Former TRUSD board member Cortez Quinn, right, was ordered by a Sacramento County judge to serve eight months in jail Dec. 8 for botching a paternity test. Quinn is shown here with actor Danny Glover, left, at a fundraising in Del Paso Heights in May 2012.
(OBSERVER photo by Antonio R. Harvey)

DOWNTOWN SACRAMENTO — Former Twin Rivers Unified School School District board member Cortez Ledon Quinn was remanded and placed in incarceration Dec. 8 to serve 240 days in the Sacramento County Jail on a felony count of conspiracy.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Laurel D. White sentenced Quinn for submitting a fraudulent paternity test. Quinn plead no contest to the charge on Oct. 15. An admission of no contest has the same effect as a guilty plea.

Before Quinn was taken in custody, Judge White made it clear to him the center of his actions effected the three-year-old boy he fathered with a former TRUSD employee, who he also accepted an illegal loan and gifts from as an elected official.

Judge White, in a stern voice told Quinn that his and a co-conspirator attempt to botch a paternity test were “so outrageous” and “in fact serious” in criminal nature.

“It’s amazing to me that someone who has spent his whole life helping youth would deny a child” he fathered, Judge White said.

Quinn will also serve for time two misdemeanor counts of accepting “gifts” and “loans” that totaled nearly $55,000. He had already been assessed a $14,000 fine by the California Fair Political Practices Commission for the violations.

Quinn, 47, will be on formal probation for the next five year and he is eligible for alternative sentencing, home arrest or work project, after serving 120 days in jail. Quinn cannot seek an elected office or serve as a lobbyist for four years.

“Yes, I am sorry for the actions that brought me to this place,” Quinn said to Judge White. “I still want and will continue my work in the community as a leader.”

Andre Pearson, who conspired with Quinn to botch the paternity test when he was a an employee for Comprehensive Medical, Inc., was also taken into custody after he was ordered to serve 180 days “straight time” in the county jail, said Judge White.

Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Mike Blazina, who pieced together the lab tech’s and politician’s scheme, told The OBSERVER that Pearson’s felony charge was reduced to a misdemeanor because the nature of his crime was a “wobbler.”

Pearson, who has an eight-year-old child of his own, has since quit the job that he betrayed. Though Pearson breached the trust of his employers, Blazina took in consideration that Pearson admitted wrongdoing early after he was arrested.

“We took in account (Pearson’s) level of participation,” Blazina said. “But he had been trusted to work at this lab and he violated that trust.”

Along with expressing the well-being of the child Quinn was in denial of, Judge White also listed her concerns “in the planning, deceit, and sophistication” of the plot. White cited in court that Pearson and Quinn exchanged “text messages and phone calls” after the latter presumably took the invalid paternity test around April 4, 2012.

While in custody, Quinn will still have more time in a courtroom over the paternity matter, though this round will be in civil court to iron out financial issues with the mother of his son.

Quinn’s lawyer, Vincent Maher worked the most reasonable deal he could for his client. He reluctantly told the media after the sentencing that he was pleased with the outcome. To say the least, Maher indicated that Quinn did commit a non-violent crime.

“It’s better than doing a whole year,” Maher said of Quinn’s punishment. “I expected this. But there are far more worse people in the world than Cortez Quinn.”

By OBSERVER Staff Writer
Antonio R. Harvey