Former City College Chancellor Philip R. Day, Jr. recently pleaded guilty to three felony counts of misappropriating public funds, charges that were brought against him in 2009 by then-District Attorney Kamala Harris.
These charges all stem from the breaking of California Education Code 7054, said Stephanie Ong Stillman, communications director at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. The code prohibits community college funds from being used to support or defeat ballot measures.
The first charge of misappropriating public funds related to an incident in 2001, when Day diverted a $50,000 signing bonus from a vending contract between City College and Pepsi Co. to the 2001 San Francisco bond campaign committee. The campaign was in support of the $195 million Proposition A Education Facilities Improvement bond measure that San Francisco voters approved later that year.
Four years later a food vendor, The Bean Scene, contracted with City College. They paid a signing bonus of $20,000 and that money was diverted to the 2005 Committee to Support Our City College. This committee, whose treasurer and assistant treasurer were both City College administrators, campaigned in support of a second Prop A bond measure intended to raise $246.3 million for construction projects on City College campuses.
Then in 2006 another $28,000 was diverted from a Pepsi Co. contract according to a previous report in The Guardsman. Using a private charity as an intermediary, the money was sent to a campaign supporting a state bond measure intended to raise money for the Community College System.
These charges of misappropriating public funds were just a few of a slew of indictments made in 2009 against Day, and two other former City College administrators. These indictments included counts of conspiracy, concealing an account of public money, grand theft, making a political contribution in the name of another and three counts of using college funds to support a political campaign.
Day, 65, who waged a legal battle for three years against the charges now faces a court fine of $30,000.
Stephen Herman, 63, the former Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services, also pleaded guilty to involvement in two of those felony cases of misappropriating public funds. He owes the court $20,000 in fines.
Both Day and Herman will be back in court Nov. 1 to discuss the possibility of owing reparations to City College, though they have avoided jail time.
A third former administrator James Blomquist who was once the college’s Vice Chancellor of Facilities pleaded not guilty to all charges against him and will be back in court Nov. 22. His case is being reviewed, and he will be tried on probable causes, according to Stillman.