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No time for crime Allison K. Sampité-montecalvo | Fri, Mar 01 2013 12:25 PM

A man charged by the District Attorney's office with a misdemeanor in a South Bay corruption case was given probation this morning in court.

At a sentencing hearing, San Diego Superior Court Judge Michael T. Smyth ruled that Henry Amigable would receive three years of probation, a $1,000 fine and 100 hours of community service beginning in August to be completed within six months.

“I think his underlying conduct is serious and needs to be addressed,” Smyth said, adding that his role as an employee rather than a construction compnay owner merited reduced consequences.

Smyth said he took letters written by community members and former work colleagues in support of Amigable into consideration when making his ruling.

Amigable, 48, who previously faced felony bribery charges was looking at approximately four years in prison if convicted. However, he pleaded guilty in March 2012 to offering something of value to a member of the governing board of a school district.

He won contracts with Southwestern College and the Sweetwater Union High School District while working for Gilbane Building Co. and Seville Construction Services.

Amigable’s defense attorney Dan Greene told Smyth his client has accepted full responsibility for his actions.

“He has done everything in his power to make amends,” Greene said today in court.

Amigable testified before a county grand jury late last year, when DA Bonnie Dumanis brought fresh indictments against new and old defendants in a case with 15 defendants allegedly involving “pay-for-play” conduct with multi-million dollar deals where contractors paid thousands of dollars in entertainment for officials.

Deputy District Attorney Leon Schorr echoed Greene’s sentiment regarding Amigable’s cooperation with the DA.

“As far as we could find this is his only criminal conduct,” Schorr said.

Amigable has been out of work since the summer of last year, due to his pending case.

“I believe Judge Smyth saw the case for what it was,” Greene said after the hearing. “He’s always been a law-abiding citizen up until this case.”

Greene said his client simply made bad judgment calls in maintaining the relationships he had with elected officials and participating in “wine and dine” conduct.

“That is as we have learned, criminally wrong,” Greene said.

Greene said his client is looking to put this behind him and begin serving his community once again.

“He needs to move on with his life,” Greene said.

The other defendants, with ties to three different school districts, are scheduled for arraignment in the South Bay courthouse on April 12 in department 16.


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sosocal Says:

Wed, Mar 06 2013 10:22 AM

Gordo, Gordo, Gordo, still learning how to press buttons?

Bertha-bashing isn't going to solve your problems, as Bertha Lopez is not the cause of your problems. Only you know who is the root cause of all your problems, but the rest of us can hazard a guess.

The time is drawing nigh when we will all learn a bit more of how Sweetwater does business, and I hope that justice will prevail. I pray that justice will prevail.

Gordo Says:

Tue, Mar 05 2013 08:50 PM

Bertha Lopez has 19 FELONY and Misdemeanor indictments against her. The Community can not wait until Amigable testifies against Bertha Lopez. The Community can not wait for Lopez's trail. The Community looks forward to replacing her on the School Board.

Gordo Says:

Tue, Mar 05 2013 01:14 PM

Bertha Lopez has 19 FELONY and Misdemeanor indictments against her. The Community can not wait until Amigable testifies against Bertha Lopez. The Community can not wait for Lopez's trail. The Community looks forward to replacing Lopez on the School Board. Hopefully sooner than later!

sosocal Says:

Sat, Mar 02 2013 12:02 PM

Thanks for this article, Ms. Sampite-montecalvo; keeping the public informed on all the corruption cases in Sweetwater, SWC and San Ysidro school districts must keep you busy! But we are very grateful for every scrap of news we can get.

Thank you anniej for the McCann update. He is true to form, isn't he? When given the opportunity to do the right thing, he simply does not do it--because when he weighs things out, his own personal gain is always the winner.

Guess he is counting on lots of donations in amounts over $750...tell me again, what is the lag time in getting the donation and reporting the donation? Can a candidate's books be opened up via the freedom of information act?

When will the public be able to have confidence that these school districts are using bond and other funds responsibly? How can we get through to the out-of-control board members, superintendents and hired consultants that it is not ok to:

1. Plan to build housing using funds that are for education;

2. Tear down perfectly good and reasonably new buildings in the middle of campus to build an amphitheater!!! (Refer to Southwestern College's new and completely insane plans, the result of hiring expensive consultants who ironically seem to lack any shred of intelligence and/or common sense).

3. Ignore the public's reasonable and constitutional requests for input, information and responses when the public is footing the bill for all that these districts are doing.


Anything else is a clear indication that there is fraud, waste and abuse going on. Which must come to an end.

anniej Says:

Fri, Mar 01 2013 07:27 PM

Even after all of the alleged corruption and this guilty plea - John McCann, Arlie Ricasa, and Pearl Quinones refused to pass a new resolution that would have prevented a replay of stories such as this. While Mccann stated their were holes in the proposed resolution - the fact is the resolution speaks for itself - NO HOLES.

It is a shame that Mccann is more concerned with stopping in (not actually attending) high school functions in attempt to promote John Mccann, he was observed this week by many parents, actually asking for the mic so he could clamor up on stage to address the audience - as soon as he completed his self promo - he was GONE! OUTTA THERE! Perhaps we would be better served if he were replaced with a person who did their due diligence as a board member and actually READ board agenda items.

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