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City Attorney Says No Misunderstanding In Cate’s ‘Illegal’ Memo Leak

San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott sits at the dais, Dec. 12, 2016.

Photo by Milan Kovacevic

Above: San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott sits at the dais, Dec. 12, 2016.

City Attorney Says No Misunderstanding In Cate's 'Illegal' Memo Leak


Mara Elliott, San Diego city attorney


City Attorney Mara Elliott is dismissing Councilman Chris Cate’s defense of why he leaked a confidential memo on the Soccer City initiative to the measure’s backers, saying Cate’s actions were illegal.

Cate came clean last week, admitting he shared a legal memo prepared by Elliott’s office with FS Investors in order to get their input before he voted on whether to approve their proposal outright. Cate said he was not trying to undermine Elliott and that at most, there was a misunderstanding.

RELATED: District Attorney’s Office Investigating Cate’s Leak Of Confidential Memo

Elliott wrote Cate’s explanation was “misleading and contradictory” in a San Diego Union-Tribune column and that there was no misunderstanding between the two of them.

She told KPBS that while Cate said publicly that he did not regret his decision, in private he was remorseful and “somewhat emotional.” Elliott added that she did not trust Cate after the memo’s release.

"I’m very concerned about sharing information with him that’s confidential and has an impact on taxpayers until I hear the right words, which are: I’m sorry, I made a mistake, I will not do it again," she said.

According to Elliott’s office, the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit is now investigating the case.

Elliott joined KPBS Midday Edition on Monday to discuss whether Cate should resign and what damage the leaked memo could have caused.


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