Quackenbush Associate Pleads No Contest to Forgery

March 10, 2005

The last individual charged in connection with a scandal that forced the resignation in 2000 of then-California Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush has pleaded no contest to misdemeanor forgery.

Ronald Leo Weekley, 50, was immediately sentenced to 120 days of community service, which he will serve near his home in San Bernardino County. He also will make $18,000 in restitution to the nonprofit California Research Fund.

He pleaded March 7, just before his jury trial was set to start in Sacramento County Superior Court on felony charges of theft, receiving stolen property and providing investigators with false information. If he completes his sentence, he could have his conviction erased.

Weekley had testified that he was duped into signing checks that were used in a kickback scheme without his knowledge.

“This will close out the prosecutions in the Quackenbush case,” said attorney general spokesman Tom Dresslar. The state attorney general’s office prosecuted the Weekley case, while two others were convicted of federal crimes.

Quackenbush resigned from office rather than face impeachment on allegations he let insurance companies give $13 million to nonprofit foundations to benefit his re-election instead of requiring them to pay fines for mishandling claims from the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

Former Deputy Insurance Commissioner George Grays, the only state official charged in the scandal, was sentenced last year to 16 months in federal prison on fraud and conspiracy charges.

He and a friend, Brian “B.T.” Thompson were charged with stealing $263,000 from one of the Quackenbush foundations. Thompson was sentenced last year to seven years and three months in federal prison.

“I am glad to move on and rebuild my life with my family,” Weekley said after he was sentenced.

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