San Simeon official’s claims of racism fall flat

January 10, 2024

Daniel De la Rosa


A San Simeon Community Services District (CSD) director accused another board member of racism last year before resigning abruptly. After the district spent $4,900 for an investigation, Director Daniel De la Rosa admitted the investigator would not find any discrimination.

Amid a San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office investigation, San Simeon voters rejected the board majority which had voted to pay $140,000 in legal bills related to alleged conflicts of interest and illegal business practices by the general manager. The election catapulted De la Rosa from a position of power into the board minority.

Shortly afterwards, on April 3, 2023,  De la Rosa resigned alleging racism. He listed three incidents of alleged racism.

The board then hired attorney Jane Heath to investigate De la Rosa’s allegations.

De la Rosa argued an email string between two San Simeon directors and a committee member was racist because it was not also sent to him and then-committee member Miguel Sandoval, who he said is also Hispanic. Sandoval did not allege racism, but later declined to speak with the investigator.

In early 2023, CSD Chair Jacqueline Diamond sent an email response to water and budget committee member Henry Krzciuk allowing him to ask the bookkeeper questions, which she did not forward to other district officials.

In his letter of resignation, De la Rosa accuses the district of racism because he and Sandoval were not given access to the CSD’s bookkeeper in an email to a budget committee member.

However, in a Jan. 27, 2023 email exchange, Diamond requested that all board members have access to the bookkeeper.

“With evidence that the chair did not direct that Mr. De la Rosa or Mr. Sandoval not be given full access to the bookkeeper, and evidence that authorization for access by all board members was explicitly given, it is found more likely than not that such access was not denied by the chair,” according to the investigation report.

In her conclusion, Heath found the allegation of racism could not be sustained.

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Playing the racism card is getting old. In this case, it clearly was not racism.

De la Rosa should pay the $4,900 plus other legal costs back to the disadvantaged district.