For release on October 25, 2012

CONTACT: John Chase, Deputy District Attorney Public Integrity Unit 408-792-2595   FORMER GILROY SCHOOL TRUSTEE AND ASSEMBLY CANDIDATE FRANCISCO DOMINGUEZ CHARGED WITH GRAND THEFT   Francisco Dominguez, a former Gilroy School Board member and former candidate for state assembly, has been charged with two counts of felony grand theft for defrauding an international engineering firm and a Santa Clara County charitable organization out of tens of thousands of dollars.   Dominguez faked that he attended meetings in which he was supposed to be surveying public opinion on high speed rail, according to D.A. Investigator Terrence Simpson’s statement of probable cause. He also repeatedly double-billed a charitable group which had employed him to help keep local youth off drugs. The 51-year-old Gilroy resident is out of custody and facing a warrant for his arrest. If convicted, Dominguez could face more than three years in jail.   “People put a lot of trust in Mr. Dominguez, an influential and public figure,” said Deputy District Attorney John Chase, the head of the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit. “Mr. Dominguez betrayed that trust, and profited from it.”   Following reports in the Gilroy Dispatch of possible improprieties, a District Attorney’s investigation showed that Dominguez fraudulently over-billed the South County Collaborative, a charitable association of non-profits and government agencies, according to the investigator’s statement. During the time of the alleged theft, between October 1, 2008 and December 31, 2010, Dominguez was entrusted to handle the Collaborative’s bookkeeping and signed the extra payment checks to himself.   From February 1, 2011 to November 30, 2011, Dominguez also fraudulently over-billed Parsons Corporation, an international engineering and construction management firm, the court document says. The investigation showed that Dominguez billed Parsons for many non-existent meetings with a wide variety of community organizations, school officials, business owners and neighborhood groups. Nearly all of the people interviewed by Simpson said they had not met with Dominguez about high speed rail. Dominguez also documented to his employers that he had personally attended a wide variety of scheduled community meetings. In many cases, the meetings he documented did not occur on those dates.   During the time frame of the alleged crimes, Dominguez served on the school board in Gilroy and was an unsuccessful candidate for state assembly. He had previously served on school boards in San Jose and Oxnard.  
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