SCTA Raises Concerns About Chief Communications Officer
At last night’s School Board meeting, SCTA raised serious concerns about the District’s Chief Communications Officer Alex Barrios. Today we followed up in writing to Superintendent Aguilar and Board President Ryan. We also notified them that our letter was a Uniform Complaint, and may result in further legal action against Mr. Barrios and the District.
Documents recently obtained by the Public Records Act request show Mr. Barrios continues to act inappropriately. The District has delayed producing documents we requested more than five months ago, and what we have received so far is only a portion of the requested material.
Perhaps the most damaging material shows that Mr. Barrios fed information to Marcos Breton and encouraged a Sacramento Bee reporter to challenge elected board member Leticia Garcia regarding potential conflicts of interest after her husband, State Assemblymember Kevin McCarty asked Joint Legislative Audit Committee to conduct a forensic audit of Sac City after its budget was rejected multiple times. This is the same audit that Superintendent Aguilar and Board President Ryan both stated publicly they supported. Mr. Barrios appears to be trying to undermine an elected board member, one of seven ultimate decision-makers to whom Mr. Barrios was hired to provide services.
In addition to the Uniform Complaint, we have asked Superintendent Aguilar and Board President Ryan to explain whether Mr. Barrios is acting on his own as a rogue Cabinet member, or if he is acting at their direction.
It should be noted that many of our concerns were confirmed last night when Mr. Barrios tried to interrupt our presentation with an incoherent outburst and had to be silenced by Board President Ryan.
We have been raising concerns about Mr. Barrios for years.
- In October 2017, after a well-respected teacher posted comments on Facebook that concerned the District approving charter schools, Mr. Barrios responded with a late-night threatening post: “If you want an adverse relationship, then that’s what you’re going to get.”
- In November 2018, Mr.. Barrios orchestrated the “empty chair” publicity stunt concerning an agreement to use health plan savings to bail out the district, ignoring our collective bargaining agreement signed the previous year that requires health plan savings to be used to improve services to students.
- In December 2018, Mr. Barrios called the wife of our Executive Director at 1:05 a.m. When we raised concerns with Superintendent Aguilar, we were told Mr. Barrios “was doing same late night online searching” and that he had “inadvertently” called her. No explanation was given why he was “online searching” the wife of our Executive Director.
- In May 2019, we raised concerns about Mr. Barrios’ inappropriate monitoring of First Vice-President Nikki Milevsky’s attendance at public meetings.
- Mr. Barrios unlawfully blocked teachers, parents and community stakeholders from posting comments on the SCUSD Facebook page and other social media sites. People were only unblocked after we threatened to sue the District.