The Star-News

Ricasa back at work

Sat, Jun 09 2012 12:00 PM Posted By: Allison K. Sampité

Sweetwater district school board member Arlie Ricasa-Bagaporo, who was indicted by the District Attorney's Office in January on multiple felony charges, returned to work this week at Southwestern College --- under a new title.

Ricasa-Bagaporo, 48, was placed on paid, administrative leave by college superintendent Dr. Melinda Nish in January, pending the conclusion of an investigation.

Nish approved her return to work Monday.

While gone, Ricasa-Bagaporo received approximately $52,000.

Ricasa-Bagaporo left as the director of student development and health services and returns with her annual salary of $124,668, as the director of extended opportunity programs and services.

College spokeswoman Lillian Leopold said the shift was a lateral one.

“There was one person holding both positions while she was on leave, so there was a realignment in the department to best serve the needs of the district,” Leopold said.

Ricasa-Bagaporo, board president Pearl Quinones, former board member Greg Sandoval and former superintendent Jesus Gandara, were indicted on felony and misdemeanor charges following a probe by the District Attorney’s Office, in an alleged pay-for-play scandal.

All four pleaded not guilty to corruption charges in January.

Specifically, Ricasa-Bagaporo allegedly accepted $1,800 from SGI President Rene Flores, who was contracted with the district, so her daughter could participate in a prestigious National Young Leaders state conference.

In March 2010, she used her college email account to thank a contractor for a $3,900 campaign contribution, according to emails submitted by DA investigators. The gifts were in excess of the gift limit and not fully or properly reported by law.

Ricasa-Bagaporo couldn’t be reached for comment.

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