“Councilwoman [Pamela] Bensoussan, what planet do you think you are on?” asked Derrick Roach at the Chula Vista City Council meeting on July 27. Roach is a San Diego–based private investigator and Republican candidate for the 79th District Assembly seat.
During his three-minute public comment, Roach, the same private dick that dove into a Dumpster behind an ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) branch office in San Diego last year to retrieve sensitive documents, spoke out against Bensoussan’s motion to appoint former interim city councilmember and former planning board member Mitch Thompson to the city’s Mobile Home Park Rent Review Committee.
“Back in June, I came before this council when Mr. Thompson was serving as an interim councilmember and I pointed out some illegal activities that he engaged in,” said Roach from the dais while holding a letter from the Fair Political Practices Commission in his right hand.
The gumshoe was referring to allegations that Thompson had violated California’s conflict-of-interest laws by purchasing parcels of land located in the city’s redevelopment area and voting on surrounding parcels while he was a member of the planning board. Roach claimed Thompson violated the conflict-of-interest law five times in 2009.
“Most of these mobile-home parks are in redevelopment zones,” said Roach. “How do you think Mr. Thompson is going to act as a commissioner? Someone here is not thinking, or perhaps…maybe someone is smoking something.”
Councilmember Bensoussan responded to Roach’s tirade: ”On this planet that we are living on, in this country, people are innocent until proven guilty.”
Bensoussan then read aloud a passage from the Fair Political Practices Commission letter that stated the commission had not “made any determination about the validity” of the claim.
The council later approved Thompson's appointment, 4 votes to 1. (Councilmember John McCann opposed the nomination because of potential conflict of interest.)
Thompson will appear at the Mobile Home Rent Review Committee’s October meeting.