Curren Price
West Basin water district board member pleads guilty to embezzlement

A board member at the West Basin Municipal Water District was sentenced Monday to 180 days in jail after pleading guilty in an embezzlement case involving his agency and a local nonprofit group. Ronald Smith, 55, pleaded guilty to one felony count of conflict of interest and, according to prosecutors, admitted that he used funds from his agency to pay for his family's expenses, including rent, boat repairs, and his children's tuition and dance lessons. As part of his plea deal, Smith agreed to resign from the water district board and provided a $10,000 check to his agency as partial reimbursement. Prosecutors, in turn, dismissed six other counts against Smith: four counts of...