Former Santa Clarita educators ordered to return to court

Court gavel
Signal File Photo.

Two former Santa Clarita Valley educators — one a former governing board president and the other a principal — returned to court on Monday, both receiving future dates to appear once again.  

Paul De La Cerda, a former Saugus Union School District governing board president, was charged in December with overbilling his employer for trips he took when he was dean of East Los Angeles College.  

Between March 2017 and 2019, the defendant is accused of overbilling East Los Angeles College roughly $1,575 for several hotel stays. He allegedly forged documents he submitted for reimbursement.  

De La Cerda began his tenure on the Saugus Union School District board in 2005 and served three consecutive terms of four years, plus one additional year to align the election cycle years. He also served in 2008-2010 in a marketing position for The Signal.  

De La Cerda is scheduled to return to court on June 10 for a preliminary hearing. During a preliminary hearing, a judge decides if there’s enough evidence for the case to go to trial.    

Bill Bolde, who was at the helm of Saugus High School for over a decade before retiring from the district in 2017, also appeared in court on Monday after having previously been charged on the allegation that he had perjured himself and had a conflict of interest while he was principal after he established a student exchange program in China.   

“Bolde helped set up a student exchange program with a high school in Gaoxin, China, as well as creating a nonprofit organization to administer the program,” read a statement from the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office at the time of the arrest. “He is charged with having a conflict of interest because he was still principal at Saugus High School while he had an employment agreement with the nonprofit. Bolde also is charged with lying on disclosure forms.”   

Both De La Cerda and Bolde are represented by the same attorney, David D. Diamond, and the former board Saugus principal is also set to return on June 10 for a preliminary hearing.  

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