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Mayor Sanders Questions $600,000 Budgeted for Raises

Given the state of the economy, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders is questioning the $600,000 in raises and bonuses that a city agency has budgeted for its 250 employees this year, it was reported today.

Sanders has requested an accounting of salaries and bonuses paid to employees of San Diego Data Processing Corp. for the last three years. He also suggested the city might rethink its future relationship with the agency, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Officials told the newspaper that not all that money has been paid out and no additional raises or bonuses are included for the agency's employees in next year's budget.

The mayor said that any increase sends a wrong message at a time when city employees have had their pay frozen or reduced.

"We're not accusing anybody of doing anything wrong, but I think that one of the things that happens in some of these corporations that are actually quasi-city entities is there's not much attention paid to them in the budget process," Sanders told the newspaper.

San Diego Data Processing Corp. was created by the city 30 years ago to handle information technology. It is governed by a six-member board that oversees the agency's $48 million budget.

The agency's president and chief executive, Tom Fleming, told the Union- Tribune that budgeted salary increases were actually scaled back significantly.

The city's request for financial information from its agencies stems from the bonus scandal involving Southeastern Economic Development Corp. The redevelopment agency's president, Carolyn Smith, was fired in July for giving herself and staff members $872,000 in bonuses over five years, which an auditor later called fraudulent.