On Friday, the board sent out a statement saying it would interview the two finalists chosen by the committee – and up to another three of its choosing from among the other applicants. “Now, we feel excluded,” said Jim Newman, president of the Rio Hondo College Faculty Association, who was part of the screening committee. “Here’s the thing: If the board felt the candidate pool we sent to them was insufficient, then why not suspend the process and \ to bring in more candidates?” Newman asked. “Why dip down into the pool of candidates that were passed over by a significant representation of the community and the college?” Board President Maria Elena Martinez said Friday she has yet to hear of complaints from the committee about the decision. But ultimately, “We didn’t violate any procedures. We accepted \ recommendations, but we also did go back and pull some more applicants,” Martinez said. “We have a potential president in that pool – maybe it’s one of their finalists, maybe it’s one we’ve asked to come up,” she added. “But we’ve done everything possible to search for the best candidate. And we are going to proceed.” The college also released the list of finalists Friday. They are: Daniel Castro, who most recently served as Riverside City College president; Della Condon, assistant superintendent/vice president of instruction at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton; Ted Martinez Jr., former president of Grossmont Community College in El Cajon; Monte Perez, vice president of student services at Golden West College in Huntington Beach; and Rajen Vurdien, vice president for instruction at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo. [email protected] (562) 698-0955 Ext. 3051160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WHITTIER – With just about a month to go before the semester ends, Rio Hondo College trustees say they are set to interview a handful of top candidates who are vying for the campus’ top leadership post. But the search process itself has now come under fire by Rio Hondo employees, who say they feel slighted in the way the board has chosen the final pool of candidates, who will be interviewed during a closed-session meeting Thursday. Trustees had initially asked its screening committee – a large group of faculty, staff, administrators, students and community members – to choose between three and five finalists for the president/superintendent position, which was vacated in December by Rose Marie Joyce. But the screening committee said only two candidates met their standards, and only passed those two names on to the board for interviews.