Last Tuesday, May 11, Derrick Roach spoke to the Chula Vista City Council during public comments. After introducing himself as a private investigator that investigates “business fraud and public government agencies,” Roach called for the immediate resignation of councilmember Mitch Thompson for unlawful activities. Thompson is an interim council member who was appointed to fill John McCann’s seat when McCann was sent to Iraq.
Roach asserted that while Thompson sat on the planning commission, he purchased two pieces of property and owned a total of four properties within 500 feet of Chula Vista’s redevelopment area. Roach said Thompson failed to disclose his purchases and had financially benefited from votes he participated in while sitting on the planning commission
In a telephone interview, Thompson said, “I have never voted on anything for which I got any financial gain whatsoever. And this is nothing but Chicago-style politics in Chula Vista. It’s political thuggery.”
Regarding one property that was near a redevelopment zone, Thompson said, “This property is never going to be developed. How am I getting financial gain if I own this one-bedroom condo near Fourth and H? The change in the rezoning we voted on was to put a school into the Gateway building. How am I gaining from that?”
Thompson also shared an email dated July 18, 2009, when he served on the planning commission. The email discloses his purchase of property on Fourth Avenue and requests information on an upcoming vote from Gary Halbert, head of the redevelopment agency. “I do not believe that Gateway is within 500 feet…please advise.”
Thompson believes “these accusations are coming from the John Mcann/Russ Hall faction of the Republican party. This guy [Roach] is very close to them.’’ Russ Hall was narrowly defeated as Chula Vista councilman in 2008. “When I got appointed, there was this whole thing about Russ Hall because he was the next highest vote-getter and believed he should have gotten appointed. John McCann was saying his seat had to go to someone who was politically aligned with him.”
In 2009, Roach was the private investigator who retrieved Acorn (Association of Community Organization for Reform Now) documents out of a Dumpster behind Acorn’s San Diego office. Roach is quoted in a November 2009 Union-Tribune article as saying he went to the Dumpster on a “whim,” that it is was “divine intervention.” Roach is currently running as a Republican in the 79th District. He also ran, unsuccessfully, in 2008, at which time he listed the San Diego Minutemen among his endorsers. Roach did not return my phone call.