The California State University system has been beset by scandals, ranging from a defaulted $1.25 million loan made by Sonoma State University’s academic foundation to Clem Carinalli, a former board member and developer who is now in bankruptcy, to hiding details of Sarah Palin’s speaking fee. As part of the fallout, it has decided to post online for public inspection a list of its contracts with outside vendors that exceed $50,000.
According to the local version of the list, which provides no details about the reasons for the contracts, San Diego State’s vendors included the Barona Valley Rancho Resort and Casino, which received $59,196, and Orange County’s Hyatt Regency Hotel, which SDSU paid $175,000. The biggest local contract listed was for $4.8 million, paid to Aztec Shops, Ltd., a nonprofit university auxiliary. The SDSU procurement office told the investigative news site California Watch that the money was related to the administration of Aztec Corner, the student-housing complex on Montezuma Road where 19-year-old Shirley Jennifer Poliakoff was found dead in her room on the morning of May 6, 2007, the victim of cocaine and alcohol abuse. … It was big news in Canada but caused nary a ripple among local media. Two weeks ago, U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey Miller sentenced former 2002 Olympic snowboarder Ryan Wedding to 48 months behind bars after he was busted by federal agents for buying cocaine for a Vancouver drug ring during a June 13, 2008 sting at a San Diego hotel.