Follow the pattern of deceit at Sierra College

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Those scolding Sierra College trustee Aaron Klein for reporting non-compliance with campaign disclosure law should recall the deceit pattern at Sierra. A lawsuit accused President Kevin Ramirez and the college of illegal plans for penthouse administrators' offices in the new LRC. A former college employee tells me the penthouse offices were common knowledge. But Ramirez, many administrators and some board members self-righteously insisted this charge was false and relentlessly ridiculed the trustee who insisted the accusation was accurate. Taxpayers spent $300,000-plus, preparing to deny this plan in court. Right before trial, the college settled this huge lawsuit: The plaintiff had the locksmith's notes, documenting penthouse offices. Afterward, Ramirez and two in-the-know trustees repeatedly withheld the settlement details. A persistent newspaper reporter was fired upon returning from finally submitting to Ramirez a written demand for the financial details: a judge refused him access to Ramirez's taxpayer-paid phone records for that timeframe. A grand jury investigation finally revealed settlement details. The college's required response took more time, more tax-paid lawyers. Later, Ramirez's administration transferred a large sum out of the retirees' fund into the general fund - with the knowledge and silence of the two trustees who'd helped hush those settlement details. Responding to the grand jury required more tax-paid time and lawyers. Board meeting tapes were stored in Ramirez's office. One, analyzed by experts for suspected tampering (a felony) wasn't even an original! Collective shrug. Previous deceit, fiscal shenanigans, failure to disclose campaign donors on a $300,000,000 bond. Were Klein's suspicions unwarranted? Kathy Twisselmann Rocklin