Jury: San Ysidro School District Must Pay $12M to Contractor

By Wendy Fry and R. Stickney
|  Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014  |  Updated 6:54 PM PDT
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South Bay School Officials Accused of Corruption

NBC 7 News

Law enforcement officials rushed to the San Ysidro school district property in July when they learned of an alleged document dump.

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A contractor was awarded a $12 million verdict in his lawsuit against the cash-strapped San Ysidro School District.

Jurors returned with the verdict Tuesday, deciding the San Ysidro School District wrongfully cancelled its services contract with Eco Business Alliance.

The company filed a lawsuit in April 2012 demanding $17.9 million in damages after its owner claimed the district backed out on a contract to install solar power systems at district campuses.

Because it was an incomplete services agreement, no district funds were ever spent on the endeavor.

Because the district is in financial trouble, the state of California may be on the hook for the $12 million jury award.

Former superintendent Manuel Paul resigned from his position in April after his indictment in an alleged "pay-to-play" criminal investigation.

San Ysidro District is among three South County school districts with former and current educators and administrators accused of corruption.

Prosecutors say the school officials traded their votes on multi-million dollar construction contracts for gifts and other favors.

Paul admitted in a June deposition to accepting thousands in cash from a contractor in a Chula Vista restaurant parking lot. He said, at the time, the money was for Trustee Yolanda Hernandez's re-election campaign.
 

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