A 10-month investigation by Merced County District Attorney Investigators has culminated in arrest warrants being issued for 54-year-old Greg Opinski and 68-year-old Tommy Jones, two school district faculty members implicated in a bribery scheme in connection to a Los Banos construction project.
Opinski, a general contractor and member of the Merced Union High School District, was arrested and released on bail on Monday morning.
Jones, a member of the Los Banos Unified School District Board and former mayor of the city, was contacted by telephone and advised that a warrant had been issued for his arrest. At the time, he declined to meet with investigators and said his attorney would handle it.
According to DA investigators assigned to the case, cash payments had been made to a fellow Los Banos School Board member Dominic Falasco to shore up Opinski’s bid for a $541,000 expansion contract for the Mercy Springs Elementary School.
Falasco then requested a meeting in October 2015 with the DA’s office and informed them of his suspicions that a bribe had been attempted. Falasco had several more meetings with Opinski and Jones over the next several months, which were all recorded by investigators.
When sufficient evidence was present, Opinski was eventually arrested on four counts of bribery of a public official and one count of violating Government Code section 1090(b), with bail set at $40,000. The warrant against Jones alleges two counts of bribery.
The investigation remains ongoing.