The Star-News

No time for crime

Fri, Mar 01 2013 12:25 PM Posted By: Allison K. Sampité-montecalvo

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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