Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Ex-San Ysidro district superintendent Manuel Paul admits squeezing contractor for donations

If we look at the extremely high percentage of women and people of color among the officials indicted by the District Attorney's Public Integrity Unit over the years, we are forced to conclude one of two things:

1) either women and people of color are more corrupt than white males; or

2) the people who are targeted for prosecution do not enjoy the same protections and immunities that white male public officials in San Diego tend to enjoy.

I'm not saying that the DA is racist.  I don't think that's it.  I think the explanation for the gender and color imbalance is simply that the public officials with the most power tend NOT to be women or people of color.  The truly powerful public officials are mostly white males, and the DA wouldn't dare go after them.

And the big money isn't in parking lots in San Ysidro.  It isn't even in $20 million solar panel deals.

A few years ago the FBI was investigating kickbacks to public entities in San Diego from insurance companies. Nothing ever came of that. My guess is that they couldn't find an ideal defendant to indict: someone without connections in the high ranks of the San Diego political establishment.

Here is a link to my page about the County of Santa Clara vs. Driver Alliant Insurance Services, Inc., et al lawsuit.  These are the types of transactions that involve significant amounts of money.  The really big deals are not as much fun for the political establishment to talk about as a small cash envelope in a parking lot--so you don't read about them much in the paper. The big players almost always avoid criminal court. Note the lack of prosecutions in the 2009 Financial Crisis that was caused by the greed of the wealthy and powerful.

The big guys generally don't see the inside of a criminal court, and their civil cases get settled, not tried, where the public might get wind of what actually happened. (Of course, the Manuel Paul case wasn't tried in court, either. Why no trials? Who knows what information might come out in a trial that might expose a big fish?)

Here's a sample of a school district deal worth $1 billion: Superintendent John Deasy of Los Angeles Unified school district (LAUSD) probably isn't worried. I suspect that you need a lot better political connections to become superintendent of LAUSD than you do to get the top spot in San Ysidro School District.

Given that we live in a system in which huge corporation and billionaires believe they can buy elections, it's sort of embarrassing that the FBI is chasing down such small-time players.

Clearly, Bonnie Dumanis and the FBI aren't going to be able to stop campaign finance corruption.

But wouldn't it be nice if the public--and Bonnie Dumanis--started looking a little closer at some of the well-heeled districts on the north side of town?

In CVESD we also had a superintendent using his power to affect the school board election.

See all posts on white chalk crime.

Ex-San Ysidro district superintendent Manuel Paul admits squeezing contractor for donations
Channel 10 News
Aug 20, 2014

SAN DIEGO - A former San Ysidro School District superintendent pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to extracting political contributions from a prospective contractor by threatening to withhold work on future building contracts.

Manuel Paul, 63, faces up to a year in federal prison and a $100,000 fine when he is sentenced Nov. 18.

According to his plea agreement, Paul admitted he asked a contractor to contribute $3,600 to three political candidates for the 2010 School Board election...

Read more.

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