Take a Peek at How George Cole Will Manage his Break-Away School District in
Governor and Speaker Nunez to Sign New Education Bill at Breed Elementary School in East L.A. on Saturday May 20, at 9:30
am. What the Governor, Speaker Nunez and George Cole Want from Miles Avenue Elementary School.
Saturday May 20, 2006
Huntington Park, CA - On Friday morning, WatchOurCity.com reported that the Governor and Assembly Speaker
Nunez were scheduled to sign a new education bill Saturday morning with Miles Avenue Elementary school in
Huntington Park as a backdrop.
That same Friday morning, the event organizers fronting for Arnold and Fabian changed the venue from Miles to
a school in East L.A.
If held at Miles, it would have been quite a blunder to leave L.A. Mayor Antonio V out of the picture. Damage
control had to be swift and immediate.
Miles Ave Elementary School, an LAUSD campus, is only 20 feet away from Huntington Park City Hall. Most
recently, Miles had the distinction of being the 2nd most populated elementary school in the entire United
Miles also played a prominent role in local political power plays and school-takeover dry run plans by local
politicians with highly dubious and less than honorable intentions.
We Don't Need No Stinkin' Damage Control
George Cole, Bell Councilman and Executive Director of the Oldtimers Foundation in HP recently tried to bully
LAUSD into firing the school principal at Miles. Was his motive to improve teacher performance? Or perhaps to
improve student achievement?
Cole's henchmen, Guillermo Roacho and Enrique Aranda orchestrated a noisy parent boycott at Miles, and used
senior citizens to gather signatures at one catholic church, with councilwoman Ofelia Hernandez running that
leg of this scam signature gathering operation. They got the attention of the media and of LAUSD
Superintendent Roy Romer who personally showed up to smooth things over on campus. At first, no one was
aware of the real reason for the staged boycott, nor who was behind it.
Not until Roacho, Cole's henchman #1, tried to negotiate such a brazenly knuckle-headed deal that it only
served to expose the boycott's true intent. Roacho offered school and state officials that the Miles boycott
would disappear the minute Judy Cole was appointed Miles principal. Judy is married to George Cole.
The city of Vernon is not the only city that has not held elections in years. The city of Bell has not had
contenders in the last three election cycles, this according to the city clerk herself. Any political contender is
dealt with severely. Cole's top deputy and henchman #2, Enrique Aranda, allegedly tried to fire an LAUSD
employee last year for meddling in Bell politics. And the District Attorney thinks it only has a problem in the city
of Vernon, where elections reportedly have not been held in decades.
A new Bell watchdog website, which tried valiantly to get off the ground to expose public records focusing on
George Cole, his Bell politics and city shenanigans, was recently forced to shut down under suspicious
Enrique Aranda, a top deputy in the Oldtimers Foundation, is on the June 6 California Primary ballot. Aranda is
one of several candidates hoping to take a spot in the California Central Committee of the state Democratic
party. Make sure you vote for him. Aranda openly boasted that he wanted to oppose David Tokofsky for the
local LAUSD School board seat. Aranda may just get his wish of playing at being a school board member if only
his boss's break-away plan ever pans out.
George Cole is the ring leader of Southeast cities mayors in their attempt at trying to steal Miles Avenue School,
and the rest of the 40 or so schools, its approximately 63,000 students and its multi-hundred million dollar
budget, away from LAUSD, all with the expected imprimatur of the California Legislature, while entirely
bypassing the local voters. Assembly Speaker Nunez, who is a good friend of L.A.'s Antonio V, represents
Huntington Park. Nunez is also a good friend of HP's mayor Noguez and attorney Francisco Leal.
None of the mayors have any children in LAUSD. None have been trained in Education. Evidence suggests that
mayors from the local cities are being manipulated by George Cole in secret closed door meetings that do not
allow any dissent or scrutiny. Some mayors are barely competent to even get a grip on just city issues alone.
How Will George Manage?
If George Cole's current and past dealings with Huntington Park elected officials are any indication of how his
proposed break-away school district would be managed, God help us, because the District Attorney's office
Cole is the recipient of a multi-million dollar transportation contract courtesy of his friends in Huntington Park
On May 1, 2006 the Wave Community newspaper reported that Mayor John Noguez and council lackeys
awarded the lion's share of HP's Federal CDBG funds to George Cole: $34,000 to Oldtimers for a senior citizen
As a goodwill gesture to his buddies, Noguez also threw in a $678,217 award to Oldtimers for mixed-use
housing development. Publicly Noguez claims he's helping senior citizens, privately, he's only helping his friends
to make out like bandits. And that' just for this fiscal year, without counting past allocation to the Oldtimers.
Quid pro quo, anyone?
