Letters to the Editor

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SUMNER: Superintendent was rightly ousted

Letter by Ron Weigelt, Bonney Lake on Nov. 11, 2011 at 1:01 pm | 5 Comments »
November 11, 2011 1:01 pm

Re: “Ex-official files late with PDC” (TNT, 11-5).

The state Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) is responsible for keeping elections above board. The rules that must be followed include: No person or organization can donate more than $800 to any candidate; all contributions must be recorded with the PDC showing amounts and contributors; and all mailings must clearly identify who paid for the mailing.

Just before the Nov. 8 election, a mailing was sent out from an anonymous group. The News Tribune article explained that ousted Sumner school superintendent Gil Mendoza spent nearly $8,000 (10 times the allowed limit) on a mailing for his slate of candidates. Rather than reveal himself as the sole contributor, he created a fictitious organization he called Citizens Advocating a Responsible Education System (CARES).

When Mendoza was terminated in June 2011, he received a separation package worth nearly $178,000. Spending $8,000 to influence the school board race was well within his means. However, it was clearly wrong. Mendoza broke the law and set a very bad example for the students of Sumner School District. In doing so, he validated the school board’s earlier decision to oust him.

While I am absolutely certain that those elected are going to work hard and do a wonderful job, Mendoza should have either stayed out of the campaign process or followed the rules like everyone else.

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