Maricopa Security Breach

The rest of the story


MCCCD Employee Hearing Rigged! – Maricopa Security Breach

Corzo, through his attorney Rick Galvan, made repeated requests that the District delay the hearing pending the outcome of a public records lawsuit brought by Gallagher and Kennedy. The firm brought a suit after the District failed to turn over public records.

Corzo’s attorney say he has been denied his right to public records information needed to defend himself. The District has gone as far as to even recall the documents they have already turned over.

Despite Corzo’s objections, the District has refused to accept any of the witnesses that Corzo provided claiming that ‘there are too many’ as an excuse. They also refused to accept any of Corzo’s new ‘exhibits’ for unknown reasons. In other words, they want them to defend themselves without evidence or witnesses. They even suggested that the only witnesses and exhibits they can use are those provided by District, according to Galvan

Corzo had a right per policy (see below - manual section 15.2) to appoint a representative for this hearing. The hearing committee has (3) individuals, (1) person appointed by the Chancellor, another person from the employee group that Corzo belongs to and a 3rd person who Corzo selected.

On Wednesday, the week before the hearing was to take place, the person Corzo selected had decided that he could not participate in this hearing citing serious ethical challenges with the unfairness of the hearing process and an unwillingness to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Mr. Combs, MCCCD legal counsel, received a letter from this individual excusing himself from the committee on Wednesday afternoon. Combs never notified Corzo or his legal counsel of this critical event. Furthermore, at the beginning of the hearing when asked when he had learned about this, he stated Friday afternoon. He later corrected that statement stating that he had read the message on Wednesday afternoon.

Combs remained silent for days and waited until the beginning of the hearing on Monday 3/31/14 at 9:00am to tell Corzo and his lawyer that their representative had resigned. At the time, the chair of the committee, Dan Huston, told Corzo that he had (3) choices;

  1. Appoint a new representative ‘NOW’
  2. Accept a replacement that MCCCD has chosen
  3. Walk-away from the hearing.

MCCCD decided on its own to deny Corzo due procees by proceeding with a hearing without Corzo’s representative. They went further and appointed a replacement without his approval and consent. His new representative also happens to be a key witness in the hearing. This can easily be considered witness tampering.

Combs, MCCCD legal counsel, decided to appoint Kerry Mitchell as a replacement for Mr. Corzo representative. Mitchell’s name was also provided to the hearing committee as a key witness. His appoinment to the committee raises questions and disqualifies his testimony as a key witness.  Mitchell was the individual who notified Chancellor Rufus Glasper in 2012 of security vulnerabilities in ITS via a Grievance Report filed by MCCCD employees including Corzo.

Last but no least, and before leaving the hearing, Corzo asked the following questions. First, he addressed Combs and asked him when he had learn about his representative resigning from the committee. Combs responded that it was on Friday afternoon. He later asked Combs if anyone else had received communications from his representative. Combs replied that Dan Huston, the Chair of the committee did. Corzo them asked Huston when he learned from his representative resigning. Huston said ‘I have not read my emails yet’.

Huston had been absent from all communications from an entire week and no decisions were ever made by Huston regarding multiple requests to delay the hearing the week leading to the hearing. Huston arrived at a critical hearing on Monday morning apparently, having read no emails and not knowing that a critical member of his committee had resigned and a new member appointed by the organization. We later learned that Corzo’s representative in the hearing committee had been in personal and email contact with Huston the week prior to the meeting regarding his resignation.

It appears that Combs had plenty of time to conveniently find a replacement but he could not find a few minutes between Wednesday afternoon and Monday morning to notify Galvan that Corzo’s representative had resigned.

MCCCD not only denied Corzo his first amendment rights, lied during a hearing, denied Corzo the opportunity to present his witnesses and testimony, the opportunity to present his evidence, the opportunity to access public records he could use in his defense, the opportunity to name a replacement for his appointee in the hearing but they tampered with witnesses and broke every ethical code of conduct known to man in an attempt to sabotage this hearing. Why would MCCCD go to such extremes?

It is very clear that the District has something to hide. Their lack of transparency has led to a lawsuit and millions wasted. The media has being stonewalled for months and the District continues to conspire against the one person that tried to keep all this from happening. The District lawyers will stop at nothing to protect their Chancellor because he in turn will protect them. It begs the questions:

  • Can taxpayers afford trust this Administration with $1.7B dollars if their own lawyers will not hesitate to lie and deceive the public?
  • Why is the Chancellor of MCCCD doing all of this?
  • Why are lawyers at MCCCD allow to treat employees like this?
  • Why do the President and ex-President of the Management (Huston & Mitchell) organization at MCCCD allow this happen?
  • Where is the MCCCD Board in all of this? Why aren’t they responding to policy violations?
  • Is the Governing Board serving the people they represent or are they serving themselves and their Chancellor?

It is clear that MCCCD is buying out every person responsible for the 2011 incident and only those who tried to protect the District are left standing. In turn, Chancellor Glasper is sparing no expense trying to railroad IT employees to protect his job.

A few minutes after the hearing started, Corzo and Galvan walked away from the hearing knowing full well that MCCCD had no intention of providing Corzo with a fair and honest hearing. Those who supported this process should be held accountable for accepting to participate in such a blatant disregard for policy, ethics and due process. An organization that goes to such extremes to silence the media, their employees and anyone who opposes them must have something to hide.

Today, having lost 50% of the IT staff and nearly all institutional knowledge, MCCCD is at a much higher risk of a massive IT failure and another breach than ever before. This time there is no grievance to burry but reality to deal with. It is not too late to change horses. The race has barely started. It is not too late to do what’s right.

It is however time for the State Attorney General to get involved.  It is time for the State Auditors to get involved. It is time for Governor Brewer to help save MCCCD from its demise. It is time for the MCCCD Governing Board to govern over MCCCD. Taxpayers deserve the truth. Those who elected you deserve better.

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