SAN FRANCISCO
10/03/2011 12:49 am ET Updated Dec 02, 2011

Philip Day Pleads Guilty: Former City College Of San Francisco Chancellor Admits To Illegally Diverting School Funds

The former chancellor of City College of San Francisco has plead guilty to illegally funneling money to a political campaign supporting a 2005 bond measure benefiting the college.

Philip Day, who served as the chancellor of the community college for a full decade starting in 1998, was charged with three felony counts of misusing public funds; however, because of his guilty plea, Day is unlikely to face jail time.

Day, along with co-conspirator, former City College chief Administrative Services Officer Stephen Herman, will be forced to pay at least $20,000 to $30,000 each in fines and restitution to the college. The specific amount they will have to pay will determined in the coming months.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

Prosecutors initially charged Day with eight felonies and Herman with seven, but the charges were reduced because they had acted in the college's best interests, Arguedas said.

"No money was used for the benefit of Phil Day or Stephen Herman," she said. "It was all used for the benefit of City College."

A third college official, James Blomquist, has yet to appear in court and enter his plea.

Former San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris began investigating improprieties related to the bond campaign after a story in the Chronicle revealed a series of deals where various corporations looking to do business with the school were forced to pay a "signing bonus" to a third-party organization pushing the ultimately successful campaign for a nearly $200 million bond.

Companies Day and his associates convinced to contribute to the fund include PepsiCo, coffee shop Bean Scene and a local motorcycle school renting one of the college's parking lots.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports:

The money was later returned to City College, after an official with the committee realized that the college was the donor. State laws prohibit such campaign contributions from colleges and universities.

At the time the scandal broke, Day was serving as the president and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Administrators, a non-profit organization working to increase access to post-secondary education for students who couldn't otherwise afford it. In light of the investigation into his activities at CSFF, Day stepped down from this position in 2009.

According to the San Francisco Examiner, "[Day] also was accused of maintaining a secret account to pay for parking tickets, alcohol at functions and a membership at an exclusive business club." Many of those charges were later dropped.

Before becoming chancellor at City College, Day served as the president of a number of community colleges across the eastern seaboard—Daytona Beach Community College, Cape Cod Community College and Dundalk Community College in Baltimore.