Sweetwater President Sentenced in Corruption Scandal

The president of the Sweetwater Union High School District has learned his punishment for his role in a widespread corruption scandal in the South Bay.

On Wednesday, a judge sentenced Jim Cartmill to three years of probation, a $4,589 fine and 40 hours of community service.

In April, Cartmill pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of accepting gifts above the legal limit. Under California Government Code 91002, no one convicted of a misdemeanor can run for elected office for four years.

Superior Court Judge Ana Espana did not enact this statute for Cartmill, indicating that since the collateral consequence of the plea was his removal from office, she would not impose the 91102, meaning Cartmill could theoretically run for office again in November. /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";} However, the San Diego County District Attorney's Office has opposed allowing Cartmill to run for reelection.

Last month, a civil court judge issued a temporary injunction, suspending Cartmill and Sweetwater trustee Bertha Lopez from the board.

A civil hearing scheduled for July 11 will determine whether or not they will be removed for good.

Currently, Cartmill and Lopez are not listed as board members on the Sweetwater Union High School District website.

School board members from Sweetwater, San Ysidro and Southwestern College were accused of trading votes on multi-million dollar construction contracts and bond deals for lavish meals and gifts.

During the course of the case, which began as an investigation about three years ago, the DA’s office has charged 18 school officials and contractors with more than 232 felony and misdemeanor criminal charges. The majority of the defendants have pleaded guilty.

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