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Attorney General Vindicates Mayor Sanders of Corruption

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Aired 4/19/09

The California Attorney General’s office has wrapped up a one year investigation into the Sunroad affair. The report dismisses City Attorney Mike Aguirre’s charge that Mayor Jerry Sanders engaged in, “a corrupt course of action.” KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Gary Schons of the State Attorney General’s office says he studied the entire background of the Sunroad office tower, which was originally built 40 feet higher than FAA rules allow. Schons concludes Aguirre’s allegations of corrupt actions by the mayor are unfounded.

Schons: There were campaign contributions from individuals connected with Sunroad, but that fact alone does not in our view under the law make the mayor’s actions with respect to Sunroad corrupt.

Aguirre now says he never intended to call the mayor corrupt, he was just responding to a reporter’s question about corruption.

He says before the Mayor asked for an investigation, he, Aguirre, asked the state attorney general’s office to investigate the whole Sunroad affair.

Aguirre: And instead of doing that, they write this whitewash of the mayor’s office.

Aguirre says the AG’s San Diego office never questioned anyone at Sunroad.. He accuses them of responding to the mayor’s request for an investigation, as a favor to the mayor.

Glen Sparrow, professor emeritus at SDSU and  long time observer of city politics, says that theory doesn’t hold water since state Attorney General Jerry Brown is a democrat while Sanders is a republican.

Sparrow: It seems like things are falling in place for the mayor at about the right time 2 weeks before the election.

The mayor referred to Aguirre’s accusations as bullying and says he’s grateful to be vindicated.

Alison St John, KPBS News.  

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