Editor: Finally some pushback against DA Bonnie Dumanis’ persecution of the Democrats in the South Bay Sweetwater school district. U-T reporters Fry and Moran have spoken with people in the South Bay who are upset with what they see as Dumanis’ apparent election-year grandstanding and over-arching hypocrisy. Even the U-T poll showed this doubt with its readers. The U-T asked: Are Bonnie Dumanis’ prosecutorial decisions for elected officials affected by politics? “Yes” was the response of 86% with 334 votes, whereas “No” was received by 13% with 54 votes, for total of 388 votes (as of 9 am today).
by Wendy Fry and Greg Moran / U-T San Diego / Jan. 21, 2012
The elected official accepted hundreds of dollars of theater and opera tickets, all the while steering millions of taxpayer dollars to the people paying the bills.
A South Bay official charged with corruption? No.
Supervisor Pam Slater-Price accepted the tickets, while dispensing grants to the opera and the Old Globe Theatre. After The Watchdog revealed she failed to report the gifts on state forms, she was given a $2,000 administrative fine in 2010.
Slater-Price’s act — failing to report gifts on state-mandated forms — is what has four current and former officials of the Sweetwater schools in trouble with the District Attorney’s Office.
They are accused of taking meals (and theater tickets) from a contractor and then steering public money toward his contract. They have pleaded not guilty to perjury and filing false statements, 24 felonies total related to the failure to disclose the gifts.
Defense attorney Marc Carlos, who represents accused Sweetwater board member Pearl Quiñones, is skeptical of the differing treatment.
“It seems some people are allowed to amend their forms and don’t get any prosecution,” Carlos said. “The timing is curious considering the upcoming elections, is all I’ll say.”
Dumanis is a Republican running for mayor of San Diego, endorsed by Slater-Price, another Republican. Former Chula Vista Councilman Mitch Thompson said the political question is legitimate.
“What about Pam Slater-Price and the gifts she received?” Thompson said. “Did they get examined or did they get a pass? I would say Bonnie needs to answer the question to the public, what is the difference between people in the South Bay and what Pam Slater-Price did?”
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