Mesa Community College is one of six schools in nation to offer Apple’s new app development program. The material is also available as a free download on Apple’s iBook store.

Former legislator and political consultant Alfredo Gutierrez said he is stepping down as president of the Maricopa Community Colleges governing board in the wake of an employee investigation that has caused disagreements among board members. 

Gutierrez said he will remain as a board member. He has been board president for nearly 18 months.

“I had told various members I was leaving the presidency in September. But what made me decide sooner is disagreements between myself and board members,” he said. “It was just time. It’s a volunteer, non-paying position and takes up an immense amount of time.”

Gutierrez said he was persuaded to step down now, rather than wait until September, after a recent district investigation into employee complaints raised what he called “differences”  among board members. He did not elaborate on what the differences were. 

The president of the Classified Staff Council, which represents non-faculty employees, made a complaint to the governing board earlier this year, alleging email was monitored, documents were altered and employees were retaliated against in the state’s largest community-college system.


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An investigation by an outside law firm has found no evidence that district policies or laws were broken. 

However, the review did find some “very serious departmental issues within the district.” One of the report’s findings was that there is a lack of trust in the district’s human-resources department by the Classified Staff Council.

Maricopa Community Colleges Chancellor Maria Harper-Marinick said she is reviewing the issues and will take action “where appropriate and in a timely manner.” 

Gutierrez is a well-known Latino community activist. He helped found Chicanos Por La Causa and Valle del Sol community organizations and was an organizer with the United Farm Workers.

He served in the Arizona Senate for 14 years and later formed an influential public-relations and lobbying firm, Jamieson and Gutierrez.

Board member Johanna Haver said she likes Gutierrez and considers him a good friend.

“I don’t agree with him on every issue,” she said, adding she supports his stepping down as president and having a new person lead the board. 

Newly elected board member Laurin Hendrix said he also considers Gutierrez a friend and respects “whatever decision he’s making for whatever reason he’s making it.” 

The board has scheduled a meeting for 8:30 a.m. Saturday to elect a new president.

Reach the reporter at 602-444-8072 or [email protected].


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