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Maria Elena Serna's lawyer says charge is a technicality

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Posted: Tuesday, December 9, 2008 10:00 pm

A day after Maria Elena Serna resigned from the San Joaquin Delta College Board and pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor offense of doublebilling the college, her attorney characterized the charge as a technicality and said it may have been politically motivated.

Serna, 67, received three years probation in San Joaquin County Superior Court on Monday. The Lodi resident "double-dipped" by asking and receiving reimbursements from Delta and the Community College League of California for travel costs and other expenses. The total amount of the reimbursements were $1,642.10.

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32 comments:

  • posted at 4:57 am on Sat, Dec 13, 2008.

    Posts:

    How do you tell when a defense lawyer is lying? His lips are moving.

     
  • posted at 1:02 am on Fri, Dec 12, 2008.

    Posts:

    I respect the valued opinions of the bloggers on this board and share in their disgust of the one we call the Serna.We name buildings, benches, highways and we dedicate trees, hospital wings and moments of silence to those who have sacrificed so much for others.Maria Elena Serna dedicated her life to living off the coat tails of others. She did this with beaming personal pride and much to the chagrin of my pet Yorky, Peaches.We are talking a single urinal here. Who here shares in my aspirations to dedicate that prized urinal. I can see it now:"This urinal is hereby dedicated as the Maria Elena Serna Lifetime Achievement Urinal, in honor of her flushing her career down the toilet."(written in black sharpie nonetheless)

     
  • posted at 3:25 pm on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    good riddence! you are nothing but a crook trying to rip off the taxpayers. You've done nothing for Galt, yet I am paying for this #@!$ bond measure in my property taxes. we will never see anything here thanks to her incompetence.now we just need to get rid of rodriguez!

     
  • posted at 11:54 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    With Serna most likely to put in some time behind bars, along with OJ and the Gov. of Ill. all we need is one more for a 4th for bridge. That dolt from Alaska should fit right in.

     
  • posted at 10:13 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    OTH: Your question was answered well by Weezer. I will not elaborate, as it was a good response.JF: You got the whole plea. The DA is not going to file on a case without having all of the evidence present. In this particular situation, the case was limited to a specific set of circumstances. Nothing more, nothing less. Serna took a plea deal that makes her feel better by saying no contest, but in the eyes of the judicial system, she is still guilty.The important thing here is that she is no longer a trustee and can no longer infect Delta. She will never win another election and will be looked down upon everytime she steps foot in public...especially in Lodi.There are murders, rapes and other more significant and violent crimes out there. Trying to get her convicted on more than she was convicted for would have been overly expensive and would have tied up the courts and prevented more serious crimes from being prosecuted.This ended the way it needed to, with her name smeared and her ending her long career in disgrace.

     
  • posted at 9:42 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    Sounds like the board members are begining to rat on each other when it comes to being investigated, probablyto protect themselves.

     
  • posted at 8:57 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    wtf - Serna is a big fish in a small pond. If we want to attack the sharks in the deep blue ocean, we have to start somewhere. And Serna's a good start.OTH wrote on Dec 10, 2008 7:42 AM:" Delta PenguinHow long did Rodriguez know about this before he did anything? "OTH, perhaps, Rodriguez exercised prudence. It's not a small fish that he's dealing with here.It takes time to gather evidence. And it takes even more time to find people and witnesses who are willing to go against a big fish.

     
  • posted at 8:51 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    Other incidents that raised questions at the college were also detailed in the report.---There's a [b]pattern[/b]. This is not a one-time mistake attributed to personal issues. Chaves must be rolling in his grave.

     
  • posted at 8:33 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    ."She never had any intention to cheat anyone. ..."WTF? Submitting the same expense to two different entities for re-imbursement isn't trying to intentionally cheat anyone?This is a CLASSIC example of politics in the modern age. It is all about "what can it do for me"?

     
  • posted at 6:16 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    Mad dog, great line.

     
  • posted at 4:29 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    Maybe Serna and the Illinois Governor can go into business together?

