Written by Wendy Fry | April 26, 2012 | U-T San Diego
EXCERPT: CHULA VISTA - Another contractor pleaded out Thursday in the District Attorney's widening corruption probe into South County construction contracts awarded under voter-approved bond programs at Southwestern College and Sweetwater schools.
Rene Flores, president of Seville Group Inc., sent his attorney to enter his plea of no contest Thursday to misdemeanor charges of aiding in the commission of a misdemeanor -- stemming from the failure of public officials to disclose meals he bought them on state-mandated forms.
Through his attorney, Flores declared that the meals, entertainment and gifts he provided were made at the request of public officials at Sweetwater schools including former Superintendent Jesus Gandara.
"At no time did the elected board members or superintendent reimburse me for the donations, meals, tickets or gifts," a Flores statement said.
Flores' plea bargain is contingent on him testifying in court against the Sweetwater defendants, according to court documents. Flores' company oversaw $644 million in construction bond money.
He did not respond to requests for comment Thursday.
Gandara, along with Sweetwater trustees Arlie Ricasa and Pearl Quiñones and former board member Greg Sandoval, have all denied felony charges that they accepted meals and other gifts and then failed to report them. ...
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