Monday, May 07, 2012

Lawyers donate to school board members, who then channel tax dollars back to them, says lawsuit against Garcia Calderon Ruiz

“Lawsuits are generally filed by people that are upset and angry,” according to Sergio Feria. I say give that man a genius award. Here's a quote from someone else: "Disgruntled ex-employees (or ex-founding partners) are usually the only ones who will tell the truth about an organization." I notice that Mr. Ruiz didn't file his suit until after he left the law firm.

Bonny Garcia has donated to the election campaigns of trustees Jim Cartmill, Arlie Ricasa and Sandoval. Campaign finance records show donations of $1,000 to Ricasa in 2001-02, $1,000 to Sandoval in 2002 and $975 to Cartmill in 2002.

Complaints preceded raids on South County school officials
Parents, retired teachers urged prosecutors to investigate Sweetwater board members
By Jeff McDonald, Ashly McGlone
December 21, 2011

...Another lawsuit filed this summer raises questions about the relationship between vendors for the district and the elected officials who award public contracts.

Rogelio Ruiz, a founding partner for GCR LLP, the longtime Sweetwater legal counsel formerly known as Garcia Calderon Ruiz, is suing his former partners, claiming they used company profits to make political donations to help secure work.

In his suit, Ruiz said partners Bonifacio Garcia and Yuri Calderon used $15,000 in law-firm proceeds to fund Citizens for Good Government in the South Bay, a political action committee that supported Sweetwater board members and others.

The committee “could funnel thousands of dollars in political contributions to Calderon’s and Garcia’s friends without attracting unwanted media attention and to avoid allegations of conflict of interest and pay-to-play schemes,” the suit states.

Ruiz also accuses his former partners of donating thousands of dollars to political candidates and groups around the state “in an effort to impress and curry favor with certain elected officials,” the suit adds.

Attorney Mark Isola, who is representing Ruiz, said Garcia and Calderon “took those funds and used the monies to get business.”

Sergio Feria, the San Diego attorney representing Calderon and Garcia, denied allegations in the suit and called it an accounting dispute between former partners.

“Lawsuits are generally filed by people that are upset and angry,” he said...

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