     
  • posted at 4:23 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    Hey folks! Maybe we can take a collection up for her. We might get the 50 cents it would cost her to dial 1-800-WHAHH-FRICKING-WHAHHH (think whiny sounds)

     
  • posted at 4:15 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    I want to see ALL the details of her plea.How can we get them? If that DA let her off like this without getting a truckload of dirt from the inside of that boardroom he should be fired!

     
  • posted at 4:11 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    A very wise man has said, "My experience has been that small groups of people, left to themselves, are generally pretty decent and kind. It's only the gigantic governments of empire that screw things up."Too true and shown by this story.A Legacy of Christmas Kindnesshttp://www.americanprofile.com/spotlights/article/30584.htmlAnd this one...just because it's cute. Looking at the pics reminds me of one of my cats. ;)http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1093194/Frankie-feline-exposed-cat-burglar-stealing-toys-neighbours-homes.html

     
  • posted at 4:06 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    In my book Ms. Serna is a very small fish. Think about it: $1,642.10 might be more than a lot of people have to live on BUT most of us can wrap our heads around that figure. Whereas trillion dollar deficits ($1,000,000,000,000) and multi-billion dollar bailouts ($1,000,000,000) are a little more difficult to comprehend.The above amounts are what WE, the taxpayer, are being saddled with by Bernanke, Paulson, Bush and the congress.Guess it all comes down to Reagan's "trickle down economics"....they're all the same."President Bush and Laura have purchased a new home in Dallas, Texas. How does that work, when the presidentapplies for a home loan? When they do a credit check, do they include the trillion-dollar deficit?" -Jay LenoThen there's this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-j1Q0zeHo0

     
  • posted at 3:57 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    Nellie, you're so right on. Now that they've caught her "appropriating" $1600 or so it should be real easy pickins' for the grand jury to find where those millions were "appropriated" here in Lodi and Mountain House and yet no one seems to care that it's just been plain squandered by board members helping out their "friends" in financial need. Where was the millions from Lodi alone that went to consultants and to buy land? The same consulting firms and associates and developers involved in all the money schemes and no one wonders where the $4 million or so went. Just coincidental one of the local banks paid enormous dividends on their stocks while others were sinking. Hmmmm?

     
  • posted at 3:50 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    Just to correct an earlier post, she plead "no contest" instead of guilty. Pretty much means the same in my book, especially with all the evidence the DA had.Also, Sam hit the nail on the head: Dan Parises is a buffoon. HA HA

     
  • posted at 3:44 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    There really is no excuse. What she did was wrong.It may have been politically-motivated, but just like the governor of Illinois, why do something crooked especially when there are eyes watching you?The bottom line is that I think this speaks to the type of person she is. And, I don't doubt that it was politically-motivated because I'm sure this action is a reflection of who she is. I'd be out to get her too!

     
  • posted at 2:59 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    Having a Lawyer vouch for your integrity is like having Kirstie Alley vouch for your willpower. What do THEY know about it?

     
  • posted at 2:43 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    Lawyer liar no difference. In my opinion what have we learned or already knew. Ellis is a a great fish story teller. Parises is a piece of work. Serna is and educated crook. RIP

     
  • posted at 2:39 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    Ellis, "This is the same woman to march with Cesar Chavez, and after he died, she started a scholarship named after him for the college," In my opinion, "BFD." Does that mean she can not be a crook? Are the two mutually exclusive? NO!That's like saying, "If you march with Chavez you can not be a crook." WRONG!So, with that way of thinking I guess that "If I go to church I can not sin." WRONG! Yeah, how many "Hail Mary's" do you think she'll have to do for confession? I know, 1,650, one for each dollar.

     
  • posted at 2:21 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    Ha, that is what I want. Dan vouching for my integrity.The guy should just keep his mouth shut. What a buffoon. (I just love that word... it just rolls off the tongue).

     
  • posted at 1:42 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    Delta PenguinHow long did Rodriguez know about this before he did anything?

     
  • posted at 1:40 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    Ms Serna if you and your attorney were smart you would keep your mouths shut and let this die. This to you may have been a minor amount of money for a few meals and such but to many people it's more than they have to live on for a month. What they see is another arrogant politician stealing from taxpayers.And please, please, please don't ever use Dan Parises for a character reference.Finally to use your name in association with Cesar Chavez is an insult. You've come a long way baby since those days and it hasn't been up.

