SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – John Berchielli is running for Twin Rivers School Board Trustee as a convicted felon, who, according to published reports, is still on probation.
The candidate was convicted on marijuana felonies, child endangerment for having his daughter near a grow operation, and fighting charges of welfare fraud. And, these legal troubles are as recent as 2010.
“If you’re a felon, you should not be working at a school district, no matter what,” said parent Cynde Koinzan.
Koinzan, who says she’s already having trouble keeping her son away from marijuana, says she doesn’t want Berchielli to be a role model for her kids.
“It sends the wrong message to kids that it’s ok to do it,” said Berchielli. “And it’s not.”
The school district says because of Berchielli’s criminal past he’s restricted to spending 10 hours a week on campus, and cannot be alone with a child.
Roberta Marquis is a strong supporter of Berchielli, and says her children are doing better because of the school board candidate.
“I walk the streets asking people to vote for him,” said Marquis.
But after recent controversies involving the police department and alleged corruption, the Twin Rivers Teachers Union says the last thing the district needs is a convicted felon on probation as a trustee.
“Everybody should get a second chance, but some of the stuff is 2007, 2010,” said a John Ennis, Twin Rivers Teachers Union. “I think a little more time needs to go by, you would think.”