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San Diego D.A. probes school construction contracts

December 23, 2011 | 10:49 am

The San Diego district attorney's office raided the homes of several school officials and construction company employees this week as part of a months-long corruption probe.

Investigators searched the homes of three Sweetwater Union High School board members and four other homes of people with ties to construction companies, Southwestern College and the Sweetwater District. The investigation has been underway since at least April, an official at Southwestern College said.

Southwestern College Board of Trustees Chairwoman Norma Hernandez said investigators have been talking to the board about "construction contracts."

Southwestern College's board and its administration underwent significant turnover earlier in the year amid accusations of corruption involving its former president and potential contractors.

At a meeting Thursday, the board said it was conducting an internal audit of Proposition R construction projects.

"We've detected problems in the bidding process and contract procurement," Hernandez said, declining to elaborate on what the internal audit revealed.

The college released a statement saying that it was implementing several changes to its internal procedures, including a requirement that two college officials review cost proposals on projects and banning employees associated with construction or contracts from accepting gifts or meals.

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-- John Langeler, Fox 5 San Diego

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