     
  • posted at 1:35 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    I know that many (especially in another valley rag) keep asking what other hammers will drop at Delta.Here is one of the few times when I will actually compliment the President. Whether politically motivated or not is of no concern...He knew that Serna was doing wrong and he took the necessary steps to stop it.One of the major points that the college has failed on for years is transparency. All of these demons being released from the closet (especially that really large one named Serna) are giving the public the openness that should have existed all along. Keep the revelations coming. In time, it will help redeem Delta and that transparency will help restore the public trust that has been lost.

     
  • posted at 1:30 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    LodisafewayAl Ellis has been a top notch attorney in Stkn for years. I cannot imagine him waiting for his fee until after her highness went to court, that usually is not done.

     
  • posted at 12:58 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    You know, a lot of us have personal, physical and other problems as we venture throughout our lifetimes. But someone with the obvious intelligence of Serna would have to know precisely what she was doing as far as this embezzlement is concerned. Having served in this capacity for so long, clearly she should have fully understood the process on reimbursement; to now feign ignorance, forgetfulness, political witch-hunting or any other unbelievable excuse is only further embarrassing for her.Her attorney, who may very well not have as yet been paid and is trolling for his fee, should step back and keep his mouth shut. He isn't doing her any favors with this tepid and weak show of support.

     
  • posted at 12:56 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    LodiSafeway: I think I know what she was thinking. Since she had been successful at pushing people around for almost 20 years. Getting her way, making people afraid to stand up to her. She figured that she could do whatever she wants. Her ego took over her intellect.I was once one of her students. I saw that ego, and arrogance as a child. I won't forget it.

     
  • posted at 12:53 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    I sure wish that an investigator from the Stockton PD would disclose the whole story. There has to be more to this. As for Mr.Ellis: He's paid to make her look better. But no one is buying it. Sure sounds like the same type of crap that Baxter Dunn's lawyers were saying.And I have a little comment for the InterClub President at Delta...Just because you don't like Raul's actions regarding your club. You might want to think real real hard before you publicly back Serna.

     
  • posted at 12:51 am on Wed, Dec 10, 2008.

    Posts:

    The only thing that is a "technicality" is the degree of the conviction. Previously charged with a felony, Serna was permitted to wriggle out of this mess by pleading to a reduced charge, a misdemeanor. However, there was sufficient evidence to support the felony charge else this magical attorney of hers would have enthusiastically advised her against pleading guilty to anything.Although she is 67-years-old, this conviction will follow her the rest of her life and at least as far as the general public is concerned will determine how she will be remembered. Of course her family will not put much stock in this criminal conviction, as is perfectly understandable.Yet, if she were truly innocent what would be her motivation for pleading guilty? Most people, when faced with criminal charges are understandably frightened by the prospect of a trial and possible jail time, even if the action is "politically motivated." But why would this convicted swindler have gone that route when nothing good was to come of it? For the time being at least, Ms. Serna is declining any requests to speak to us, as is her right. But still, what was she thinking?

     
  • posted at 11:47 pm on Tue, Dec 9, 2008.

    Posts:

    ".....She marched with Cesar Chavez and had a scholarship named after him...."Listen Ellis...She committed a crime and based upon statements made by others, knew she was doing it. She felt she was above the law. The courts have now reminded her that she is no more above the law than the urinal I used last night after dining on asparagus.I vote we memorialize her years of mistrust and abuse of power by re-dedicating that urinal as the "Maria Elena Serna Lifetime Achievement Urinal"The fact that she marched with Cesar Chavez means squat!

     
  • posted at 10:19 pm on Tue, Dec 9, 2008.

    Posts:

    Wow if I'm ever in trouble I want Ellis vouching for me !She marched with Chavez,and had a scholarship named after him ,,,,whoa,,,that has to mean she can't be guilty! And Parises ,,talking about her integrity and honesty,,,,,,,,,oh ,,I really trust what he says !

     
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