Former Shawnee Mission School District superintendent Raj Chopra is one of 15 people indicted this week in San Diego in a wide-ranging investigation into allegations of corruption among public officials.
Chopra, 75, who led Shawnee Mission for nine years through 1991, was named in at least 13 of the indictment’s 232 criminal charges. He is accused of abusing his position at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, Calif., where he was superintendent from 2007 to 2010.
Efforts to contact Chopra or his attorney were not successful.
Chopra was one of 10 defendants added to the expanding indictment in charges announced Monday by the San Diego County district attorney’s office.
The case now includes school board members in two school districts, former members of the board of trustees at Southwestern College, two current or former superintendents, a construction program manager and a bond underwriter.
The charges include various accusations of public officials accepting bribes and gifts, including dinners and golf outings, and making false statements.
“We go where the evidence takes us,” San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said in a prepared statement, “and in this case it took us into a much larger, more tangled web of corruption than we originally uncovered.”
Southwestern issued a statement after the new charges were announced saying the college “has been working diligently and deliberately to eliminate the ‘pay for play’ culture in business practices and governing board elections.”
Chopra left Shawnee Mission to take the superintendent post in Fort Bend, Texas, near Houston. He served as superintendent in Granville, Ohio; Marple-Newton, Pa.; and the Phoenix Union School District before going to Southwestern College.