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In the South County Superior Court on May 25, Judge Ana Espana inclined toward making 99.9 % of the transcripts available from the grand jury investigation into South County corruption in three school districts: Southwestern College, Sweetwater Union High School District and San Ysidro.

The exhibits and transcripts, numbering over 4,000 pages, that led the grand jury to charge 15 defendants should be available by late Tuesday or early Wednesday of next week.

On May 25 Espana worked with attorneys for the defendants toward further agreement on material to be redacted from the transcripts.

Late to the negotiations, only two days before the hearing, an attorney for Southwestern College, Deepika Suluja, asked for some material to be redacted from the transcripts because it might contain information with attorney-client privilege or closed sessions from previous board meetings.

Paul Pfingst, attorney for former Sweetwater superintendent Jesus Gandara, also pressed for an additional 25 lines to be redacted.

Dana Littlefield reported for the Union Tribune on May 24 that Espana would likely redact less than five pages of the transcript--material that "contained inflammatory and highly prejudicial information that could jeopardize the defendant's right to a fair trial."

The attorney for several media groups, Guylyn Cummins, argued transcripts should be made public as they are already part of the judicial records. Cummins also discussed the logistics of releasing the records. The cost for 4,000 plus pages would be prohibitive. Espana said after she makes her final decision about the redactions, by noon May 28, an additional copy will be made by the court recorder and become available to the public.

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erupting May 26, 2013 @ 7:43 a.m.

Can't wait to see all the testimony especially Fast Eddy and Cartmill's claim that he was charged because he asked for a table from a contractor for a charitable group. As I said befor bet the charitable group donated to him in some way. Plus Mr.Cartmill forgot that people that can read saw other charges against him in the indictments. I guess he forgot about that,but we didn't.


anniej May 26, 2013 @ 8:49 a.m.

It is indeed a shame that the community of the South Bay is being subjected to such embarrassing coverage. Persons who saw/see themselves as better than most of us - a man who promised "vote for me, I will clean up the mess' - a woman who strutted thru her ethnic community so proud of being ' ---- of the year' - look at them, really look at them - THEY ARE IMPOSTERS, Jim Cartmill, Ed Brand, Arlie Ricasa, John Mccann, and Quinones - they have taken educational dollars and done what with them?

I wonder what do they see when they look in the mirror? What are the conversations of their personal mind chatter? Do they speak the truth to themselves at least???????

History will document that anniej's legacy will have been one labeled as an antagonist, and what will history say of them? What will their legacy be?????

What will pop up when Jim Cartmills name is typed in to Google or Bing? Surely, he - they were better than this once upon a time.


eastlaker May 26, 2013 @ 9:10 a.m.

I hope we will start getting some answers regarding where the district's funds have been going--all the consultants, all the studies, all the pet projects, all the real estate fees, deals and who-knows-what-all maneuverings of these elected and hired individuals who somewhere along the line decided that laws and regulations don't apply to them.

Well, I hope they find out they are not above the law.

The students who have been shortchanged by all of the mismanagement and fraud are the ones who have suffered and will suffer, as their opportunities have been greatly reduced by decisions made by these people. Decisions that are not and never were made to benefit the schools and the community.

The revolting aspects of selfish behavior are all on display here, and I hope this will serve as a lesson to all other school districts to pay attention to those running for office, pay attention to the cognitive and ethical abilities and understandings of the people in whom you place your trust.

We in Sweetwater have been greatly let down, and it is not an easy fix. Robbing young people so that you can give your friends cushy jobs--or any of the other questionable dealings that have taken place here--sort of like taking candy from a baby. Allegedly easy to do, and also the sign of someone who is morally derelict.

This bunch are maybe still rationalizing their behavior, but we the watchful public are not going to let them off easily. We are done with the lies, the deceptions, the selfish use of public funds, the gross mismanagement, the dereliction of duty to the schools and students.

This era of corruption must come to an end.


anniej May 26, 2013 @ 10:44 a.m.

eastlaker: you words, and the thoughts behind them are the reason, AND THE ONLY REASON for the ouster movement.

We gave those named above the opportunity, because we believed in them - we thought they were honest community volunteers, looking to give. In truth, they were oportunsts looking for a stepping stone to higher political office, looking to reap.

Jim Cartmill - ran an unsuccessful campaign for C.V. City Council.

Arlie Ricasa - ran an unsuccessful campaign for an Assembly seat.

Pearl Quinones - ran an unsuccessful campaign for Mayor of Chula Vista.

John Mccann - is rumored to be working on a run for mayor of Chula Vista - does he not realize the albatross he has hanging around his neck? HE HAS DONE NOTHING, NIL, NADA to bring about change. The Movers and Shakers, as I refer to them, are secretly agreeing THEY WILL NOT BACK A LAME HORSE! They realize how committed the antagonist are to bringing about change in the politics of the South Bay. Mccanns anti union rants while sitting on the dais will come back to haunt him, the Adult Ed and ROP folks, Mccann forgot they know how to vote, those persons, whose living rooms he stood in back in 2009, have not forgotten his broken promises. What is that old saying about burning your bridges? Let us not or get who brought Brand back, it was John Mccann.


Visduh May 29, 2013 @ 9:21 p.m.

Here in Vista we've had a self-proclaimed "conservative" on the VUSD board for far too long. His name is Gibson, Jim Gibson, and he ran as a supporter of a strange member, Guffanti. Guffanti (hereinafter called Goof) is an emergency room physician who thinks he's an expert on childhood education. Gibson made at least one, and I recall two, attempts to get the GOP nomination for an assembly seat, where his campaign signs proclaimed that he was a CONSERVATIVE Republican. Oddly enough, here in an area of conservatives who are mostly Republican, his efforts failed. Then more recently he made an attempt at a seat on the Oceanside city council and that flopped. Would you start to think that his reasons for joining the school board might have been to use that to get a step up? I would. Heck, he'd seen Bob Filner start his political career that way, and so had Susan Davis (who is, in case some of you don't know, the congressperson from a local district, and junketeer extraordinaire.) Gibson's credentials were constantly tarnished when he and Goof would vote against the other three members while having no alternatives that they could explain or come close to justifying.

So, what was this guy with no ideas, but who voted no constantly, up to? Now a few informed voters think he now wants/needs the income from the board seat and the medical coverage that goes with all that. Prior to that time, he and his good buddy seemed hell-bent to convert many if not all local schools to charter status. If he can pull that off, we'll have a district that is even more scandal ridden than ever before.


eastlaker June 1, 2013 @ 4:13 p.m.

Visduh, I hope you get your community to watch these two, so that they don't set up a little empire of their own, a la Brand and cronies. (However, I do take some solace in learning that Sweetwater isn't the only district with palpably cheese-brained trustees. Hope I haven't offended anyone).


anniej May 26, 2013 @ 1:02 p.m.

clarification - Quinones's bid was for National City not Chula Vista


eastlaker May 29, 2013 @ 3:57 p.m.

While I was traveling (East Coast), I happened to see a work truck with Balfour Beatty plastered all over it...seemed to ring a bell or two, right?

Looked it up, and while I knew they were involved in some of the Sweetwater messes, I had no idea they are a multi-national corporation based in England, doing all sorts of projects all over the world. They are not cheap. And I think they have taken Sweetwater to the cleaners...isn't there some connection with L Street and some of the other 'in the wings' Sweetwater projects?

Must say, I think they are WAY out of our league here, even if they did build Del Norte High School a few years ago, and many other San Diego higher educational and medical projects. Really--


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