Money orders, bank statements and credit card bills are among the documents Twin Rivers Unified School District officials turned over to authorities as evidence trustee Cortez Quinn allegedly accepted $55,000 in illegal loans from a school district employee.
Documents obtained Tuesday by The Bee in a California Public Records Act request indicate Sherilene Chycoski, the district's visual and performing arts director, loaned most of the money nearly $35,000 to Quinn on Feb. 24, 2011.
Other documents show 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 May 17, which her attorney provided the school district, that she was in a "personal relationship" with Quinn. Chycoski filed a paternity suit against Quinn in June.
"I feel that these monies were obtained through fraud and misrepresentation," Chycoski said in the sworn statement. The Bee obtained the document as part of its public records request.
Quinn is seeking re-election to the Twin Rivers Unified School Board on June 5.
It is illegal for an elected official to take a loan from an employee, according to state government code.
"It's a pretty clean statute," said Gary Winuk, chief of the enforcement division of the state Fair Political Practices Commission. "It's a flat prohibition."
Last week, Quinn denied any wrongdoing. He did not return a call for comment Tuesday. Quinn is the district director for Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento.
"The allegations are serious," Dickinson said. "We all have an obligation to operate in compliance with the fair political practice act and other state laws. The question is, do the facts ultimately support or confirm the allegations or do they not?"
Dickinson said he is reserving judgment until after an investigation is complete.
Twin Rivers' outside legal counsel forwarded the documents last week to the Sacramento County district attorney and the Fair Political Practices Commission.
Quinn did not report any loans or gifts on the state's annual Form 700 conflict of interest filings, which he most recently filed in April.
Winuk said loans or gifts should be reflected on the conflict of interest filing. Winuk said allegations of an elected official taking a loan from an employee are rare and that typically complaints to the FPPC involve gifts. Not reporting loans or gifts can be prosecuted as a crime, Winuk said.
He said his office investigates 1,000 complaints each year, with 200 cases going into administrative proceedings for enforcement. An elected official can be fined up to $5,000 per unreported item if he or she is found to have accepted a loan from an employee.
Under state law, officials must repay gifts in excess of the $420 maximum they are allowed to accept from any one person per year.
"The general purpose of the act is to make sure the public is aware of any conflicts to make sure the individual is acting in the public interest," Winuk said.
Chycoski alleges to have loaned Quinn $46,564 between Dec. 23, 2010, and March 14, 2011. Another $8,443 was charged and withdrawn as cash advances from Chycoski's credit card, in which Quinn was a secondary cardholder, between March 26, 2011, and April 15, 2011, according to Chycoski's documents.
In court documents obtained by The Bee, Chycoski said she told Quinn of her pregnancy on March 17, 2011, and he "disavowed any relationship with me or the child."
She filed a paternity suit against Quinn in June.
Quinn released a brief statement Thursday, saying it's "unfortunate that my personal life has become the focus of my goal to continue serving the public and the students of the Twin Rivers School District to the best of my ability."
Quinn's written statement said he did not believe he violated any district rule.
Messages for Chycoski and her attorney were not returned Tuesday.
In a document dated Feb. 24, 2011, Chycoski indicates she was loaning Quinn money from the estate of her late husband. The date on the letter is the same date listed on copies of two money orders made out to Quinn for $17,500 each, according to documents Chycoski's lawyer provided the school district.
The document indicated there were no specific terms or conditions for the loan and that it would be considered paid in full upon the sale of estate assets, such as a beach home, or if 10 years had passed.
"I did not loan these monies to him in exchange for anything for myself," she said in the sworn statement. "I simply did it because of his requests and to assist someone I thought was a friend. I loaned him these funds in particular the $35,000 in February 2011 as I was led to believe he was going to lose a home in Vallejo."