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Fox News: 5 San Diego Public School Officials Charged with Corruption

p_page0image4Four current and former public school officials were among those charged Wednesday with accepting tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of lavish meals, theater tickets and hotel stays from businesses seeking construction contracts.
“For years, public officials regularly accepted what amounted to bribes in exchange for their votes on multimillion-dollar construction projects. The corruption was nothing short of systematic,” said San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. A contractor also faces felony counts stemming from the probe of the urban Sweetwater Union High School District.
Authorities said that between 2008 and last year, district officials racked up hundreds of dollars in food and drinks on contractors’ tabs, and were given tickets to the Los Angeles Lakers playoffs, Rose Bowl and to concerts and theater. They did not report the gifts.
Administrators and trustees solicited cash for the children’s beauty pageants or field trips, authorities said. They received Southwest Airlines tickets and a trip to Napa Valley. Shortly after board members received financial favors, contractors were awarded projects from a $644 million voter-approved bond offering, authorities said.
Former Superintendent Jesus Gandara and board member Greg Sandoval face eight counts of perjury and filing false statements. School board members Pearl Quinones and Arlie Ricasa face four felony counts on the same charges.
Henry Amigable, a construction company executive who worked for Sweetwater and Southwestern College, was charged with bribery and improperly influencing elected officials.
They face between four and seven years in state prison if convicted, the district attorney’s office said.
Dumanis said additional charges and defendants were possible, according to U-T San Diego. Based on search warrants served last month, investigators also focused on Southwestern College. The newspaper’s reporting sparked the investigation.

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About Marc X. Carlos

Marc Carlos is a partner and co-founder of Bardsley and Carlos LLP. Mr. Carlos has been practicing criminal law since 1987. He has been a member of both the Los Angeles and the San Diego County Public Defender's office where he was a senior trial deputy focusing primarily on serious felony trials. Mr. Carlos has tried over 140 jury trials and represented thousands of clients in criminal matters. He has tried a variety of complex criminal matters ranging from fraud to murder, including death penalty cases.

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