Cortez Quinn, Twin Rivers Unified School District's newly elected school board president, repeatedly asked school police officers to chauffeur him on personal trips or errands in 2009 and 2010.
School police emails obtained by The Bee through the Public Records Act show Quinn, during his first term as a board member, asked Twin Rivers Police Chief Christopher Breck on at least eight occasions to arrange rides for him.
Quinn asked for officers to pick him up at his North Natomas home and take him downtown to his job. He was an administrative assistant to then-county Supervisor Roger Dickinson, earning about $82,000 in 2010, public records show.
Breck, who is on administrative leave stemming from numerous allegations of wrongdoing, emailed officers that chauffeuring Quinn could help garner political support and make a positive impression.
"Remember, these are votes for a later date," Breck wrote Officer Daniel Birch and then-Lt. Jason Spano on April 14, 2010.
In an email on Jan. 22, 2010, Breck thanked Birch for picking Quinn up downtown and taking him to a district site: " nice to have an ACE up our sleeve for a later date."
In other emails, Breck instructed officers to "keep it on the down low" and "bend his ear while you have him."
Breck didn't respond to an emailed request for comment. His attorney declined to comment.
In an interview Tuesday night, Quinn acknowledged he received rides but said he believed them to be authorized by Breck and now-retired Superintendent Frank Porter.
Asked whether the rides were an appropriate use of district resources, Quinn said: "I asked for help. That's all I'll say."
Quinn said he was not aware of the chief's emails suggesting the rides would benefit the district Police Department. Quinn said he was not influenced by the rides, and that his last one was two years ago.
Last month, Quinn won a second term as a Twin Rivers trustee, despite allegations surfacing 2 1/2 weeks before the June 5 election that he illegally accepted $55,000 in loans from a district employee with whom he had a relationship.
This week, officials from the Fair Political Practices Commission and the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office confirmed they are continuing to review documents in the case.
Quinn was unanimously elected school board president Tuesday night. Dickinson, who was elected to the Assembly in November 2010, swore Quinn in as a Twin Rivers trustee. Quinn continues to work for Dickinson.
Sacramento County schools chief David Gordon said the new Twin Rivers board should look into the personal chauffeuring.
"Maybe there needs to be a clearer statement in board policy about using district property for things," said former board President Roger Westrup, who was defeated in June.
State law prohibits public funds from being used for reasons that are primarily personal. The state attorney general defines public funds as money or anything of value, including equipment, resources and compensated staff time.
Acting Twin Rivers Police Chief Scott LaCosse said that officers providing rides for district-related activities in limited circumstances is acceptable. "But for things not related to the district? No," LaCosse said. "In my opinion that's a misuse of district resources."
Daniel Birch said the rides typically did not take much time out of his day and that he was told to drive Quinn in an unmarked car when taking him to work or home or to a car shop on Power Inn Road where Quinn's BMW was being repaired.
"One time, he wanted me to run him by a bakery" on his way to work, Birch said Tuesday.
In one email message sent from Quinn to Breck in 2009, the school board member said his car was down for a week and he would need help getting to district events during that time.
On July 16, 2009, Birch was told to pick up Quinn at a car shop on Power Inn Road at 5 p.m. Breck then instructed Birch to "drive (Quinn) wherever he needs to go. I believe his next venue will be Martin Luther King Jr. Junior High. From there I believe you are to take him to his residence."
Twin Rivers Sgt. David Lugo said changes in the police force have been implemented by new leadership, and such personal favors would not be allowed now.
Lugo, who sometimes was told to give Quinn rides, said he didn't initially think it was "a big deal."
"But then it got overwhelming," Lugo said.
A grand jury report released last week detailed allegations of wrongdoing among school district leaders and within the police force.
The grand jury was especially critical of Breck. An officer testified that Breck asked him on several occasions to do personal tasks, such as making repairs to Breck's home or buying him cigars.
The officer said on many occasions he was instructed to be a driver for Breck and his wife, Twin Rivers Officer Margueritte Dias-Breck, for special events.
On Tuesday, grand jury foreman Don Prange Sr. issued a letter praising changes in recent months within the school police force under LaCosse and Lt. Mike Sales.