Charges filed against former CCSF chancellor

July 8, 2009 7:07:19 PM PDT
There is serious trouble for the former chancellor and two administrators at San Francisco City College. The three face criminal charges, accused of illegally spending public money and diverting some of it to a secret account for their personal use.

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Arrest warrants have been issued, but San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris says she's asked the lawyers for those charged to surrender their clients by next Tuesday.

Those charged are former chancellor Philip Day and associate vice chancellors James Blomquist and Stephen Herman.

Harris says they used money from companies doing business with City College to support bond measures related to education.

"State law makes it a crime to spend community college money to spend it on a campaign to support a bond measure," says Harris.

The charges follow a lengthy investigation and they come after a raid last May on the offices of the three administrators. Harris says the illegal political donations which totaled more than $150,000 occurred between 1991 and 2006. Most of the money came from Pepsi which has a contract with City College to sell beverages on campus.

"We believe that defendant Day and defendant Herman were responsible for diverting $50,000 of that Pepsi money into the 2001 bond campaign," says Harris.

Harris says they also diverted money from a motorcycle school which leases campus space and the vendor of a City College cafe called The Bean Scene. And some of that money, about $45,000, went into a secret account.

"They were using the money to pay memberships to the City Club. They were using the money to pay parking tickets and they were using the money to pay for alcohol at social events," says Harris.

The new chancellor, Don Griffin, told ABC7 he just returned from vacation and didn't know enough to comment.

Philip Day now works for a Washington D.C. educational foundation. He did not respond to ABC7's emails.

The attorney for vice chancellor Herman tells ABC7 his client is innocent and that he's disappointed at the charges because he says Herman has been cooperating with the investigation. The attorney for Blumquist tells ABC7 his client "Didn't do anything intentionally wrong."

The maximum penalty for the charges Day and Herman face is a nine-year prison term; for Blumquist there will be a maximum of three years.

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