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.