Ex-Sweetwater superintendent Jesus Gandara sentenced

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - A former Sweetwater Union High School District superintendent who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a South Bay political corruption scandal was sentenced Friday in Chula Vista.

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

He was ordered to serve 220 days in jail and will have to complete 120 hours of community service. Gandara will be remanded to County Parole and Alternative Custody (CPAC) after 60 days and will be GPS monitored by the sheriff's department.

Following his sentencing, in which his wife and daughter were present, Gandara was placed in handcuffs and taken away.

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.

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