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U-T San Diego: Move surprises corruption case lawyers

A judge’s unexplained transfer of the South County schools corruption case to a Chula Vista courtroom has surprised lawyers on both sides.

Defense attorney Marc Carlos, who represents recently re-elected Sweetwater school board member Pearl Quiñones on bribery and other charges, said he would have preferred the case remain in San Diego.

“I went to the school board meeting they had out there on Third Avenue and the amount of bad blood from some of the parents there really kind of filled the entire gymnasium,” Carlos said. “I don’t know if the defendants can get a fair trial there, given the fact that most of the citizens have heard about the case through the news and may have kids or relatives in the district.”

The case was transferred by order Friday from downtown San Diego to the Chula Vista courthouse, where Judge Stephanie Sontag will now preside over the case. Court spokeswoman Karen Dalton said hearings scheduled to take place this Wednesday at the downtown San Diego court will now be held in Chula Vista.

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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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