Clark County Education Association president Ruben Murillo is shocked, shocked that former executive director John Jasonek was making so much money from the union, a community foundation staffed by the union, and a teacher center run out of union headquarters.
In a letter to members posted on the CCEA web site, Murillo derided the Las Vegas Review-Journal story about CCEA compensation as a “smear campaign” orchestrated by the school district. He also argued, as expected, that the numbers in the IRS filings reflect total compensation, not just base salaries.
But it was Murillo’s admission at the outset of his letter that turned heads:
But let’s start by stating that CCEA in no way condones excessive and multiple salaries for any staff or leaders. We have no justification for the fact that former Executive Director Jasonek was able to triple dip, earning additional and excessive salaries.
He then listed all the corrective actions CCEA has taken since Jasonek retired. This flabbergasted the Review-Journal, which, in preparation for the story, had heard nothing but justifications, denials and excuses for the excessive salaries.
Murillo’s statement that Jasonek’s $632,546 in compensation was “excessive” is something new. He and current union Executive Director John Vellardita claimed the opposite when interviewed in early February. At the time, they defended Jasonek’s compensation of $632,546 for running the union and two related organizations in 2009, the last year for which a required Internal Revenue Service report is available.
…None of those measures or new policies were mentioned by Murillo when he was interviewed in early February, except for the lower salary of the new executive director, Vellardita, which the Review-Journal reported on Sunday.
Earlier this month, current CCEA executive director John Vellardita wrote a letter to district superintendent Dwight Jones, demanding he and district employees “cease and desist” providing information to the news media, amusingly threatening to take the affair to the “court of public opinion.”
Murillo became CCEA vice-president in 2001 and president in 2008. The notion that he had no idea about nor control over Jasonek’s salary and doings is not credible. Nor is the claim that the union had nothing to do with the foundation or teacher center.
Why union officers think willful ignorance is preferable in the public eye to outright collusion baffles me. Apparently no one knew what Pat Santeramo was doing either. Or Warren L. Williams. Or Pat Tornillo. Or Barbara Bullock.