Sweetwater Union HS Board Fails to Act on Vacant Seat

Trustees had until Feb. 17 to decide whether to appoint someone or call for a costly special election to fill the position left vacant by Arlie Ricasa

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC 7

    A vacant seat on the Sweetwater Union High School District school board will be filled by the November election after trustees did not take action before the deadline.

    Trustees had until Feb. 17th to decide whether to appoint someone or call for a costly special election to fill the position left vacant by Arlie Ricasa.

    The Sweetwater Union HS board met Jan. 14 and did not make a decision on how to move forward.

    The remaining trustees – John McCann, Jim Cartmill, Bertha Lopez, Pearl Quinones – did not hold subsequent meetings to talk about the next step.

    So because the seat was set to be filled in November regardless, the next trustee will be selected then.

    Some wondered if business can be accomplished with only four trustees which could result in 2-2 splits on issues.

    “They quit. They gave up and that, I think, offends me more than if they had chosen to spend the money,” said resident Kevin O’Neill.

    “It’s not that they have to agree or I have to agree with what they do but at least they have to show up for the game. They forfeited,” he said.

    In December, Ricasa pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in connection with an investigation that began in 2012 when homes of some board members were raided by federal investigators.

    More than 20 educators involved in three San Diego-area school districts have been accused of accepting gifts from contractors in return for votes on school construction projects.

    Ricasa admitted to one misdemeanor count for accepting gifts from Rene Flores (SGI) in 2009 with a value of $2099 and not reporting them on state-mandated forms.

    Rene Flores, president of Seville Group Inc., pleaded 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.