Stan “Data” Dobbs was terminated with cause
following Wednesday night’s Hayward school
HAYWARD | An investigation into now-former Hayward Superintendent Stan “Data” Dobbs details a calculating and controlling administrator with a volcanic temper, a bullying backstabber even to his most ardent supporters.
“Dobbs is inherently dishonest about his guilt when he makes mistakes or does wrong,” according to the investigator’s findings released Thursday. “He never admits when he is at fault. He deflects the blame to other around him, sometimes to the very people that stood up for him.”
The lengthy report was released a day after the Hayward School Board of Trustees voted, 3-0, to fire the superintendent with cause. The findings describe a wide-ranging number of transgressions by Dobbs, including a bid to circumvent the school board’s oversight role by awarding a contract to a former Hayward councilmember worth up to $40,000; and lying about his knowledge of the outreach that brought former football player and alleged rapist Ray McDonald to a speak before at-risk Tennyson High School students last February.
The report also highlights Dobbs’ complete lack of awareness over the scope of the school district’s worsening Measure L school bond budget; and his involvement in allowing school board member John Taylor to improperly use school district resources for his past city council campaign.
In addition, a tawdry years-long affair between Dobbs and a Hayward school district employee is described in detail and includes an allegation that Dobbs battered the woman during an intimate moment. The investigator determined the affair, indeed, occurred, but Dobbs explained away the affair in “fantastic” detail, saying it was a conspiracy hatched by school board member and rival Luis Reynoso; Dobbs’ paramour; and her then-husband to discredit him.
“Dobbs has an explosive temper,” wrote forensic investigator Steve Hummel, “and fails to take responsibility for these outbursts.” According to the report, Dobbs’ volatile personality produced numerous incidents of aggression. For instance, Dobbs repeatedly screamed profanities at a new district employee and slammed the office door of a female employee so hard that it broke a picture frame nailed to the wall. Dobbs routinely described his outbursts as merely “expressing my concern,” the investigator noted. Dobbs also displayed his anger towards the investigator, too, calling him an “asshole,” in a response to what may have been a question referring to Dobbs’ affair. (Many of the names in the report are redacted) “It really startled me as I saw the anger in his eyes. I mentally reviewed my options in case he became violent. I sat back and kept quiet while looking at him,” said Hummel, the investigator.
Shortly after Dobbs was named superintendent in the summer of 2013, former Hayward Councilmember Olden Henson invited Dobbs to live in his home, according to the report. Henson told the investigator Dobbs spent about six weeks living with him and his wife. However, Dobbs’ employment contract stipulated that he receive $7,500 for moving and living expenses associated with his relocation to Hayward from his previous job in San Diego. Dobbs never reported the gift of housing on a state-mandated Statement of Economic Interest form. Dobbs said he sporadically stayed at Henson’s home only over a two-week period, while also checking into a hotel in Union City about 10 times, said the report. Henson told the investigator that Dobbs also chipped in $180 for various house expenses. During this time, said Henson, he and Dobbs began conversations about establishing a “Made in Hayward Foundation,” in which Henson would eventually take the lead in creating. Dobbs denied these conversations took place at this time and instead, Dobbs told the investigator it was Taylor who recommended Henson for establishing the foundation.
Ultimately, Henson was given an expert consulting contract at the behest of Dobbs worth up to $40,000. However, school board approval of the expenditure on Oct. 14, 2014 appeared to have been buried in a six-page budget document that listed Henson as a “substitute” teacher. The expenditure report was submitted by the school district’s head of Human Resources Leti Salinas, the wife of Hayward Councilmember Mark Salinas.
“[The] Board members did not realize that they had approved a special Expert Consulting hiring,” said the report. Furthermore, Henson’s suspicions that Dobbs was having an affair while staying at their home was beginning to drive a wedge in their relationship. Henson and his wife are known to be devoutly religious. At one point, Dobbs’ wife questioned over the phone whether he was having an affair with a district employee. “Dobbs was trying to convince her that he had not had an affair with the district employee,” the report said. “Dobbs handed the phone to [redacted] without warning while telling his wife that [redacted] would vouch for him. [Redacted] stated that he felt extremely uncomfortable and that this was the beginning of the end of their relationship.”
