able to avoid censure at a special Board meeting in September he is evidently not able to avoid retaliation from the community as they learn more about the allegations against him.
After entering his bid for re-election, Rodriguez and guests at Wednesday’s event walked to their cars only to find fliers on every windshield that detailed the allegations against Rodriguez, as well as urged community members not to vote for him in the upcoming election.
The entity responsible for these fliers is Delhi resident Sonia Pulido, along with approximately 10 other concerned parents in the district.
“We want to get the word out to the parents,” said Pulido. “We are not supporting any candidate. Our goal is to inform the community of what exactly was going on in our school Board.”
In addition to the fliers placed on every windshield on Wednesday, Pulido and her group were able to fund money for signs to post around town. However to their surprise, these signs were mysteriously taken down the morning after they were posted.
Pulido and other members walked around the area to see if the signs blew away with the wind, but it was to no avail. After noticing that their signs were the only ones that were missing, the group decided to take drastic measures to ensure that the signs stay posted by putting them up every morning and taking them down every night.
For this upcoming election, Rodriguez is running against Andres Garza III and Laronna Talai White for DUSD short term Board member. There are 10 additional candidates running for a full term DUSD Board member position, including fellow Board member that faced censure in September Eric Castillo.
Despite the significant number of candidates running for the upcoming election, there has been no campaign financing disclosed by any of the candidates to Merced County Clerk’s office.
According to the California Fair Political Practices Commission, candidates are legally obligated to provide campaign finances once they raise or spend $1,000 during their campaign. However, there is no way to prove if a candidate fails to file a report, since the FPPC assumes that each candidate is responsible enough to follow the law.
Penalties upon not filing a report range from a warning letter to the candidate to a $5,000 fine.