Following the Money – New Information & a Correction 

Following the Money – New Information & a Correction

By Robert Haugh

We like breaking news and calling out people in power for doing the wrong thing. But sometimes we make mistakes that we have to correct. Just like when a pro wrestling referee accidentally counts to three.

SanJoseInside.com wrote a story that raised questions about Santa Clara Weekly associate editor and city hall reporter Carolyn Schuk’s questionable journalistic ethics. They highlighted the Weekly’s low standards.

We then reported that Carolyn’s “non-profit received a substantial grant from the City of Santa Clara without going through a formal request for proposal (RFP) process that all other non-profit groups must do. It was a essentially a $12,000 gift to Carolyn’s organization from then City Manager Julio Fuentes according to an informed source.”
We had some of the reporting wrong. The Santa Clara Performing Arts Foundation did not receive the money directly. We regret our error.

But, we’ve learned some new information. The city manager’s discretionary fund apparently moved $12,000 to the cultural commission. Those funds were used to pay performers in the “Triton Free Friday” events. Those were events that Carolyn helped organize, but could not get funded through the regular cultural commission budget process.


This story is still developing and we’ll report more when we know how and who decided to fund the events outside of the cultural commission’s normal budget decision process.

While the events may have been good for the community, this is still a good story about how funds from city hall flowed to an event that a city commission did not fund in its regular budget.
Stay tuned.

Editor’s Note: an attorney helping Carolyn Schuk “pro bono” has written to us that only $9,800 was spent on “Triton Free Friday” events and none of that money was distributed to Carolyn or her organization. We will try and confirm that information. 

6 comments

  1. Good job, Robert. Follow the money is always a great way to report. It uncovered Watergate. Maybe you’ll find something that someone at city hall is trying to hide.

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    • As a reader & community member, I appreciate the retraction & correction. I can’t understand why San Jose Inside’s “Fly” was going after this in the manner it had. Seems something personal. Of all things to attack; someone for providing a community service on a volunteer basis. (I’ve been told that “the Fly” is a surrogate used by Josh Koehn, a named defendant in the lawsuit. Makes you wonder why he’d publish this opinion anonymously.)

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      • Mike, not sure what lawsuit you are referring too. There’s no mention of Josh in the complaint against by the santa Clara weekly. I don’t know much but the Fly clearly Says its opinion by San Jose inside/metro staff.

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      • Robert, when you say it’s “clearly” the opinion of the San Jose inside/metro staff, I would say that’s not a very clear identification.
        As to lawsuit, I guess they are just letters threatening lawsuit. it was linked in a Facebook post that included the letter to the Santa Clara News. It is a letter to Dan Plucrano (Metro) and Josh Koehn (San Jose Inside). It may just be attributing responsibility to Koehn in his position at SJI. I’m not sure what that is.

        Not sure how to attach that as a link, but here’s the address:
        http://www.roussojackel.com/san-jose-inside-robert-haugh-defamed-carolyn-schuk/

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      • Thanks Mike. There’s no lawsuit. Just threatening letters from an attorney. I’m not defending anyone, but “The Fly” is written by Metro/SJI staff. It’s been that way for some time.
        Really it’s no different than the editorials in the Mercury that are staff opinions/editorials.

        I published a correction to what I published that was incorrect. There’s more information forthcoming as well.

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