RAY MCDONALD AT TENNYSON
The singular event that kickstarted the school district’s early investigation into Dobbs was the curious decision earlier this year to invite Ray McDonald, a former 49ers defensive end accused of raping an intoxicated woman, to address about 200 at-risk students at Tennyson High School. At the time, McDonald’s high-profile trial had not yet started in nearby Santa Clara County. When the story broke in March, Dobbs denied knowledge of the appearance and later appeared to place blame on the Hayward Promise Neighborhood, a federal education program to help disadvantage youth. He then tried to pin the appearance on the then-principal of Tennyson High School. In the report, Dobbs said, “It wasn’t my fault McDonald got to speak.” He then laid blame again on Hayward Promise Neighborhood and another. “[Redacted] knew about McDonald’s background from the very start and hid it from him,” the investigator wrote. “Dobbs wants to be in control of everything he touches,” the investigator concluded. “It is more likely than not that Dobbs knew about the McDonald event…”
THE PRINT SHOP
Similar to a previous report on Taylor’s misuse of a school district print shop to create personal campaign signs at significant discount for his recent city council run, the investigator found that Dobbs was aware of Taylor’s actions and may have even initially encouraged the use of the print shop. In an interview with the investigator, Dobbs threw Taylor under the bus. “When the print shop usage came to light, Dobbs shook his head and said how stupid Taylor had been to do such a thing,” the investigator wrote. “He tried to completely distance himself from Taylor.” Dobbs also claimed that Taylor listed him as the city council campaign’s treasurer without his permission. A signature is required for the Form 410 used to declare a campaign committee, but Hummel said Thursday the original, unredacted copy of the signature no longer exists with the Hayward City Clerk’s office. Therefore, at this time, there is no way of knowing whether Taylor may have forged Dobbs’ name on the document.
MEASURE L FINANCING
Supporters of Dobbs often touted his business and promotional acumen over the years for raising the morale of students, teachers and administrators. But, the report describes Dobbs as oblivious to the growing financial problems that surround ballooning cost overruns associated to Measure L, the $229 million school bond approved by Hayward voters in 2014. Dobbs said he relied on the assistant superintendent of business services and another employee to keep him abreast of Measure L projects. He also relied on contractor’s reports, he told the investigator.
Dobbs, however, had no idea how much over budget the Measure L projects had become, stating he believed it was between $10 million and $12 million in the red. “I asked him if it would surprise him to learn Measure L was way more than $10 million over budget,” the investigator wrote. “He replied that it would surprise him a lot. He had no idea.” Measure L is actually around $35 million over budget, Board President Lisa Brunner said Thursday.
The investigator also found that Dobbs and a school district employee were involved in an extramarital affair. The three-year romance began in 2012 when Dobbs was the head of the school district’s business department, the woman told the investigator, and lasted through January 2015. The revelation became pertinent, investigator Hummel said Thursday, after Dobbs accused school board member Luis Reynoso, along with the woman and her husband of conspiring to discredit him. Dobbs also denied the affair ever occurred. However, the investigator found significant evidence that the affair did exist, including evidence of emails found on Dobbs’ school district laptop linking him to the affair.
The woman was also able to describe the interior of Dobbs’ apartment, including one peculiar detail: that he had decorated it with lawn furniture. Unwittingly, Dobbs independently corroborated the description in an interview with the investigator. Dobbs also asserted that he had never invited school employees to his place. Other times, the couple often met at a Motel 6 in Union City, the report said.
Dobbs, though, labeled the woman a “nut” who sent him “poems, pictures and personal notes” and who “stalked him continually,” said the report. But, later, Dobbs admitted the woman appeared at his doorstep wearing a “trench coat crying her eyes out.” This is how she became aware of the furnishings in his apartment, Dobbs said.
Then, in what the investigator labeled a “fantastic story,” Dobbs said the woman continued to cry before admitting that Reynoso “had conspired with her husband to set Dobbs up in a sexual scandal to discredit him.” Dobbs added that he did not report the accusation to the police because “What could you report? Somebody conspiring to help you lose your job?… What could I report? A beautiful [redacted] woman is trying to solicit—is trying to, you know, you know… No.”
In two statements, signed under penalty of perjury, the husband and wife, now divorced, scoffed at Dobbs’ allegation. The woman said the affair was a mutual relationship between consenting adults and not a case of sexual harassment. “Dobbs was very careful to keep the relationship secret because he was married.” She added, Dobbs’ claim of a conspiracy is “absolutely false.”
In the Summer of 2014, once the woman and her husband had divorced over the affair and other marital problems, she said, Dobbs once became “angry and jealous of me being free from my marriage and open to seeing other people.” While, in what she described as an intimate moment, Dobbs “became very aggressive and hit me to the point that I jumped out of bed and defended myself. I told him to stop and to never hit me again.” For all intents and purposes, this was the end of their relationship, she said.
The ex-husband said he had never spoken to anyone else at the school district and had only contacted Dobbs in 2012 to confront him about the affair. Dobbs denied the affair to the husband. However, the investigator was able to locate an email from Dobbs to the woman that read, “Your husband called me. He knows. Fix your shit.”