Friday, August 22, 2008
San Diego's downtown development corporation, CCDC, will review downtown development agreements, to see if they are threatened by financial conflicts of interest. The corporation will also review its ethics procedures. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.
Growing evidence of former CCDC President, Nancy Graham’s conflicts of interest could invalidate multi million dollar development agreements. She had undeclared financial ties with two developers granted major contracts in downtown San Diego.
CCDC has hired a law firm to conduct the review. The Board will also contract with a Los Angeles based expert on government ethics to review its ethics code. Robert Stern of the Center for Government Studies says it’s too soon to say if CCDC’s procedures are flawed.
Stern : What I need to do is obviously review their conflict of interest code, make sure it is up to date and that somebody is reviewing these statements as they come in. I need to do a refresher course for them to make sure all the "i"s are being dotted and the "t"s are being crossed.
The construction of the Padres ballpark was held up for months back in 2000, after evidence surfaced that city council member Valerie Stallings had received gifts from Padres owner John Moores before she voted for the billion dollar ballpark.
A second San Diego redevelopment agency, the South East Development Corporation, is also currently under an ethical cloud. Its President, Carolyn Smith, awarded herself tens of thousands of dollars in bonuses.
In this case, the mayor’s office has undertaken an audit. The findings of that audit will go to to city council next month. It is the city's responsibility to provide oversight of the two corporations.
Alison St John, KBS news.