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The corruption case against Sweetwater schools officials continues to wind its way through the San Diego court system.
In the meantime, the case continues to be used in an effort to boost District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ mayoral bid.
A mailer this week from a pro-Dumanis political action committee, the aptly named “San Diegans for Bonnie Dumanis for Mayor 2012,” highlights Los Angeles Times and Southwestern College newspaper headlines from when she filed the charges. They serve as the proof that Dumanis has “Taken on Corrupt Politicians” as the mailer contends.
Defense attorneys in the Sweetwater case have criticized Dumanis for using the prosecution in campaign ads. They argued that Dumanis’ own campaign television advertisement could prejudice potential jurors. The ad shows an image of a person in handcuffs with the words “DA Charges School Officials With Corruption” on the screen.
During a recent interview on Fox 5 San Diego, the district attorney defended the ad in part by saying it didn’t refer to a specific case. When Dumanis first announced the charges against the Sweetwater officials in January, she said they weren’t about her mayoral campaign.
“It had absolutely nothing do with anything other than the timing when the evidence was ready and prepared to go,” Dumanis said.
Of course, political corruption charges are far from political corruption convictions. And Dumanis’ tenure has been short on both.
We wrote about her Public Integrity Unit’s low profile in 2011, before she filed the Sweetwater case:
In four years, three elected officials have been prosecuted by Dumanis’ office and, so far, only one of those prosecutions has resulted in punitive action: Earlier this year former Encinitas Mayor Dan Dalager was fined $1,000 for receiving discounted kitchen appliances from a resident he assisted while in office.
Liam Dillon is a news reporter for Voice of San Diego. He covers San Diego City Hall, the 2012 mayor’s race and big building projects. What should he write about next?
Please contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 619.550.5663.
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