Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

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    Legality of district contracts in question

    The East Bay Times ran two articles, one on Oct. 9 and another on Oct. 10, about Peralta Community College District officials breaking contract-bidding and conflict of interest laws. 
    The district paid Robert Ferrilli $80,000 dollars last October to evaluate the district’s IT system. After Ferrilli shaped the plan for what was to be done to fix the problems with the IT system, he was hired to run the department and make the repairs. 
    Ferrilli’s Pennsylvania-based firm was paid an additional $825,000, much of which went to travel expenses according to the articles. State law prohibits consultants from getting public contracts exceeding $86,000 that they help formulate. 
    Chancellor Jowel Laguerre gave the contract to Ferrilli without going through a bidding process. 
    According to the Times, Laguerre said that since the problems Ferrilli found with the district’s IT system were serious and needed to be fixed right away, it was an emergency and there was no time to go through the bidding process. Despite this claim, the Board of Trustees never declared a state of emergency.
    The Times also noted that when the new school year began in August, many of the key upgrades had not been completed. The PCCD has now paid another consulting firm $45,000 to check on Ferrilli’s progress.
    Kathy Feng, the executive director of California Common Cause, is quoted as saying, “Circumventing the bidding process without any declaration of emergency violates the public’s trust and should be investigated.”
    The district attorney could also file felony or misdemeanor charges for violating these laws, and the Political Practices Commission can impose administrative fines of up to $5,000 per violation.
    Finally, the Times also reported that Laguerre claimed he met Ferrilli when the latter was doing work at Solano College while Laguerre was president there. He said Robin Darcangelo, the financial aid director at Solano College, introduced them.
    Darcangelo does not remember introducing them, and there is no paperwork showing that Ferrilli ever did any work at the college. In response to these statements, the Times reported Laguerre as saying, “It was so long ago and some of the people have probably left the college by now.”

    About the Contributor
    Wen Li
    Wen Li, Staff Writer
    Wen W. Li a returning student at Laney College. He was born in China and grew up in Oakland, California. He speaks three languages: Cantonese, Japanese, and English. His favorite sport is real football (soccer), and he also loves most Japanese foods and J-pop culture. Li is currently a reporter for Laney Tower, and he is always passionate about writing and reading. Although he is interested in education and social issues right now, he also wants to report about digital entertainment and scientific study. Li always has a high interest in child development, health psychology, and clinical psychology because he wants to know how the environment can influence one’s personality. His dream is to work for scientific journal publications or work as an international correspondent that travels around the world.
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