School Superintendent Could Go to Jail

     SAN DIEGO (CN) – The former superintendent of a San Diego-area school district faces up to a year in prison after pleading guilty to taking money from contractors, under threat of holding up their contracts, so he could pay the money to school board candidates’ campaigns.
     Former San Ysidro School District Superintendent Manuel Paul pleaded guilty Wednesday in Federal Court to deprivation of benefits for political contributions, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
     Paul worked in the San Ysidro district for 38 years, as a teacher, principal, and as superintendent, from 2007 until he resigned in 2013.
     The U.S. attorney said in a statement Wednesday that “Paul admitted in his plea agreement to requesting that a contractor (‘Contractor A’) make $3,600 in campaign contributions to three political candidates for the 2010 Board election, identified in the plea agreement as Candidates A, B, and C. Paul admitted that he made clear that Contractor A’s inclusion on the list of potential contractors for future District building projects was contingent on Contractor A making the payment. According to the plea agreement, shortly thereafter – and only two months before the 2010 Board election – Paul accepted $2,500 in cash from Contractor A in the parking lot of a Chula Vista restaurant. Paul admitted that he then contributed a portion of the $2,500 to the political campaigns of Candidates A, B, and C by purchasing campaign signs from a print shop in Tijuana. According to court documents, Candidates A, B, and C won the three open seats.”
     Paul, 63, of Bonita, also could be fined up to $100,000 at his Nov. 18 sentencing.

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