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Ricasa: Don’t make me gut my children’s future!

Friday, January 27, 2012
posted by South Bay Sunnycrest

Wow. Just saw this article from the U-T where Sweetwater school board member Arlie Ricasa, through her attorney, is claiming that she’ll have to gut her own children’s college fund to pay for legal services stemming from her alleged indiscretions — 4 felonies, 2 misdemeanors — if the school board (ahem, taxpayers) won’t approve the legal payments.

This brings up a philosophical question for you, folks: should governments provide legal services to trustees mired in corruption scandals?

Another interesting point is Ricasa hiding behind her children to claim her innocence. Almost verges on selfishness wouldn’t you say?

Her argument being, of course, that if she isn’t bailed out on legal services because of her own ethical problems, her children’s college fund and her own retirement is in danger.

Oh, the humanity! *Sniffle* Where’s my hankey?

In all seriousness, it will be an interesting topic of discussion at the next Sweetwater Union High School Board meeting Monday, January 30, at 6:30pm inside the Hilltop High Gym. Arrive accordingly and bring tissues… or picket signs, either would be preferred.

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4 Responses to “Ricasa: Don’t make me gut my children’s future!”

  1. Maassive says:

    She could always plea.

  2. Alger says:

    Isn’t everyone innocent until PROVEN guilty? How about having only people CONVICTED of a crime while working on the public’s dime have to pay their own legal defense?

  3. D7 Voter says:

    Maybe her kids got stellar educations from the Sweetwater system and can qualify for scholarships.

  4. It IS an interesting point. The accused ARE entitled to legal representation, but not to the best defense in the land. And, if they are convicted, taxpayers should not be on the hook for the legal bill.

    I suspect that one could reason out a formula for legal representation with the taxpayers paying for some or all of it (perhaps dependent on the outcome). I would suggest that the accused employees would have to pledge assets to cover the full legal cost if they lose — then they have skin in the game. This is tricky, as declaring bankruptcy should not get them off the hook.

    Then you have to define “lose.” If they plead down to a misdemeanor and get a $250 fine, does this mean they pay all of their legal costs?

    But two main points to consider in such matters:

    1. The legal funding policy must be set up IN ADVANCE. Retroactive setting of the rules doesn’t work well — especially when it’s the accused parties who set the rules!

    2. IF some post-indictment decisions have to be made in such matters, the deciding body should be TOTALLY independent of the jurisdiction. For instance, the County Board of Supervisors might be the arbitrator in such matters for the other governments in the county (The Sups have a part-time job with full-time pay as it is!).

    NOW I’m free to go ride my stationary bike. What a relief!

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