By Chris Reed, California Political Review
Well, that didn’t take long. Multiple news outlets are reporting that the FBI and/or the U.S. Justice Department is looking at a San Diego scandal in which first-year Mayor Bob Filner’s administration conditioned a permit for a project on the developer’s gift of $100,000 to two of Filner’s pet causes. The U-T San Diego has details:
“Federal agents are asking questions about a $100,000 donation to the city made by a developer seeking San Diego Mayor Bob Filner’s approval for revisions to a project in Kearny Mesa.
“FBI officials visited more than one city official this week inquiring about the $100,000 in checks, which Filner said last week he returned to the developer, Sunroad Centrum Partners.
“The money was to go to two Filner pet projects, a veterans memorial in Ocean Beach and a daylong bicycling event. According to a voice mail obtained by U-T Watchdog last week, the developer made a connection between the donations and Filner’s support of an easement for the project at Kearny Villa Road and Lightwave Avenue.”
But the mayor’s defense is that this was all news to him.
“On Friday, Filner told reporters he was unaware that a top-level administrator in his office had accepted the contribution as a consideration for the mayor’s support of the project changes. Filner said he thought it was just a good-faith gesture.
“’I thought they were offering a voluntary donation,’ Filner told reporters.
“The official, deputy chief of staff Allen Jones, is no longer with the city, over unrelated disagreements over Filner’s policies and management style.
“Jones [told the U-T] after Filner’s news conference that the mayor knew full well that the payment was given in consideration for approval of changes to a Kearny Mesa project. Jones said he had recommended the money go to parks in Kearny Mesa and did not know how or why the money changed purposes.”
Source: California Political Review