Fallbrook

The former director of migrant education for Fallbrook High School was ordered Wednesday to complete 100 hours of volunteer work and repay the county $2,000 for forgery.

Arturo Santoyo, 35, was placed on three years' probation by San Diego County Municipal Court Judge Laura Hammes, who imposed no jail time but gave him credit for one day previously spent in custody.

Santoyo resigned his position Nov. 1. As part of his sentence, he was barred from assuming a teaching position until the fall of 1987.

The judge ordered Santoyo to write letters to three students involved in billing the county $2,000 on a work-study project for work they did not do. Hammes said the letters should reflect "that what he asked them to do was wrong," and ordered that copies of the letters be made available to the county Probation Department.

Many Fallbrook students wrote Hammes in support of Santoyo, causing a delay in the scheduled Nov. 6 sentencing. Hammes said she needed a Spanish interpreter to help read at least 50 letters of support.

The federally funded education program was established by Congress to better serve school children of migrant farm workers.

The charges stemmed from the repayment of a $2,000 loan Santoyo obtained from the Fallbrook High School Associated Student Body treasury to send the three students to a migrant education conference in New Orleans.

To repay the loan, the students were placed in a work experience program. The students' time sheets showed work never performed, on direction from Santoyo, Deputy Dist. Atty. John Heisner said.

Santoyo apologized to the court, saying that he had failed those who had trusted him. He worked for the district for six years.

"It's a great disappointment to see someone in the Spanish community . . . fall back and do something like this," Hammes said. She dismissed 10 counts of misappropriation of public funds and falsifying documents when Santoyo pleaded guilty Sept. 25 to one count of forgery, a felony.

Santoyo could have received three years in state prison and a $10,000 fine.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
64°