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Ex-Sweetwater superintendent sentenced in corruption case

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. — A former Sweetwater Union High School District superintendent was sentenced Friday to 60 days in jail and 160 days of home detention for his part in a South Bay political corruption scandal.

GandaraSentence

Jesus Gandara (l) and his attorney, Paul Pfingst (r) at Gandara’s sentencing

Former Sweetwater Superintendent Jesus Gandara pleaded guilty in April to a felony conspiracy charge and a misdemeanor count of failing to report gifts.

After the jail time and home detention, Gandara will be placed on unsupervised probation for three years, which he can serve in at his home in Texas.

Gandara, 57, was among 15 people indicted in 2012 in a probe into a “pay for play” culture between contractors and officials from three school districts.

When the case was filed, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis alleged that for years, public officials regularly accepted what amounted to bribes — trips, dinners and tickets — in exchange for their votes on multimillion- dollar construction projects.

Construction company executive Henry Amigable pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for providing gifts to school board members to influence their votes. A number of other defendants — including former Sweetwater school board members Arlie Ricasa, Greg Sandoval and Pearl Quinones — have also pleaded guilty.

2 comments

  • thechurchofchrismartin

    I am glad to see the dirty dogs who were thieving from the Sweetwater kids get their due justice. But Gandara's attorney, Paul Pfingst must be blown away from the irony of it all because he must realize that the DISTRICT ATTORNEY who charged these defendants with corruption does it herself! Her "pay to play?" Accepting big time dirty money, ILLEGALLY FUNNELED to her campaign from a "foreign national Mexican businessman." We in the South Bay know what that last term REALLY MEANS.

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