USD Professor of Law Robert Fellmeth Comments on San Ysidro Schools Trustee Yolanda Hernandez Sentencing Aftermath

San Diego (April 30, 2014) – University of San Diego (USD) School of Law Professor Robert Fellmeth provided expert commentary for the San Diego Union Tribune article, "San Ysidro trustee steps down after all." Fellmeth is the Price Professor of Public Interest Law and the executive director of the Children's Advocacy Institute at USD.

Yolanda Hernandez stepped down Wednesday evening, a day after her sentencing in the ongoing corruption probe at three South County school districts. Hernandez was one of 15 elected officials and contractors indicted in 2012 in a probe by District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. At her sentencing, she received community service and probation, but was allowed to stay in office. Questions were raised about how Hernandez could stay in office after conviction.

Government Code Section 1770 states, "An office becomes vacant" when an elected official is convicted of "any offense involving a violation of his or her official duties."

Fellmeth said if he was still a deputy district attorney in the courtroom, "I would be sure to raise the issue before the court and insist upon the vacancy... The court did not seem to know anything about 1770 at all."

Fellmeth went on to explain, "It’s not a discretionary statute at all. You are 'vacant.' You’re gone."

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About Robert Fellmeth

Robert Fellmeth is the Price Professor of Public Interest Law at the University of San Diego School of Law, where he teaches and writes in the areas of children's rights, regulation, antitrust, and consumer law. Professor Fellmeth is also the executive director of both USD’s Center for Public Interest Law and Children's Advocacy Institute.

About the University of San Diego School of Law

Celebrating 60 years of alumni success, the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law is recognized for the excellence of its faculty, depth of its curriculum, and strength of its clinical programs. Each year, USD educates approximately 900 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 81 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 23rd worldwide in all-time faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, nonprofit, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.

Price Professor of Public Interest Law Robert Fellmeth

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