Dinesh D'Souza's request for a "summer break" from community service gets slapped down by federal judge

School may be out for summer -- but that doesn't mean community service is


Scott Eric Kaufman
May 6, 2015 11:15PM (UTC)

Federal Judge Richard Berman shot down conservative filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza's request that he be allowed a "summer break" from his community service because the Catholic high school at which he had been serving is on its summer recess, the New York Post's Josh Saul reports.

D'Souza pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws by using other people's identities to donate $20,000 to Republican Wendy Long's failed New York senatorial bid. He was sentenced to eight months in a halfway house and community service, which he had been serving at the Mater Dei School in San Diego.

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But when the school let out for the summer, instead of finding an alternative means of performing community service, D'Souza had his parole officer petition the court for a "summer break." Berman wouldn't hear of it, writing that "with respect to [the] request that Mr. D'Souza's community service hours be 'waived' from June 1, 2015 until July 13, 2015, the request is respectfully denied."

"The short explanation is," Berman continued, "as all criminal defendants are aware, that we don't provide 'summer breaks' in these circumstances." He noted that there are other "appropriate venue[s] for community service in San Diego" and strongly encouraged D'Souza to locate one of them and fulfill the terms of his parole immediately.

As to the copy of a Vanity Fair article that D'Souza's parole officer had, for some reason, included in the request, Berman would only say that "the court has no immediate reaction other than the article suggests several fertile areas of discussion during Mr. D’Souza’s required therapeutic counseling."


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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