The Southern California Association of Non Profit Housing (www.scanph.org) reports that it has over 450
members. There must be over 30 successful non-profit housing developers in Southern California with a better
track record than Oldtimers but were not given to opportunity to compete here in HP.
Huntington Park's current mayor, John Noguez, shares a fundraising consultant with George Cole.
One prominent non-profit affordable housing developer has in the past, on instructions from its board of
directors, refused to cooperate and negotiate with Huntington Park and surrounding cities for affordable
housing development projects due to alleged corruption and shakedown of kickbacks in the form of campaign
contributions, in exchange for development contracts, or rigged contracts. Rosario Marin and Escareno were
good at this. They passed the knowledge on down.
This same non-profit group also does not actively pursue development projects in the southeast cities due to its
past experience with Huntington Park council members who reportedly requested under-the-counter payments
in the form of campaign contributions in exchange for green lighting development projects in the city. That was
enough to scare away legitimate affordable housing developers whose already thin budgets could not factor in
such additional line item costs as "hand greasing". The victims in this are the city residents and the public
benefit. They are deprived of honest services.
Allegedly, a few years ago, another non-profit group was allocated CDBG funds by city council under one
condition: that CDBG program funds and business micro loans be funneled to designated entities identified by
one city council member. This condition did not sit well with board members.
Too bad the Governor decided not to stop by Huntington Park this Saturday morning. The last time Arnold was
here, on February 1, the Governor was in city hall to appoint ex-councilwoman Rosario Marin to run the State's
Consumer Affairs Division. Just two months before that, Rosario Marin's protege in HP's city council and the city's
one-time mayor, Edward Escareno, was convicted in L.A. Superior court for "GRAND THEFT" of public funds.
Escareno is now a convicted felon. The last time Fabian was in Huntington Park seems to be when he showed
up at Leonardo's Restaurant in January 2003 to help kick-off the campaign slate starring Noguez and managed
by Escareno. Fabian called Noguez and Escareno "Friends" and men of honesty and integrity.
Escareno and Gomez lead the charge to rig the bidding process in George Cole's attempt to get a multi-million
dollar transportation contract. Cole got it.
And now Cole wants the power to form his own school district and to have the authority to hire each principal
at each school.
The new breakaway school district will have a very lucrative student bus transportation contract to award.
Guess who is just salivating at the chance to get it? Huntington Park's $3.9 million transportation contract is
peanuts compared to what this new school district in Bell, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Maywood, and South Gate
would be like.
Was George Cole's boycott at Miles Avenue Elementary school just a practice run offering a peak at how his
school district will appoint school principals? Appointment by cronyism and nepotism? More importantly, City of
Bell's Cole and the mayors from Cudahy, HP, Maywood and South Gate, want the power to control a new school
district budget worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Oldtimers Foundation, Escareno and his Girlfriend in Baja
Rosarito Beach in Baja, California, Mexico is an official Sister city of Huntington Park and public funds are used by
council members in cultural and "other " exchanges. On December 20, 2005, Escareno was convicted for misuse
of public funds based on evidence that he abused cell phone privileges in calling just one phone number in
Rosarito Beach, Baja California. A local newspaper there reported on the romance between Escareno and a
certain school teacher in a local elementary school in that south of the border town. Escareno was entrusted
with the use of public funds which he used for a budding private romance.
On December 19, 2003, Ecos de Rosarito newspaper reported that then-mayor Escareno played Santa Clause
to a group of students at two Playas de Rosarito schools in Mexico. Escareno's girlfriend taught at both schools.
The same Ecos de Rosarito report mentioned that Escareno brought along two very close friends who were the
actual donors of "150 toys" given by Escareno: Robert Rodriguez of the Oldtimers Foundation and Francisco
Leal. The report states "Thus, at 9:30 in the morning on December 19, the Mayor of Huntington Park, Edward
Escareño, together with the teacher Perla Huerta, Robert Rodriguez, Francisco Leal, Laura Wong, Secretary of the
Committee of Sister Cities, and the Municipal President, Luis Enrique Díaz Félix, arrived at the Insurgente Pedro
Moreno School, that is administered by professor Josafat Lima, to deliver one hundred fifty toys in the name of Santa
Claus, since the famous personage himself could not attend. "One of the benefits that the Sister Cities Committee of
Huntington Park has brought to Rosarito residents is this delivery of gifts. The Mayor of Huntington Park has visited
constantly the city and has been pending of what we need to support us", said Díaz Félix in a speech to the student
body before giving away the presents."
"Y tu Mama Tambien"
That male-bonding road trip to Mexico worked miracles forging strong bonds amongst Oldtimers, Fransisco Leal
and Escareno. Cole had a friend in Escareno who could rig the transportation contract. And he did, by all
So Escareno visited that lovely Sister City quite "often", and at public expense, for other than Cultural
exchanges, and he was well accompanied by the George Cole's 2nd in command at Oldtimers.
