Original URL: http://www.staronline.com/vcs/ox/article/0,1375,VCS_238_1980736,00.html

Latino advocacy group considers censuring county Supervisor Flynn
Ventura County Star
May 22, 2003
Charles Levin

A Latino advocacy group considered censuring county Supervisor John Flynn at its monthly meeting Wednesday but delayed the matter so Flynn could respond to the charges.

Denis O'Leary, a board member with the Oxnard-based El Concilio del Condado de Ventura, requested the censure, saying Flynn's behavior over the past three years warrants punishment.

Flynn also is on El Concilio's board but did not attend Wednesday's session, so the issue will be taken up at a later meeting.

"Flynn ... has on numerous occasions harmed the community at large and particularly the Latino community of Ventura County," O'Leary, a bilingual education teacher in the Rio School District, says in a five-page letter to the board.

Flynn declined to comment Wednesday. So did several other El Concilio board members.

O'Leary said he wants the board to approve a resolution censuring Flynn. "It's a slap on the wrist, but El Concilio has quite a bit of strength in the community, and we need to stand up for our leadership."

O'Leary cites several specific reasons for censuring the 70-year-old supervisor, whose Oxnard-based district is largely Latino.

They include an alleged shoving match between Flynn and Oxnard School District Superintendent Richard Duarte in 2000, and accusations that Flynn verbally threatened Oxnard resident Irma Lopez in 2002.

O'Leary also accused Flynn of orchestrating the ouster of Rio School District Superintendent Yolanda Benitez. O'Leary said the ouster now threatens bilingual education in the district. O'Leary represents the California Association for Bilingual Education on the El Concilio board.

Earlier this month, district trustees voted to have attorneys investigate 16 charges against Benitez, including pressuring teachers to tell parents to sign bilingual waiver forms, instructing staff members to keep children in bilingual classes to obtain state funds, and discriminating against Anglo faculty members.

Benitez has said the charges are false.