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A quick guide to Emily Alpert’s rolling coverage examining questionable behavior by San Diego Unified schools trustee Shelia Jackson:
• Does Jackson actually reside in the southeastern San Diego district that elected her?
Over the course of four days, we saw Jackson either coming or going from her daughter’s Kearny Mesa apartment in the morning or evening. Business records show she registered a consulting business to the address in August 2010.
Jackson eventually said that financial troubles had forced her to split time between the Kearny Mesa apartment, which is outside her district, and the Valencia Park home of a longtime educator, which is inside her district. Though she is registered to vote at the Valencia Park home, she could produce little evidence she lived there.
• The story immediately raised a number of issues in its wake, including whether it was appropriate for Jackson to accept free rent from a San Diego Unified employee and whether she should have reported the free rent as a gift.
• Jackson said two women have helped her out during these financial struggles: her daughter Kendra Jackson and the longtime schools educator, Gwendolyn Kirkland, who owns the Valencia Park home.
They both have gotten work from San Diego Unified. And in both cases Jackson voted on giving them work or continuing to do so.
• Kirkland was locked in a bizarre battle over who would take over as principal of Fulton Elementary School in Bay Terraces. Shelia Jackson stepped into the fray, meeting with teachers and staff, as well as voting for Kirkland to be the school’s interim principal. After a process that got reset numerous times, Kirkland didn’t get the permanent position.
• Kendra Jackson works in the school district, reporting to a district manager, as an employee of a consulting company. Shelia Jackson said she didn’t help her daughter get the position, didn’t even know she’d applied and would recuse herself from any future votes. But when the company’s contract came up for renewal last October, Jackson voted to extend its contract by $4.5 million. She also failed to display her usual inquisitiveness, surprising her colleagues.
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