College of Desert Trustee Rubén Pérez stands firm behind his words

Rubén Pérez, who represents Trustee Area 1 on the College of the Desert Board of Trustees, is speaking out after fellow Trustee Joel Kinnamon filed a complaint on behalf of district constituents and himself asking Board Chair Bonnie Stefan to place an item on the next board meeting to start a censure process against Pérez for his violations that occurred on the board’s dais, and other more recent actions that he believes, violated board policies.

Uken Report reached out to Pérez to see what he had to say.

“I completely disagree with the censureship as it is my First Amendment right to speak my thoughts and feel this is a violation of that constitutional right. Furthermore, my constituents elected me to speak truth to power and this censureship would prevent those same constituents who have historically been silenced to continue to be silenced. I know that as a Trustee it is my duty to speak up for those that cannot, and I intend to keep doing so.”

Pérez was reelected in November to a second term on the board. Kinnamon, former president of College of the Desert, was elected in November to his first term.

During the board meeting on Friday, Jan. 20, 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.”

You may watch some of Pérez’s comments in question here and judge for yourself.

Censure is a formal reprimand.


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  • Rubén Pérez: Rubén Pérez