San Ysidro School District superintendent sentenced in corruption case

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A former San Ysidro School District superintendent who threatened to withhold the awarding of contracts unless he received political contributions was sentenced Tuesday to two months in federal prison, fined $5,000 and ordered to perform 120 hours of community service.

Manuel Paul, 63, pleaded guilty to a corruption charge in the “pay-for-play” scandal.

According to the plea agreement, Paul asked for $3,600 in political contributions from a prospective contractor and threatened to withhold work on future building contracts if the “donation” was not made.

U.S. Magistrate Judge William Gallo said Paul’s custody was warranted because he failed the children of the school district. “Thousands of children relied on you for sound judgment,” Gallo told the defendant. “Abuse of trust is a mortal sin that is difficult to excuse.”

Paul was ordered to surrender Jan. 27.

In entering his plea, Paul admitting requesting that a contractor make $3,600 in campaign contributions to three political candidates for the 2010 board election.

Paul worked in the San Ysidro School District for 38 years as a teacher, principal and superintendent, a post he held from 2007 until his resignation in 2013.

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