SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A Republican has won a hotly contested Central Valley state Senate contest, with his top Democratic rival conceding that the race will not go to a runoff. Democratic Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez of Bakersfield conceded the 16th Senate District race to Republican Andy Vidak today. The victory is a coup for Republicans, who captured what has been a Democratic seat. Even with his victory, Democrats will retain their supermajority in the Senate.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Six current and former San Francisco school district employees have pleaded not guilty to charges that they embezzled $15 million in grant money from the school system. Prosecutors say they diverted federal and state grant money into hidden slush fund accounts. Nearly $750,000 was allegedly used for personal expenses and unauthorized salaries and bonuses. Prosecutors say much of the remainder went toward educational purposes, but not for what was specifically intended.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Santa Clara County is on the hook for a $5 million settlement in a crash involving a sheriff's deputy who allegedly took his eyes off the road while eating a McDonald's hamburger. The Mercury News reports that Deputy Greg Markovic smashed into Diem Van Lam's Honda in January, leaving Van Lam injured. Lam's attorney says the county is self-insured for the first $2 million. Its insurance company covers the rest.
SAN CARLOS, Calif. (AP) - A San Francisco Bay area postal worker accused of stealing thousands of pieces of mail to obtain credit cards has been sentenced to 18 months in jail. Attorneys tell the San Mateo County Times that 39-year-old Romeo Natan has credit for about 10 months in jail and will likely serve the rest of his sentence in a residential drug treatment program. Attorneys say he targeted credit cards and mail going through San Carlos to feed a methamphetamine habit.
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