Report Card

News and discussion on K-12 schools in the greater Sacramento region

February 15, 2013
Watchdog agency fines Twin Rivers trustee for illegal loans

Cortez.jpgTwin Rivers school board President Cortez Quinn was fined $14,000 by the Fair Political Practices Commission Friday for illegally accepting $55,000 in personal loans from a district employee in 2010 and 2011 and not reporting them on financial disclosure forms.

At the time Quinn accepted the loans, he was the district director for Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, a position that also required annual financial disclosure forms.

Three of the five violations that the state watchdog agency announced Friday against Quinn related to his previous position with Dickinson's office. The remaining two violations stemmed from his position as an elected board member of Twin Rivers Unified School District.

Quinn did not return a call for comment on Friday.

In addition to the loans, Quinn also illegally accepted a gift of $4,000 from the same school district employee, Sherilene Chycoski, according to FPPC documents outlining the circumstances of the case.

The Political Reform Act prohibits elected officers of local government agencies from receiving personal loans of more than $250 from employees and gifts of more than $420.

Chycoski is listed on the Twin Rivers website as the visual and performing arts director. Chycoski filed a paternity suit against Quinn in June 2011.

The Bee first reported in May 2012 that Quinn had accepted illegal loans. Two weeks later, Quinn won a second term as a Twin Rivers trustee and was voted school board president by fellow board members in July.

Dickinson parted ways with Quinn in August for undisclosed reasons, calling it a "personnel matter."

According to documents obtained by The Bee last year, Chycoski loaned Quinn $35,000 on Feb. 24, 2011. Other documents showed bank transfers from Chycoski to an account allegedly belonging to Quinn and cash advances on a credit card in which Quinn allegedly was a secondary cardholder.

Chycoski said in a sworn statement on May 17, 2012, which her attorney provided the school district, that she felt the money was obtained "through fraud and misrepresentation."

The FPPC's $14,000 judgment against Quinn indicates the school board member consulted with an attorney and opted to waive his rights to a probable cause conference and an administrative hearing. Quinn was facing a maximum administrative penalty of $25,000.

Quinn's fine, which will be paid to the state's general fund, is pending FPPC approval at its Feb. 28 meeting.

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About Report Card

Loretta KalbLoretta Kalb started her reporting career at The Sacramento Union, moved to KOVR-13 as a television reporter, editor and producer, headed to The Associated Press in San Francisco and eventually returned to Sacramento and joined The Sacramento Bee. Throughout her career, she has covered the state Legislature, courts, local government and, now, education. She is a Chico native and an Elk Grove resident.

Diana LambertDiana Lambert began her journalism career as a proofreader at the Lodi News-Sentinel. She is now a senior writer at The Sacramento Bee covering K-12 education and California State University, Sacramento. Previously she was The Bee’s Elk Grove bureau chief. Lambert was raised in a military family and lived at bases around the globe. She attended four high schools, graduating from Tokay High in Lodi and then Sacramento State University. She lives in Elk Grove.

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