MACSA Search Warrant Released

The warrant issued for the Oct. 14 raid on the Mexican American Community Services Agency (MACSA) reveals that investigators believe Xavier Campos had first-hand knowledge of the diversion of employee pension funds at the group’s embattled charter high schools.

MACSA’s Youth Center at 660 Sinclair Dr. in East San Jose was raided by armed investigators earlier this month.

More than 200 bank records, computers and files—including several regarding Campos—were seized in the raid and are currently being reviewed by authorities.

In the 33-page search warrant affidavit, lead investigator Michael Sterner of the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office writes that there was rampant inconsistency and liquidity of the money that moved within MACSA under its former leadership, which included CEO Olivia Soza-Mendiola and CFO Ben Tan.

Campos worked his way up to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) position over two decades at MACSA. He along with Soza-Mendiola and CFO Ben Tan, who have both since left the agency, were responsible for tracking and allocating the non-profit’s funds, according to the document.

Campos, a candidate for the District 5 seat on the San Jose City Council, has consistently refused to comment about his time at the scandal-ridden school other than to insist that he had nothing to do with the organization’s financial dealings.

The warrant details Sterner’s interview with former MACSA trustee Michael Canul, who says attended a meeting in which the organization’s financial problems were discussed.

10 Comments

  1. It is about time that all of us should look at MACSA’s financial problem throughly and deeply. It sounds funny when the management who was in charge said nothing WRONG ! So where is the MONEY go RIGHT in others’ or one’s pocket ?

    We have to and must find out for MACSA’s employees’ and Tax payers’ sake. Another BELL CITY case ? It is the first assignment for you DA Rosen and AG Harris. We, the people will support you all the ways.

  2. What happens if Campos is elected in district 5 and then is charged with embezzlement or some other crime over this MACSA mess?  Does the city have to pay for a recall election to get him to vacate the seat?  Does a criminal trial take precedence for him and he will retain the District 5 seat while focusing in defending himself against criminal charges of theft all on the taxpayers dollar?  Does district 5 just have the unfortunate probable future of having a lame duck and possibly criminal elected official?  If a recall happens then the city (taxpayers) will have to pay for Campos to leave office?

    Get smart San Jose, unless we know the answers to ALL the questions why risk taxpayer money on this possible felon and embezzler?  At the very he’s not too bright because if he is “innocent” of the money theft he’s at least “guilty” of being a dupe and missing it because it happened on his watch.  Doesn’t district 5 deserve better?

    VOTE “NO” FOR XAVIER CAMPOS.  VOTE “NO” TO PUTTING ALLEGED EMBEZZLERS IN CHARGE OF CITY BUDGET.

  3. There’s a name for people who would even consider still voting for Campos after reading the DA warrant report.  Fools. 

    That guy is obviously involved in the absconding of those funds.  How could he be part of a three man officer group and be the only officer not to know what was going on.  Especially when he took on the task of liquidating assets to cover the losses?  The whole place reeks to high heaven.  Shut them down!  No public money if there’s no accountability.

    The other candidate had a personal bankruptcy so sometimes politics really is the lesser of two evils but this one isn’t even close.  The only surprising thing is that the guy hasn’t taken off to Mexico to hide.

  4. So what happened to the money?  It looks like its well over a million dollars of public funds (through grants to the non-profit).  So where’s the money??????

  5. Catch veinte-dós

    Q:    Why was MACSA granted authority to provide services traditionally provided and administered directly by the funding source (government, charity, etc.)?
    A:    Because Mexican-Americans have our politicians cowed.

    Q:  Why has failure never affected MACSA’s funding stream?
    A:    Because Mexican-Americans have our politicians cowed.

    Q:    Why has the government given MACSA taxpayer money without holding it to the same accounting standards the government holds the taxpayer?
    A:    Because Mexican-Americans have our politicians cowed.

    Q:    Why didn’t the DA’s office start its investigation sooner?
    A:    Because Mexican-Americans have our politicians cowed.

    Q:  Why do few believe this investigation will result in the appropriate punishment of those responsible?
    A:    Because Mexican-Americans have our politicians cowed.

    Q:  Why will our tax millions undoubtedly continue to feed an organization with a track record of fraud, failure, and fiscal irresponsibility?
    A:    Because Mexican-Americans have our politicians cowed.

    When those in authority repeatedly demonstrate an inability to properly exercise it the only sure cure is to deprive them of that authority. End public funding of all types, shield our pathetic leaders from their own weaknesses, and once and for all get these organized thieves out of our tax coffers.

    • Xavier Campos isn’t a disaster because he’s Mexican, he’s a disaster that happens to be Mexican.

      Ultimately MACSA’s leadership failed (coincidently, the CFO was Ben Tan who is Filipino, not Mexican).  They obviously were incompetent in their administration of the agency.  None of them had the qualifications to run an operation of that size or importance. 

      The Mercury News article stated that former board members left and felt the agency was afforded political cover.  I sure hope the DA’s office investigates those connections.  County Sup & former City Councilman Shirakawa and Councilwoman Nora Campos have a reputation for being bulldoggish with cover for pet projects and union contracts (Nora’s husband being Labor leader Neil Struthers).  Former vice mayor and now labor union leader Cindy Chavez should be investigated too. 

      Xavier Campos served as a planning commissioner when MACSA was given approval for building senior housing units.  Was there a conflict of interest?  Was the trade unions his brother in law heads given special status in those contracts?  Did his sister run interference and give quick notice when the investigation and embezzlement came to light? 

      That whole mess stinks to high heaven and I hope that once the election is done the DA doesn’t forget that the community and taxpayer deserve justice.  Throw the book at all of ‘em.  Stealing from programs that serve the old folks and young kids, stealing from teachers and community workers pensions is shameful.  How can they even show their faces in east San Jose?

  6. What does “cowed” mean?

    Campos should be a man and fess up!!!! Stop hiding!!! Stop lying!!! Stop letting your BIG SISTER fight your battles for you!!!

    BE A MAN!!!!

    • That should be some election night party over at Campos headquarters.  I wonder if he’ll have the “celebration” outside of the district he’s trying to claim he’s the heir apparent for like he did with the primary. 

      Its a LOSE/LOSE situation for Campos at this point. There is clearly enough reason to doubt that he has what it takes to be a council person of integrity.  His claim of “wasn’t me” isn’t good enough.  He’s a liar or he’s incompetent.  Hopefully he loses the election outright.  If by some chance he does win, how effective could he ever be?  Take him serious when dealing with matters of fiscal responsibility?  Oh yeah the guy who watched (now close to) $2 million dollars disappear right from under his Chief Operations Officer’s nose?  Yeah he’s a real “winner” alright. 

      Hey Campost, I hope your union buddies end up in the cell right next to you to keep you company.