CSULB Quietly Lets Julio Perez Go Amid #MeToo Allegations

By:John Seiler

After one semester teaching in the Chicano and Latino Studies Department, CSU Long Beach let go part-time professor Julio Perez after a community outcry. In 2018 the Orange County Labor Federation fired him as its Executive Director due to sexual harassment allegations.

“Mr. Perez was contracted to teach one online course this past fall, and is no longer with the university,” CSULB Spokesperson Jeff Cook told the Independent after our inquiry. The school’s last day for the fall semester was Dec. 23.

We also asked why Perez still is listed as a professor on the department’s website on the Faculty and Staff page. Here’s a screen shot as of Jan. 11:

Cook replied, “The website listing is an apparent delay in updating content.”

We also asked the status of any investigation. He replied, “There is no investigation of Mr. Perez by the university.” 

Last October, he told the Daily Forty-Niner, the school’s paper, “We are engaged in a detailed review of the matter, and how practices and procedures can change in the future, as appropriate.” So apparently, the “detailed review” also is over.

Department Chair Rigoberto Rodriguez, a close friend of Perez’, did not respond to our inquiries by the time of publication. Rodriguez also is the president of the Santa Ana Unified Board of Education. SAUSD has 58,000 students, half of them young women, Perez’ alleged preferred target for harassment.

Another Perez friend is Anaheim Councilman Jose F. Moreno, also a professor in the Chicano and Latino Studies Department. Here’s a screen shot from the CSULB website:

Allegations against Perez began in late 2017, the time the national #MeToo movement took off with reports of massive abuse of numerous women by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. In early 2020, Weinstein was convicted of rape and sexual abuse and sentenced to 23 years in prison.

The Forty-Niner summarized, “The investigation into the accusations started in mid-October 2017, around the time of the #MeToo movement, after several women spoke up through Facebook posts about being affected by Perez’s non-consensual actions….

“In 2018, the Orange County Labor Federation (OCLF) fired Perez, who was the executive director at the time, due to the multiple sexual harassment testimonies from women in the workplace….

“Ada Briceño, chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Orange County, said Perez’s inappropriate actions remained ‘raw’ in their minds and does not believe it’s “conducive to hold a position as a professor.”

The Anaheim Observer also has been reporting on the allegations against Perez, noting in an article last October, “Prior to resigning, Perez had been Moreno’s appointee to his ‘Welcoming Anaheim’ committee.  Moreno and Perez are both leftist firebrands, and Perez had reportedly urged Moreno to run against liberal Democratic Congressman Lou Correa in 2018. Moreno, who is termed off the Anaheim City Council, is currently pondering making such a run against Correa in 2022.”

The Observer also printed a photo of a Facebook post by a young woman claiming to be one of his victims, in which she detailed her ordeal (it is at the same link) and reported, “Eight Orange County local elected officials and 11 Democratic Party activists – including the chair of the OC Democratic Party – signed an outraged letter to the Dean David Wallace of CSULB’s College of Liberal Arts.”

The letter began, “The individuals signing this letter call upon you to immediately terminate Julio Perez” because he “has been credibly accused of several acts of sexual harassment and misconduct” and “has no place in the classroom or on CSULB’s campus.”

The effort was spear-headed by Garden Grove Councilmember Kim Nguyen (now a candidate for the 2nd Supervisor District) and signed by the following Democrat local elected officials and leaders:

  • Avelino Valencia, Anaheim Councilman;
  • Kim Bernice-Nguyen, Garden Grove Mayor Pro Tem;
  • Connor Traut, Buena Park Mayor;
  • David Peneloza, Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem;
  • Thai Viet Phan, Santa Ana Councilmember;
  • Andrea Marr, Costa Mesa Mayor;
  • Tiffany Ackley, Aliso Viejo Mayor; 
  • Valerie Amezcua, Santa Ana Unified School District Board Member;
  • Ada Briceño, OC Democratic Party Chair.

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