Cortez Quinn

Editorial: Twin Rivers needs to pick new board leader

Published: Thursday, Apr. 4, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 12A
Last Modified: Thursday, Apr. 4, 2013 - 8:13 am

It comes late but at least three members of the board of the Twin Rivers Unified School District appear prepared to remove Cortez Quinn as board president. He should be removed.

Even before he was narrowly re-elected in June, reports of Quinn's inappropriate and illegal conduct had surfaced. He was accused of accepting $55,000 in personal loans from a school district employee and failing to report it. The employee said Quinn had fathered her child and had acquired the money through fraud.

Around the same time, it was also disclosed that during his first term on the board, Quinn regularly solicited rides from school district police officers.

Despite the cloud hanging over him, Quinn's fellow board members unanimously elected him president last July. But apparently that support slipped after the Fair Political Practices Commission confirmed the accusations against Quinn and fined him $14,000 in February for accepting tens of thousands of dollars in loans and cash gifts from a district employee and not reporting them on financial disclosure forms as required. Quinn did not contest the FPPC ruling.

Three members of the Twin Rivers board want to schedule a censure hearing on Quinn. After the FPPC report, board member Rebecca Sandoval says she was " uncomfortable with him remaining as president." Removing him may not have much practical effect. Quinn's term is set to expire in June.

Still, it's important that this school board send a clear message that it does not condone Quinn's actions. To preserve its own credibility and the confidence of the public it serves, the board must hold its members accountable. Removing a board president who has grossly abused the public trust is one step in that direction.

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