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More fines, reduced charges Carlos R. Davalos | Sat, Apr 26 2014 12:00 PM

A San Diego Superior Court Judge  Tuesday sentenced two former Southwestern College board members to probation, a fine and community service for committing crimes in the Southwestern College corruption case.

Ex-governing board member Jorge Dominguez had a felony charge of being an accessory to a crime reduced to a misdemeanor.

His attorney, Vikas Bajaj, had asked the judge to reduce the crime because he said Dominguez has been cooperative with the District Attorney’s Office throughout the case.

“Mr. Dominguez was always willing to be truthful,” Bajaj said. “Mr. Schorr was actually present at his house. I believed he talked to my client. I don’t think Mr. Schorr has anything bad to say about my client other than the fact he failed to complete his Form 700.”

Bajaj also said that his client’s initial lawyer did not fully represent him,and said if he was properly represented  Dominguez wouldn’t have been brought into the case.

Schorr agreed that Dominguez has been cooperative since the beginning but suggests that he still committed a crime.

“We do feel the conduct was incorrect conduct,” Schorr said.

Dominguez was ordered to complete 80 hours of community service and must pay a $4,995 fine, which he will do at $50 a month.

Bajaj unsuccessfully argued to the judge for a reduced fine for Dominguez because Dominguez has suffered a financial hardship.

Espana said after a year Dominguez has the opportunity to expunge his misdemeanor.

Former governing board member Yolanda Salcido was also sentenced  Tuesday to three years probation and 120 hours of community service for filing a false document. She also has to pay a $4,995 fine.

Salcido was credited with having performed 40 hours of community service.

Salcido stated in a letter to the judge that she didn’t purposefully commit a crime and as a result she said she suffered the consequences.

“Unfortunately, my unintended error in judgment not only immensely hurt my family, virtually ruined me financially, destroyed my reputation and tarnished a lifetime of good public service, but it had profound,  far-reaching consequences,” the letter states.

Because of a scheduling conflict,  former San Ysidro Superintendent Manual Paul received a continuance to June 24.

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sosocal Says:

Sat, Apr 26 2014 08:29 PM

So the question that remains in my mind is this: are there procedures in place now that will prohibit this type of behavior? Deter this type of behavior? Are board members now completely aware of all forms that need to be filled out? Of the maximum amount they may receive in "gifts"? Can the public be reasonably assured that decisions will be made for the right reasons, and not because nice dinners were enjoyed?

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