MCCCD denies due process, fires whistleblower

MCCCD Board member Pearson says whistleblower denied due process

Miguel Corzo gave three decades of his professional life to the Maricopa County Community College District, and on Tuesday the Governing Board gave him his pink slip. Corzo, one of the whistleblowers in the District’s IT department was made the scapegoat by the administration.

miguel-corzoMCCCD Governing Board member Debra Pearson said she was ashamed to be a part of the administration’s decision. “I was willing to resign from this board because of this, rather than be guilty of association with the crap that’s gone on here,” said Pearson.

After keeping the public in the dark for months, finally in 2013, District officials announced the data breach, which put at risk 2.4 million students and staff members.

Under the leadership of Chancellor Dr. Rufus Glasper, the District has spent tens of millions of dollars when according to sources, had they listened to the warning of Corzo and Earl Mansour the security breach could have been easily avoided.

According to Corzo, the MCCCD administration is holding him responsible for failing to do a job that wasn’t his to do and holding him responsible for systems, which were not under his control.

According to the administration, Corzo was aware of a document created by the security consulting firm of Stach and Liu, that was hired to help uncover the full extent of the incident, identify mitigation strategies and attempt to identify if any data had been taken, but did not make the administration aware of the report.

However, according Martin (Marty) Gang, who was employed by MCCCD, and is now the Assistant Vice Chancellor Information Technology / CISO, at the Yosemite Community College District, Corzo not only had not seen the document, but Corzo’s supervisor; George Kahkedjian, “firmly stated that he did not want to involve individuals who had no responsibility for the compromised systems.” Gang wrote, “That meant that Steve Creswell, Miguel Corzo, Jon Clark and Keli Cole were not provided a copy of the report.”

Gang wrote the Board the email, dated July 20, 2014, after he received the news that the administration intended to terminate the employment of Miguel Corzo and because “MCCCD may have incorrect or flawed information.”

The Governing Board has appeared to be willing to operate on incorrect or flawed information. The majority of the Board have asked few questions in public and everything is being handled behind closed doors in executive sessions.

In January 2011 a “security incident” was identified involving the main Maricopa web server, according to Gang. Authorities discovered that a known hacker site was offering login account information for sale from MCCCD. “The main web server was seriously compromised, all the way down to root access,” Gang advised the Board in his email.

In 2013 when the second and larger breach took place, Corzo was no longer assigned to any supervisory or database duties.

“I went above and beyond to save [the school] from this embarrassment,” he told the Governing Board on Tuesday night. “We warned the organization not once, not twice, but over 12 times in 2012 alone. Now, the same employee who warned them is being thrown under the bus,” Corzo pleaded with the Board. “I am shocked and ashamed of the behavior of the administration. I don’t understand the need to make me a scapegoat, a sacrificial lamb,” he pleaded before the Board.

His pleas fell on deaf ears. The Board president Dana Saar, who has carried the water for Glaspar, told Pearson that her comments were out of line when she accused the District of violating Corzo’s due process rights.

The Board then voted 3-2 to terminate his employment. Three decades of loyal employment.

Supporters are urging Corzo to pursue a wrongful termination lawsuit against the District.

Related articles:

2.4 million Maricopa County Community College employees, students exposed

The Bulging Cash Hoard of MCCCD

MCCCD policies ignored by Glasper, staff

5 Comments on "MCCCD denies due process, fires whistleblower"

  1. putting gasoline on the fire to put it out…

  2. CYA of the administration with the help of the board is in full swing. I see more taxpayer dollars being spend on a wrongful termination lawsuit and what for??? To protect an incompetent administration that has three board votes. Anyone remember PCC and their board?? Seems that the operate in a parallel universe and have no sense of the real world and its problems. Then they want to fire whoever tells them that they have no clothes on.

  3. Call to Action | July 24, 2014 at 7:02 am |

    It appears to be a disease that is unique to people elected to educational Boards. Somehow they believe that it is their responsibility to protect themselves and administrators from responsibility for the operations of the schools. Students, Teachers and Employees just don’t matter.

  4. Common Sense Is Dead | July 24, 2014 at 1:53 pm |

    Can three people show any more how stupid they are? Why does this mentality even exist? Sue them!

  5. Corporate America….. It is so easy to just blame the little guys.

    I have personally seen the letters written to upper management. I have absolutely no idea how someone can vote to fire an individual who has requested for security breaches to be addressed.

    In this country, $$$$$ tend to win. Power tends to control their minions. As an employee at Streamline, I know that if I made a mistake which caused a security breach in our company, I would be fired and blamed for the security breach. How in the world can you expect my direct manager to just say, YES, I ignored every email and document given to me.

    I have spoken with our CEO several times. I often ask him what he thought about my proposal or idea. He is extremely honest and tells me his opinions. 99% of his opinion is that he was too busy to actually read it and if he gets time, he will take a look. Not because he does not appreciate or respect my opinion, but he is trying to manage a group of people with very specific needs.

    It is my opinion that these letters were put aside. I now work for a small business where I have access to the CEO. He came from corporate America and understand the bureaucracy that caused him to leave. When something breaks now, he makes the decision on what to do. Obviously, it is not going to be him! In corporate America, imagine the layers of management that you would even have to penetrate in order for them to take blame.

    This is a complete joke. I hope people who read this article are not blinded by a decision based on the power of management in corporate America. Ask for the facts. Ask for the documents that were given to management. Ask for the video that was on TV which explained everything that happened. I am not a genius but I can easily come to the right conclusion. Hmmmmmmmm, let’s blame that guy. He probably will just walk away. Guess what, he didn’t. It took months and a board of individuals to make a decision. A BOARD? Talk about controlling results.

    Anyone ever had an HOA board for their home? Isn’t it strange that they seem to always pass and approve what they want to pass and approve? This is not a coincidence. The board is carefully chosen by people who are A) Easily swayed or B) On board with the leaders! Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do.

    Are you going to rebel against your HOA? I got fined one time for having a window in my garage that was too transparent. Where I live, you have to get your designs pre-approved. The HOA decided to fine me for something that was pre-approved by their own architectural committee. Who by the way, charge $100 to review and consider any changes you want to make in your home. What have we come to! Mini-governments?

    Now imagine Maricopa county schools. How in the world can they take the blame for a security breach. Are you kidding? They would lose so much money from potential students that it could seriously impact their “business”. Yes, “business”. At the end of the day, everything is a “business”. Make more money, and more money…… If something breaks, business has to go on. We need to find someone to blame. In this case, the scapegoat did not run. It stood and fought as long as it could until the bureaucratic system successfully and as professionally as possible kicked him out.

    FACTS DON’T LIE. FACTS! A signed piece of paper, dated and handed to a manager. WHAT? Can corruptness be that strong within our school system. Welcome to the Maricopa School System of Finger Pointing. I am surprised they did not find a foreign student and drop the blame on him. That may have not received as much fight back. Unfortunately, Miguel knew the truth and he tried to stand up for his employees and for his job. Too bad Miguel, you got ran over by a finger pointer who did not want to lose his amazing job.

    I hope this is not the end of Miguel’s mission to expose the truth. He represents what this country is about. Freedom of speech. You can fire someone, but you can’t get rid of the truth by simply firing someone. I wish expletives were allowed in these comments, but let’s be professional. Maricopa Schools needs to dig down and represent our state with truth, honor and respect. Make a difference for this state, don’t be like every other corporation in this country who blames the little guy!

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