On that very same month of December Escareno had spearheaded selecting Leal as city attorney in closed door
session without competing bids.
On February 2004, just two months after the male-bonding road trip to Mexico paid with city funds, George
Cole's then #2 guy at the Oldtimers foundation, Robert Rodriguez, goes before Huntington Park's city council to
thank council members for selecting the Oldtimers Foundation for being awarded the city's transportation
contract, awarded along with Victor Caballero's Fiesta Taxi Company. It was hard work getting the contract.
First, there were campaign contributions to make. Then, all the wining and dining of the Escareno/Noguez
council team, and of course, there were the rigors of the Mexico male bonding road trip to endure. The contract
amount was $3.9 million.
Escareno and Mario Gomez set themselves up as the "Transportation Committee" in charge of making contract
recommendations to the rest of city council.
Only one little problem: the committee seemed to have willfully and capriciously neglected to heed the advice of
professional city staff who held degrees in such inconsequential things as urban planning, public administration
and mass transit, as well as the advice of outside independent experts contracted by the city to give their
professional assessment of the four proposals submitted to provide transportation services.
Escareno and Gomez, the two Transportation Committee members who were reportedly unemployed outside of
city council, could barely muster one Junior College AA degree, even if their college course work was combined.
Voting for the award was Ofelia Hernandez, with barely a Mexican grammar school education, augmented with
some child care course work at a junior college. Ofelia is barely able to speak, read and write standard LAUSD
English and reportedly depends on her daughter, a UCLA student, to do some translation and to brief her on
the city documents she has to review and act on.
George Cole's Oldtimers was rated fourth and last. Victor Caballero's Fiesta Taxi was rated third. Then, upon
awarding the contract, it seemed that Escareno, Gomez and Noguez pulled a fast one suddenly, like
magic...Poof!... Cole and Caballero get the multi-million dollar contract.
And just two months after awarding the contract, in April 2004, the new mayor, John Noguez, calls a special
council meeting with just one agenda item: to front George Cole's Oldtimers Foundation $75,000 in start up
costs, confirming, after the fact, why an independent review of the transportation proposals concluded that
George Cole merited the lowest ratings and was not seen fit to be awarded the contract. It did not matter.
During that special council meeting, Noguez is in so generous a mood that he actually proposes to front not
$75,000 to George Cole, but rather a cool even $100,000. George Cole can just keep the change. It's public
money. Did I mention that Huntington Park's current mayor, John Noguez, shares a fundraising consultant with
The transportation services Request for Proposal made no mention of a $100,000 assistance fee voted for and
given to George Cole, after the fact, for startup costs.
Did city attorney Francisco Leal raise any red flags about possible conflict to of interest or other ethical issues?
Francisco Leal sponsored a fundraiser at his house in Hancock Park for Rosario Marin's 2004 primary race
against Barbara Boxer. George Cole was a co-host of the event, along with Victor Caballero. The fundraiser
happened just days after Noguez and Escareno awarded Cole and Caballero the rigged transportation
contract. They were all sitting pretty. That male-bonding road trip to Mexico worked miracles.
Miles Avenue Elementary School plays prominently in the background of local corruption and was meant to be a
prop for the Governor and Speaker Nunez before a last minute change of venue to Breed Elementary School in
Breed, also an LAUSD school, is a 750 student campus on a traditional 2-semester calendar. Miles Ave, in
contrast, has close to 3,000 K-5 students, and is on a year-round 4-track system.
The school infrastructure plan to be signed by the Governor Saturday morning was originally meant to help fund
such schools as Miles Ave, meant to provide relief for the built-in inequities partly due to overcrowding.
Reportedly, Fabian lost the dog fight to keep specific measure in the bill that would have helped schools sharing
Miles Avenue's profile of need and inequity. Schools like Miles will reap a paltry benefit, if at all, from this new bill
to be signed into law.
Many parents, teachers and the school board member may have been a bit peeved if, in fact, Miles Avenue
School was used as a prop to sign an education bill into law that quite blatantly would not benefit its students,
so someone in Arnold's or Fabian's camp did their homework and figured out the blunder about to be
committed. And perhaps Antonio V had something to do with the change of venue. Breed Elementary School is
in the city of L.A. Miles is not, and Antonio V needs to be part of the photo opp so he can appear to take credit
for something he didn't do. A new school was quickly secured for the Governor, the speaker and the Mayor of
L.A. litterally within 24 hours notice, one which posed no PR damage and made everyone happy.
Now, no one can accuse either the Governor or the Speaker as intentional dark humorists. Accidental perhaps.