For release on May 7, 2013
John Chase, Deputy District Attorney
Public Integrity Unit
NEW CHARGES FILED AGAINST FORMER GILROY SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER
Already accused of defrauding a South County charity, a former Gilroy School Board member now faces charges that he embezzled thousands of dollars from his 2010 campaign account, and committed perjury while covering it up.
In the newly filed complaint, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office charged Francisco Dominguez, 51, of Gilroy, with grand theft and three counts of perjury. These felonies are based on Dominguez’ use of campaign contributions during his successful 2010 school board race, and false information that he provided on required disclosure forms. Each of the three official campaign expense forms signed by Dominguez under penalty of perjury during his campaign vastly misrepresented how the donated funds were used.
Dominguez was arrested last week and is out on bail on the new charges. Conviction of all four felonies is punishable by up to six years and eight months in jail.
“I’m sure the people who contributed to Mr. Dominguez’ last school board campaign never expected their money would be used on such things as a car smog inspection or concessions at Dodger Stadium,” Deputy District Attorney John Chase, of the D.A.’s Public Integrity Unit, said. “He treated campaign donations as his personal funds and then lied about it under penalty of perjury on the state forms.”
An examination of his campaign bank account revealed that half of the nearly $6,000 in contributions were used for non-political purposes. For example, Dominguez used the campaign account debit card to make more than $1,000 worth of personal purchases, including dozens of small amounts billed to restaurants, bagel shops, and cafés, many of which were located in Southern California. None of these expenditures was disclosed on the forms 460, as is required by law. Additionally, Dominguez transferred more than $1,700 to his personal accounts and withdrew $300 in cash.
Dominguez is currently being prosecuted on a criminal complaint filed last October for defrauding an international engineering firm and a Santa Clara County charitable organization out of tens of thousands of dollars.
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.