By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
July 3, 2014
SAN DIEGO, CA – After two years and a half years of accusation, plea deals, and sentenced in charges that involved bribery, corruption, and perjury, the San Diego County District Attorney says justice has been served in a massive corruption scheme that included two Filipinos.
The final sentences for co-defendants were handed down this week in the San Diego pay-for-play corruption scandal.
In 2012 prosecutors indicted 18 defendants, many of them elected officials from several San Diego school districts.
The District Attorney’s office says officials, including Filipino American Arlie Ricasa, a school board member of the Sweetwater high school district, were involved in a scheme where officials would accept bribes from contractors in exchange for multi-million dollar projects.
Ricasa, a Filipino community leader in the San Diego area entered a plea agreement last April.
By pleading guilty to a misdemeanor violation for accepting campaign gifts of over $250 in a single year from a single donor, she was sentenced to 33 months of probation, 80 hours of community service, and about $4,500 in fines.
She resigned from the school board last December.
Among the contractors involved was Filipino American Henry Amigable.
Amigable, who worked for a construction company, is believed to have wined and dined school district officials, treating Ricasa and her colleagues to expensive treats and events.
He was among the first defendants to enter a plea deal in March of 2012, pleading guilty to a misdemeanor count of influencing a governor body with a bribe.
Prosecutors say he has since cooperated and testified. He was sentenced to three years of probation.
The high profile case has also helped create proposed legislation that deals with local school officials and campaign contributions.
Only a few defendants received jail time. Most were put on probation and ordered to pay thousands of dollars in fines. Those that held office have since resigned or were removed from office.
You can contact Steve Angeles at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Filipinos again ? Corruption is in there DNA