Cabrillo College hires De La Cerda despite open case

By: Juan Calvillo

Paul De La Cerda, former East Los Angeles College Foundation Dean who is being investigated by the Sheriff’s department, has been hired as a Vice President of Instruction at Cabrillo College. 

De La Cerda took his position at Cabrillo College after his dismissal from ELAC and the Los Angeles Community College District. His position includes being Assistant Superintendent of the Hispanic Serving Institution task force steering committee.

“The HSI Task Force is part of Cabrillo College’s overarching commitment to becoming a Hispanic-Serving Institution,” Cabrillo College’s website said.

LASD Sheriff Detective Mark Manskar, of the Fraud and Cyber Crimes Bureau, said no additional information could be given regarding the case. He said any further information could be obtained from the District Attorney’s office after the case is filed.

“This case is ongoing and the release of any information could compromise this investigation,” Manskar said.

William Boyer, director of communications and external relations for the LACCD, said generally speaking personnel issues cannot be discussed when it comes to the release of De La Cerda. Boyer said he could not discuss the ongoing investigation into alleged wrongdoings or De La Cerda being conducted by the LASD Fraud and Cyber Crimes Bureau.

“The college [ELAC] does not get involved with these matters, therefore, I cannot provide you with an update,” Alberto Roman said of the current investigation, and that he has no comment on De La Cerda’s new position at Cabrillo College. 

Matt Wetstein, president and superintendent at Cabrillo College, said the decision to hire De La Cerda was made using the college’s normal hiring practices. Input on hiring De La Cerda came from Cabrillo colleges community. He said the college was happy to have De La Cerda as part of that community.

“I cannot comment on our personnel decisions, but the circumstances of Paul’s departure from East Los Angeles College were known to me and our board of trustees. Paul resigned from the LACCD in June in order to take his new position here,” Wetstein said.

The position De La Cerda previously held at the ELAC Foundation was that of Dean. Roman said the position would be changed, and it is now the position of Director. “Armond Aghakhanian is the new permanent Director of the ELAC Foundation,” Kristen M. Van Hala, executive assistant for the office of the president of ELAC, said.

The LACCD’s website said the class specifications for a Director of Foundation include the abilities to plan, organize, implement and direct fundraising. It also involves managing the business affairs of the Foundation. 

The LACCD Board of Trustees voted to no longer employ De La Cerda as of March 3.

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