Who will replace former Trustee Fred Jandt on censure panel?

PALM DESERT — An effort to censure Area 1 Trustee Rubén Pérez ignited in January and quickly fizzled out when former Trustee Fred Jandt resigned for health reasons. But a few embers remained, and trustees are poised to stir them when trustees meet in regular session Friday.

In response to written complaints against Pérez, alleging violations of Code of Ethics Standards of Practice — the Board Chair formed a subcommittee to review the charges and make a report and recommendation back to the Board of Trustees in an open meeting, regarding the charges. Board Chair Bonnie Stefan appointed herself and former trustee Fred Jandt to the subcommittee.  In light of Trustee Jandt’s resignation, the Board Chair on Friday will appoint a new trustee to serve on the subcommittee to fill the vacancy left by Trustee Jandt’s resignation from the Board.

The subcommittee will be tasked to review allegations that Pérez, 30, violated Board Policy 2715 Code of Ethics Standards of Practice and make a report and recommendation to the Board.

During the board meeting on Friday, Jan. 20, Trustee Joel Kinnamon said, “Trustee Pérez sat here at this dais and delivered public comments that I believe violated Board Policy 2715, the Code of Ethics Standards of Practices for Trustees, by disparaging the work of previous trustees who served on this board; disparaging the work of former and current administrators, faculty and staff by describing them as part of a “cesspool”; accusing constituents in our community and our largest newspaper in the Valley of race lighting; and his continued political rhetoric that disparages my name and reputation, basically calling me a “racist”, again, from this dais.”

His comments caused a huge uproar throughout this Valley and were the opposite of how a trustee should conduct him or herself on this dais, Kinnamon said.  “Trustee Perez even went against his own father’s (Supervisor Manuel Perez) advice minutes before when he pleaded with everyone to conduct themselves as ‘statesmen.’

Following is what started it all:

What Pérez said at this meeting might be only the beginning of his troubles. The Censure panel might also include his DUI arrest in February as conduct unbecoming of a public official. His arraignment has been continued four times and is now scheduled for Aug. 23.

Perez also claimed that COD is supportive of a cannabis retailer in Indio. In fact, the board has not taken any official stand.

The Board of Trustees meets at 9:30 a.m. in Building C – Boardroom at College of the Desert, 43-500 Monterey Ave. in Palm Desert.


Image Sources

  • Censure: Shutterstock