Arlie Ricasa to Step Down as Sweetwater Trustee

By Wendy Fry
|  Friday, Dec 20, 2013  |  Updated 10:41 AM PDT
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Trustee to Resign in Corruption Scandal

Arlie Ricasa appearing in court on January 8, 2013.

One of the four current Sweetwater trustees accused of corruption has accepted a plea deal and will be stepping down from the board.

Trustee Arlie Ricasa has admitted to one misdemeanor count for accepting gifts and not reporting them on state-mandated forms.

Ricasa was facing 27 felony and misdemeanor charges, including the felony charge of conspiracy to commit a crime.

The misdemeanor count of filing a false instrument relates to mostly a paperwork issue of not putting all gifts on state-mandated form 700's, which typically results in a minor fine from the FPPC.

In court, Ricasa admitted to the following:

"I received, reviewed, understood and biannually voted on Sweetwater’s conflict of interest code delineating the Form 700 reporting requirements sent to the Sweetwater Board by the Superintendent.

In 2009, I was an elected School Board Member for the Sweetwater Union High School District. I accepted gifts from Rene Flores (SGI) in 2009 with a value of $2099 and I did not report them. The maximum amount one may lawfully receive from one source per year is four hundred and twenty dollars ($420); Rene Flores provided these gifts with the intent to influence my vote on business awarded to Seville Group Inc."

More than a dozen educators and school officials have been charged in a major "pay-to-play" public corruption case that began more than a year ago.

In a statement Wednesday, the Sweetwater School Board announced Ricasa would resign effective Dec. 19. A provisional appointment will be  made to fill her seat. Read Full Statement

Ricasa also has a six-figure job as a director at Southwestern College. It remains unclear if she will continue her work there.

The investigation was launched after a company not paying bribes says it was fired from a job on school grounds in order to hand over the contract to The Seville Group.

Rene Flores, president of Seville Group Inc., pled no contest in 2012 to misdemeanor charges of aiding in the commission of a misdemeanor -- stemming from the failure of public officials to disclose meals he bought them.

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