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SEDC Audit Reveals Fraud

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A long-awaited city audit of San Diego’s Southern Economic Development Corporation concludes the generous bonuses that top staff awarded themselves amount to fraud. Mayor Jerry Sanders says he will a

SEDC Audit Reveals Fraud

(Photo: San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders (L) and Councilman Tony Young (District 4) announce the results of the city’s SEDC audit, which reveals fraud. Alison St John/KPBS )

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A long awaited city audit of San Diego’s  South Eastern Economic Development Corporation concludes the generous bonuses that top staff awarded themselves amount to fraud.

Mayor Jerry Sanders says he will ask the District Attorney whether the fraud is criminal. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

The audit found SEDC’s President Carolyn Smith awarded herself and other staff $870 thousand in bonus over the last five years. In some cases the bonuses surpassed maximum salary limits and circumvented city efforts to deny requests for increases.

Sanders says the audit validates what many have suspected.

Sanders : Instead of serving the public, those running SEDC have been just as intent on serving themselves.

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Smith has resigned, effective next month. Sanders wants her gone now. But the new board he has appointed has not met yet. Law suits are ongoing over the $100 thousand severance package the old board  awarded Smith.

Sanders says he wants future development corporation boards to include one person representing the mayor, and a second representing the city council.

Alison St John, KPBS News.

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