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Two more guilty pleas Robert Moreno | Thu, Apr 24 2014 05:15 PM

Two more defendants involved in a pay-for-play scandal that engulfed three school districts pleaded guilty Thursday to one misdemeanor charge each.

Sweetwater District Board President Jim Cartmill went into court Thursday facing a slew of felony charges that ranged from bribery to a conflict of interest but all of that was erased as he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of accepting gifts over the state limit.

Trustee Bertha Lopez also pleaded to a misdemeanor for the same charge. She also faced several charges that included bribery and perjury.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Ana Espana said both defendants can continue serving on the governing board.

The Sweetwater District released a statement stating: “While this is a personal legal matter and the district will not comment on the specifics of the case, the district is pleased that these legal matters have come to a conclusion. We hope that at this time the entire district and community will continue to focus of the achievement of students in the district.”

The district’s statement further adds that their legal counsel is reviewing the nature of the plea deals because the judge is letting Cartmill and Lopez stay on the board.

If either defendant were to resign from the board, the board would be at less than a quorum and wouldn’t be able to operate.

Sweetwater Superintendent Dr. Ed  Brand previously said that if the district did not have a quorum then the San Diego County Office of Education would step in and appoint its own board members until the district fills the vacated seats.

Cartmill has  a June 3 sentencing date while Lopez will be sentenced June 9.

Seville Construction Services President Jeff Flores is the lone defendant in the case.

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Erupting Says:

Sat, Apr 26 2014 10:41 AM

Driving,could you be more obvious!

drivingabusinaGillysuit Says:

Fri, Apr 25 2014 05:15 PM

AnnieJ and Bernardo, you're both so far off.......

Bernardo vasquez Says:

Fri, Apr 25 2014 12:35 PM

Drivingabusinagillysuit, you sound like either you are John McCann or a spouse or close personal friend. You should know that when you are in public office, you open yourself to criticism.

Facts are facts and they can be documented through your actions, votes, etc.

Although you can threaten by filing restraining orders, have your attorney send cease and desist letters, and other intimidation tactics to deter criticism, again facts are facts.

Nobody is trying to assisinate your character. They are just trying to get facts out about your actions, votes and support of a very unpopular superintendent.

Those are my opinions only of course!!

anniej Says:

Fri, Apr 25 2014 07:35 AM

driving abusinaGillysuit - veiled threat From a sitter on the dais? Facts are facts and opinions are opinions - Those opinions fall under freedom of speech. Last time I checked that freedom, and many others are what my father and millions of others have fought for.

But hey, I guess you could always hire an attorney, sick him on the bloggers and charge it to the taxpayers. It is only our money, and it appears to be common place at SUHSD, but, IN MY OPINION - you know that already.

This comment is my personal opinion and, as such, protected by law.

sosocal Says:

Fri, Apr 25 2014 03:30 AM

This is an opportunity for things to turn around in Sweetwater.

Time for the turn of the tide, and the votes to go in the direction that benefits the students of Sweetwater, not the Ed Brand schemes.

Brand's antics that are all over the map clearly show an individual who is not spending tax and bond monies wisely--and that is based upon our limited glimpses at budgets!!

Do we know what has happened to the missing Mello-Roos $50 million? What about all the other financial mysteries in Sweetwater? Can we please get a full forensic look into all the schemes, scams and jobs for pals?

drivingabusinaGillysuit Says:

Thu, Apr 24 2014 06:56 PM

Interesting news. I wonder when other charges will be brought up, like, say leading a political attack to assassinate one's character through a specific alternative media source-blog.

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