LAUSD President, Cousin Charged For Reimbursing Nearly $25K To Campaign Donors

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The president of the Los Angeles Unified School District and his cousin have been charged for allegedly reimbursing nearly $25,000 to donors that he claimed in a campaign filing form, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

Refugio Rodriguez – who became president of the school board this summer — and Elizabeth Tinajero Melendrez were each charged with one felony count of conspiracy to commit assumed name contribution and 25 misdemeanor counts of assumed name contribution, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.

Rodriguez also faces one felony count each of perjury and procuring and offering a false or forged instrument.

According to prosecutors, Rodriguez raised over $50,000 during the initial campaign reporting period ending in Dec. 2014 and 25 donors – mostly family and friends – were allegedly paid back $24,250 by Rodriguez and Melendrez.

A statement from LAUSD attorneys said the “allegations are not connected to any District business” and pledged cooperation with the investigation.

Arraignment for Rodriguez was postponed until Oct. 24.

Both he and Melendrez remain free on their own recognizance.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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