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Is this the end of Luis Acle’s political career in San Diego? Who knows, he’s gone down before and gotten back up. (Feel free to consult our in-depth profile of Acle for a refresher of the beginning, middle and beginning of the end of his public influence.)

Regardless, I was a little surprised at the heap of crud the Union-Tribune threw on Acle today with a “don’t-let-the-door-hit-you-on-the-way-out-you-jerk” editorial.

I mean, this is some shameless stuff.

In a piece titled “Good riddance,” the U-T editorial board cried out for new, strong leadership after Acle’s demise.

Here’s one of the two reasons the U-T gives to justify its outrage with the man now:

Given his checkered financial record, Acle will not be missed. In 2004, a federal tax court ordered him to pay $48,500 in taxes and penalties for unreported income.

Let’s see, the court ordered Acle to pay that fine in the summer of 2004. Was the U-T upset then? Nope.

The editorial board endorsed Acle’s campaign for the election in November.

Let’s look back to Oct. 15, 2004. Again, this is after Acle’s tax struggles and strange international dealings came to light. What was the board’s take on the presumptive school board leader?

In District D, we favor Luis Acle over Ben Hueso. Born in Mexico City, Acle’s life experience should inspire the district’s Hispanic students. He came to this country and began to learn English at age 13. He earned degrees from San Diego State University and Stanford and worked his way through a succession of jobs, including a stint in the Reagan administration as an associate director for public liaison in the White House. His no-nonsense approach to education as a substitute teacher in the city schools has had a positive effect on students, especially in alternative schools. As a father of two students at San Diego High School, Acle has a strong interest in the district’s reforms succeeding, particularly at the secondary level.

One endorsement wasn’t enough. Two weeks later, the editorial board reiterated its strong endorsement of Acle and two other candidates for school board:

The enmity among board members could be eased enormously on Nov. 2 if voters elect Miyo Reff, Luis Acle and Sharon Whitehurst-Payne. They would bring fresh perspectives and a determination to move the district forward. The trio would preserve the parts of Superintendent Alan Bersin’s multifaceted reform program that are working, and also make needed corrections to accelerate student achievement.

That’s not all. Acle, with not even a year in office, surprised everyone and decided to run for City Council, abandoning his commitment to reform at the district. Who had his back? The U-T editorial board, of course, endorsed his City Council bid.

Acle, president of the San Diego Unified School Board, is capable, in our view, of standing up to the heavy union pressure that seeks to maintain the discredited status quo at City Hall. What’s more, he would be a reliable vote to advance Sanders’ plans.

Now it’s “good riddance?”

Surely they have other reasons for turning on him. Right? The editorial board briefly summarizes the San Diego Ethics Commission complaint against the man. The editorial board has always derided the Ethics Commission and its mission. And they never seemed to care about the investigation into Acle until now.

Acle is a strange public figure with some major problems ahead. His leadership has indeed been questionable. But the U-T waited until he was truly down and out before deciding to kick him.

SCOTT LEWIS

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