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Feds Asking Questions About $100k Donation

Evening Edition

The U.S. Justice Department is asking questions about a developer's $100,000 donation to the city of San Diego that was linked to a Kearny Mesa apartment project, it was reported yesterday.

The donation was revealed after the mayor's office made an about-face on City Council action to waive setback requirements for apartment buildings and a two-acre park being built by Sunroad Enterprises in the Centrum development.

Mayor Bob Filner vetoed the waiver, but his office later encouraged council members to vote for an override — which they did unanimously.

During discussion on the item, Councilman Scott Sherman mentioned the donation and said it didn't pass the smell test.

Last week, Filner told reporters that the donation had been refunded to Sunroad. He said he thought the donation was voluntary, but gave the money back when he learned of a memo that said the gift was in exchange for public land.

The pending investigation was reported by 10News, which cited federal sources speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Filner's office did not immediately comment on the report.

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Avatar for user 'RegularChristian'

RegularChristian | July 4, 2013 at 8:31 a.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

Isn't Sunroad the same developer throwing cash at politicians while asking for a break on the height restrictions of a building near an airport a few years ago?

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Avatar for user 'Mmikey'

Mmikey | July 4, 2013 at 8:57 a.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

lets hope the feds net gets lots of stale fish.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | July 4, 2013 at 7:09 p.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago

Mayor Bob Filner vetoed the waiver, but his office later encouraged council members to vote for an override — which they did unanimously.


$100,000 bribe for reversing just one vote. Not bad.

I bet his last day in office a developer will give him a ride home to Pittsburgh in one of their corporate jets. That is after a luxurious vacation in Paris.

Oh wait, he just got back from Paris paid for by the People's Mujahedin of Iran. Maybe down to Havana for a genuine Cohiba to celebrate fooling all the San Diego Democrats.

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Avatar for user 'laplayaheritage'

laplayaheritage | July 4, 2013 at 8:19 p.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago

The blame for Sunroad includes everyone. The least Mayor Filner, as he did not remove his Veto on the original shady deal, which violated the Municipal Code, Council Policy 700-06, and the City Charter.

Mayor Filner removed his objection to the unanimous City Council vote to override the Mayor's Veto. Only the City Attorney gave legal approval and City Council voted for the gifting of the two 9 foot public park easements.‘shakedown-of-sunroad.html

Great investigative work by City Beat.

Former City of San Diego DSD Director Tom Story of Sunroad hired his own private Building and Fire Code Consultant to write the Civil Engineer’s report instead of Development Services Department (DSD) staff, and bypassed the City’s Real Estate Asset Department (READ) on the annual lease negotiation terms for public park easements.

The shadiest part is that Tom Story of Sunroad wrote the Staff report and intentionally left out Page 4 of 7 of Council Policy 700-06 that deals with the annual Lease payments for Encroachments on City Property. The City Council relied on this incomplete report at the City Council’s Land Use and Housing Committee.

Including annual lease costs for the easements, and the requirement to go through DSD and READ Mayoral Staff. This is evidence of purposeful fraud, and the smoking gun.

“D. Fees and Costs.
1. It is the City’s policy that the Permittee shall pay an encroachment authorization fee established to recover costs associated with processing the request for encroachment authorization, and with monitoring, inspection or installation of the encroachment where appropriate. In addition, the City shall require payment of an annual encroachment fee which will include a reasonable charge for use of City property and recovery of annual inspection cost.

E. Development Permits. It is the City’s policy that departments which issue development permits shall be aware of City property interests and may not issue permits for development which encroaches on City property without proof from the Permittee that written authorization has been obtained from the Permit Issuing Authority.”

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Avatar for user 'RegularChristian'

RegularChristian | July 5, 2013 at 6 a.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago

laplaya, Anyway you can summarize or put it in plain English?

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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | July 17, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago

Doesn't look good for you, Bob. When you get a 100k donation you can bet you're going to know who's giving it and why. Any employee accepting that sort of donation is going to call you that second and tell you the good news. "Hey, we just got 100k. All you have to do is...."

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