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Former Sweetwater Superintendent, Board Member Plead Guilty to Conspiracy

Former superintendent Jesus Gandara and former Sweetwater board member Greg Sandoval will be sentenced in June.

Former Sweetwater Union High School District Superintendent Jesus Gandara (left) at a 2012 court hearing. Photo credit: Albert Fulcher
Former Sweetwater Union High School District Superintendent Jesus Gandara (left) at a 2012 court hearing. Photo credit: Albert Fulcher

Former Sweetwater Union High School District Superintendent Jesus Gandara and former Sweetwater board member Greg Sandoval pleaded guilty Friday to a felony conspiracy charge and a misdemeanor count of failing to report gifts they received.

Gandara, 57, and Sandoval, 60, were among 15 people indicted in 2012 in a probe into a "pay for play" culture between contractors and officials from three school districts. They will be sentenced in June.

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 and Pearl Quinones -- have also pleaded guilty.

—City News Service

Libi Uremovic April 06, 2014 at 08:17 AM
conspiracy - means they made their deals in the back room then decided what stories to tell the public....sound like a scenario you've practiced multiple times ib city elected and appointed officials...??
Tom Summers April 06, 2014 at 09:51 AM
Yes, it does! When will they be called to account?
Mark April 06, 2014 at 10:18 AM
Can we just hang them off of a bridge and let cars use them as a piñata? Totally inexcusable.
Ed Kravitz April 06, 2014 at 12:54 PM
Good thing there's no corruption in local government!

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