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  • Cortez Quinn

  • Roger Dickinson

Assemblyman parts ways with district director amid Twin Rivers Unified investigations

Published: Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012 - 8:48 am

Assemblyman Roger Dickinson has parted ways with longtime staffer Cortez Quinn, who is being investigated for allegedly accepting illegal loans from a Twin Rivers Unified employee while he served as a school district trustee.

"We had a mutual agreement to part company," Dickinson said. "Beyond that, I can't give any more information. We have a lot of restrictions relating to personnel matters."

After Quinn won a second term as a Twin Rivers trustee in June, he was voted school board president by fellow trustees. Quinn said Wednesday that it was a mutual decision to leave Dickinson's office and that it involved a personnel matter.

Two weeks before he won his trustee seat in the June election, allegations surfaced that Quinn had accepted $55,000 in loans from a district employee with whom he had a relationship.

It is illegal for an elected official to accept loans from an employee, according to state government code.

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.

Officials at the Fair Political Practices Commission and the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office confirmed Wednesday they are continuing to review documents in the case.

Quinn also faced scrutiny last month after The Bee reported he had repeatedly asked school police officers to chauffeur him on personal trips or errands in 2009 and 2010.

"It's a challenging time for him, no question about it," Dickinson said. "I wish him the best in whatever comes next."

Dickinson said the agreement for Quinn to part ways with him was made Monday. Quinn was the district director for Dickinson, a Democrat seeking re-election in November. Quinn made $84,000 last year during his day job in the Assembly.

Quinn previously worked for Dickinson for about a decade, including as chief of staff when Dickinson was a Sacramento County supervisor.

As an elected school board member with Twin Rivers, Quinn is hoping to lead the school district out of disarray following a multitude of lawsuits and allegations of wrongdoing.

The Sacramento Police Department is currently investigating Twin Rivers' school police force and the administrators who oversaw it.

Twin Rivers Superintendent Frank Porter resigned in June and, last week, school trustees voted 7-0 to buy out Deputy Superintendent Ziggy Robeson's contract for more than $260,000. That amount was equal to 18 months of pay, as required in Robeson's contract if she was fired without cause.

The district announced Wednesday that Director of Communications Trinette Marquis will be leaving at the end of August.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Melody Gutierrez



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