The court cases revolving around corruption charges for a combination of 15 South Bay-area school and college officials and contractors have been re-assigned to the South County courthouse, a San Diego Superior Court spokesperson confirmed Monday.
The collection of defendants includes two San Ysidro School District officials, five former officials at Southwestern Community College, four active members of the Sweetwater Union High School District governing board, two former Sweetwater district officials, a construction contractor and a bond manager.
Some of the defendants made court appearances at the downtown San Diego courthouse in early January. One of them, bond manager Gary Cabello, pleaded not guilty to five criminal charges, including bribery. Most of the others had been scheduled to enter pleas Jan. 30 at the downtown courthouse. With the reassignment of all action in the cases to the South County courthouse, they are now scheduled to do so before Judge Stephanie Sontag at 9 a.m., Wednesday, at the San Diego Superior Court’s Department 16 in Chula Vista.
The intertwined cases, detailed in a 59-page indictment, stem from much-publicized raids by the San Diego County District Attorney’s office late in 2012. Charges include allegations dealing with the awarding of contracts by school officials after the alleged receipt of various undocumented gifts from contractors and those associated with the contracts.
Aside from Cabello, the defendants in the corruption cases include: Yolanda Hernandez and Manuel Paul, both of the San Ysidro School District governing board; Jeff Flores, president of Seville Construction Services; John Wilson, Yolanda Salcido, Jorge Dominguez, Raj Chopra and Nicholas Alioto -- all former Southwestern College officials; active Sweetwater Union High School District board members Pearl Quinones, Jim Cartmill, Bertha Lopez and Arlie Ricasa; former Sweetwater Union board member Greg Sandoval and the district’s former superintendent Jesus Gandara.