Feds: Filner Offered To Help Businessman Tied To San Diego Campaign Finance Scandal
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Federal prosecutors said disgraced former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner personally offered to help a wealthy Mexican businessman who is now at the center of a campaign funding scandal in San Diego.
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Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Perry said in court Friday the Mexican businessman wanted to influence development on the San Diego Bay waterfront. Perry said the businessman whom sources said is Jose Susumo Azano Matsura wanted to transform the area into "Miami West."
Perry went on to say that a candidate, whom sources says is Filner, explained to Azano he had no control over the bayfront. But Filner allegedly said that he would see what he could do to delay progress on the Navy Broadway Complex so Azano could take control of the lease.
Filner's attorney did not return a call for comment.
Three men are accused of illegally contributing nearly $500,000 of Azano's money to San Diego mayoral and federal campaigns in the last two years. Azano cannot legally give to U.S. Candidates because he is a foreign national.
The allegation comes just days after a federal complaint, unsealed in San Diego, accused three men of conspiring with a “foreign national” to fund local politicians identified as "Candidates 1-4."
These latest accusations were made at a detention hearing for San Diego lobbyist Marco Polo Cortes, regarding his role in an elaborate scheme to funnel funds from Azano to four prominent politicians.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to clarify that Filner allegedly offered to delay development of the bayfront so Azano could take over the lease.