A Spate of Unethical Practices at the University of California from Former DHS Executives

By Dan Cadman on November 20, 2017

A few days ago, the Daily Californian reported that two senior executives of the University of California (UC) resigned after getting caught having skewed a state auditor's survey of the UC system: "The executives who resigned were Seth Grossman, chief of staff to UC President Janet Napolitano, and Bernie Jones, Napolitano's deputy chief of staff."

After the matter was brought to the Board of Regents, Napolitano issued the type of meaningless "I regret and take full responsibility" apology usually ascribed to politicians, in whose ranks Napolitano neatly fits.

The problem is, this isn't the first time there have been unethical high jinks at UC uncovered by the state auditor, and so the mea culpa comes off as paper thin, insincere, and self-serving.

In April of this year, a story broke in the media about a massive secret slush fund controlled by the UC president's office. According to SFGate, a website of the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper:

The University of California hid $175 million from the public in secret funds while its administrators demanded more money from the state, according to a report released Tuesday by state Auditor Elaine Howle.

Under the leadership of Janet Napolitano, the UC Office of the President amassed millions in the secret reserve funds in part by overestimating how much it needed to run the 10-campus university system — and then spending less than budgeted, the audit said. From 2012 to 2016, the office sought increased funding based on the inflated estimates, not actual spending, according to Howle.

What, you may ask, has all of this to do with immigration matters? Nothing, and everything.

Napolitano was the secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from 2009 to 2013 during the Obama years, when immigration enforcement became so hopelessly screwed up. The newly resigned Grossman was her deputy general counsel. Yes, her deputy general counsel. Napolitano is also a lawyer, it's worth noting. It would appear that they've been skipping their yearly bar association ethical training of late.

Any thinking person has to ask exactly what kind of unethical practices may have gone on during her watch at DHS, with her trusted sidekick (probably one of many such minions) there to cover her tracks, and an acting inspector general at the time who was overtly in the pocket of the DHS brass.

The problem is that we'll never know.