Another mayoral hopeful, this one actually declared, is Republican district attorney Bonnie Dumanis. On Friday, April 15, she and her friend and political ally county sheriff Bill Gore held a Citizens of Courage Awards Ceremony for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. As reported by the Union-Tribune, “dignitaries and law enforcement officials released about 100 butterflies to honor local crime victims.”
It wasn’t mentioned that the wingding was held at the rooftop Beach bar of downtown’s W Hotel, with “complimentary hors d’oeuvres, a no-host bar, and an opportunity drawing,” according to a release by the Crime Victims Fund, which charged admission of $10 a head (“which is waived for media representatives”) as a fund-raiser. According to the group’s Internal Revenue Service report for 2009, filed last November 22, it raised $41,994, made $15,492 in grants, and spent $44,000 on unspecified “contract services,” reporting an end-of-year deficit of $25,295.
Presided over by family law attorney Meredith Levin, the board includes Sheriff Gore; onetime GOP city attorney candidate Leslie Devaney; former assistant chief of police, now Qualcomm executive, Bill Maheu; San Diego executive assistant chief of police David Ramirez; and Phyllis Shess, a deputy district attorney under Dumanis.
In a telephone interview last week, the fund’s executive director Patti Colston said the group’s past financial issues had resulted from the loss of revenue it had been receiving from a discontinued prison-labor program at the state’s Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility on Otay Mesa, but there are plans for future growth.