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15 indicted in corruption case in three San Diego school districts

January 7, 2013 |  4:41 pm

Fifteen people, including current members of two San Diego area school boards and former members of a college board, have been indicted in an alleged corruption scandal involving construction contracts, the San Diego County district attorney announced Monday.

Indicted were board members of the Sweetwater Union High School and San Ysidro school districts, the San Ysidro district superintendent and former board members of Southwestern Community College. Also indicted were the former president of Southwestern Community College, a construction program manager and a bond underwriter.

Five of the 15 were indicted last January. Charges against the 15 include bribery, perjury, filing a false statement and attempting to influence an elected official.

The indictments, brought down by a county grand jury, include allegations of providing free meals, sports tickets and other things in exchange for voting to provide certain contractors with multimillion-dollar contracts under a bond issue approved by voters. The grand jury heard 60 witnesses, prosecutors said.

Dist. Atty. Bonnie Dumanis said that after the initial indictments were issued last year, continued investigation "took us into a much larger, more tangled web of corruption than we originally uncovered."

The case involves the largest set of public corruption charges brought during Dumanis' tenure since six former city of San Diego pension board members were charged in 2006 with conflict of interest. The California Supreme Court dismissed charges against five in 2010, and Dumanis dropped the case against the sixth.


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-- Tony Perry in San Diego