The San Ysidro School District’s dark days were even darker than previously known and compromised the school bond program, according to a new County Grand Jury report.
Former district officials misspent school bond funds, double paid vendors, spent $45 million on an ill-advised land purchase and fulfilled few promises made to voters who approved a $250 million bond measure in 1997, according to the report released Tuesday. About $376,900 removed from the bond fund may still be unaccounted for.
“Prior SYSD boards did not perform due diligence and disregarded their fiduciary duty, approving expenditures from bond proceeds for purposes other than those listed in the ballot measure,” the Grand Jury wrote. “The district has amassed hundreds of millions of dollars in long-term debt with little to show for it.”
San Ysidro’s superintendent Manuel Paul and board member Yolanda Hernandez were among 18 people convicted in a wide-reaching corruption probe by the San Diego County district attorney that concluded in 2014. Hernandez was one of five public officials forced from office in the South Bay, and Paul spent time in prison for a separate federal corruption charge.