2 guilty pleas in Sweetwater Union High School District corruption case

CHULA VISTA - Former Sweetwater Union High School District Superintendent Jesus Gandara and former Sweetwater board member Greg Sandoval pleaded guilty today 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.

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