Las Vegas attorney Jesus Lopez left as Luna Community College’s presidential search committee chairman last summer, alleging that three members of the Board of Trustees had already settled on a candidate.
But until last week, he never publicly identified the candidate in question to the Optic. He said he had been referring to Las Vegas City Schools Superintendent Pete Campos, who is also a state senator representing Las Vegas.
He said upon a recent examination of the five finalists, he determined that Campos “towered” over the others. A couple of weeks ago, Lopez himself endorsed Campos for the top position at Luna.
In July, Lopez resigned as both search committee chairman and the school’s attorney.
“I resigned as chairman of the presidential search committee because I will not be a party to a farce and a charade. The people deserve better,” he said in a statement in July.
“I will not tolerate the penchant for secrecy and stealth, which some of the board members insist upon,” he stated. “It is not healthy for Luna, and unless these three board members change their views on what a public institution is about, we’re in for hard times at Luna Community College.”
Even before Lopez’s resignation, speculation was rampant on campus that Campos would be the next president. Two years earlier, Campos sought an attorney general’s opinion on whether a state senator could serve as a community college president; the attorney general gave the green light.
Campos didn’t submit his name for the presidential search at first; in fact, the committee had already scheduled interviews with semifinalists when Campos decided to apply.
When a finalist dropped out in December, Campos’ name was added as a candidate.
A couple of weeks ago, Lopez said in a statement that Campos was the best candidate for the job. He said any contrary views he previously held were unfounded.
Last week, he still wouldn’t say which three trustees originally had Campos in mind as the president.
Trustees have always said that no one had an inside track.