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Defense wants DA off case Allison K. Sampité | Sat, Jun 09 2012 12:00 PM

One defense attorney in a Sweetwater corruption probe against two current and two former Sweetwater Union High School District officials recently filed a motion to recuse the District Attorney's Office from prosecution.

Defense attorney Allen Bloom filed the motion Monday afternoon on behalf of his client, Arlie Ricasa-Bagaporo, in downtown Superior Court.

During a May 11 hearing, all four defense attorneys made statements to the judge about the release of a campaign ad by then mayoral candidate District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, claiming it affected their clients’ right to a fair trial.

The ad displayed a statement saying, “DA charges school officials with corruption,” overlaid on a photo of a person getting handcuffed.

“The unethical conduct by Ms. Dumanis was repeated and focused,” Bloom said. “For the purpose of gaining a political advantage she violated her obligations as an attorney.”

Bloom said Tuesday that he expects the other defense attorneys to follow suit.

“As a result of this misconduct, the DA’s Office is now burdened by myriad conflicting interests which threaten to impair Ms. Ricasa’s due process right to a fair trial,” Bloom states in the motion. “Even if Ms. Dumanis loses the election, she will be bound to prosecute this case, despite evidence … just to save face,” the motion read.

Dumanis came in last out of four candidates.

Dumanis indicted Ricasa-Bagaporo, current district board president Pearl Quinones, former superintendent Jesus

Gandara and former board member Greg Sandoval on multiple felony and misdemeanor charges in January for their alleged involvement in “pay-for-play,” accepting lavish gifts from contractors doing work with the district. A hearing is set for June 25 at 9 a.m

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John Brickley Says:

Sat, Jun 09 2012 09:43 PM

The ad displayed a statement saying, "DA charges school officials with corruption,"overlaid on a photo of a person getting handcuffed.

The fact of the matter is THEY WERE CHARGED WITH CORRUPTION. The ad only states the obvious. Not only were the school officials charged with corruption, they collectively were charged with 28 FELONIES!!!!

Does anyone honestly believe this ad will be remembered, let alone influence a jury some 7 months from now when this all goes to trial? I would think the fact that these people are charged with 28 FELONIES will have more influence over a jury come that eventual trial date than this ad from the fourth place finisher in a mayoral race.

However, a lawyer that doesn't have his eye on the billing hours isn't worth his salt. This is all about padding the bill that eventually will be presented to the defendants under the guise of "the best defense possible."

anniej Says:

Sat, Jun 09 2012 12:30 PM

said attorney needs to be focusing on the case vs. making excuses.

12 jurors of ms. ricasa's peers will determine her guilt or innocence. their verdict will, i am sure, will have nothing to do with Ms. Dumanis' run for mayor and EVERYTHING to do with the case evidence.

ricasa claims to be innocent, the evidence will be the determining factor - not ricasa's claims.

the time has come for ms. ricasa to hang up her political hat, we (the voters) placed it on her heard in high hopes she would honor her promises. she has failed miserably.

all one has to do is go to the registrar of voters and look up the contributions to her last campaign - make note of the names - then go to board docs and see how many times she voted for these same companies to receive hundreds of thousands in contracts under prop o.

and least we forget the lunches with 'the gandara'. again using our dime.

the alleged gifts that she allegedly failed to report - how much better it could have been used for several underprivileged students in her district.

remember her assembly run, look up the contributors - it looks like a whose who of prop o contractors.

in all fairness ricasa is not the only board member who allegedly took the campaign monies and then allegedly voted for the contractors. no, i would refer you to john mccann and jim cartmill's last campaign - take a look for yourselves - illegal? No. Unethical?, that is up for all of you to decide.

it is time to send the clear message 1 by 1 we are cleaning house, no matter how long it takes. say goodbye to your future aspirations,


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