California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Saturday called on the state bar to overlook a technical error and allow a paralyzed law school graduate to take the bar exam next week.
“It is outrageous that someone who has overcome so much in life is penalized by a bureaucratic error that prevents her from taking the bar exam next week,” the governor said in a statement. “Government should work for the people, not against them, and I’m calling on the state bar to allow Sara Granda to take next week’s test. Sara is a fighter, and I am with her all the way.” The state bar’s Web site never processed Granda’s application for Tuesday’s test because California’s Department of Rehabilitation paid her $600 fee with a check, according to the Sacramento Bee. The Web site requires a credit card number, but Granda said she was assured by a state bar representative that she was properly registered with the check, the newspaper reported. Granda, 29, a University of California-Davis Law School graduate, has petitioned the California Supreme Court to allow her to take Tuesday’s test. She said she was “surprised” to hear about Schwarzenegger’s statement in her defense.
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“I’m not used to a lot of attention,” she told CNN television affiliate KCRA. She said she went to the governor’s office last week, “but they wouldn’t let me in.” “So I knew there was no way that the governor was going to get involved,” she said. Granda was paralyzed from the neck down after a car accident in 1997, when she was 17. The accident happened a month before she was to attend California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, on a full scholarship, according to the Sacramento Bee. Granda, who has been studying 11 hours a day for the bar exam with the help of assistants, said she wants the state of California to resolve the matter because it spent about $100,000 for her education. “I worked very, very hard for every cent,” she told KCRA. “So for everything to come together in the end and for it to just kind of fall through on such a minor, minor detail.”