With the City of San Diego now suing outgoing Southeastern Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) president Carolyn Smith to recover off-budget bonuses, there is now the possibility being bandied about that Ms. Smith will sue SEDC if that redevelopment agency withdraws its payment of her legal fees in the City Attorney's action.

SEDC has conditioned its legal fee payments for the outgoing president on a determination that she was acting within the scope of her office. The City Attorney's suit naturally alleges that the activities of interest were not only outside the scope of her office but were also a violation of her fiduciary duties to SEDC and the people of San Diego.

The SEDC bonus money sought in the City Attorney's suit was awarded by Smith to herself and other redevelopment staffers even while city employees in general were under a pay raise freeze as the city was going through the worst part of its credit crunch/budget crisis.

One solution, if the outgoing SEDC president does sue SEDC for legel fees, is to simply relieve SEDC of its charge to promote Southeast San Diego redevelopment, transfer that function back to the City Council which already functions as the city-wide redevelopment agency (SEDC only operates in Southeast San Diego)....

... and then let Ms. Smith show her true colors by presenting her with the opportunity to sue the City of San Diego for her legal fees instead.

At least we would all know how this professional agency head feels about the people of San Diego who she was allegedly serving and who are ultimately paying not only for her presidential SEDC errors in judgment but also for both the prosecution and defense in the City Attorney's attempt to recover the apparently-unethical self-dealing bonuses.

Why can't she pay for her own legal fees out of that hefty unquestioned portion of that salary of hers?

Comments

jerome Sept. 1, 2008 @ 4 p.m.

that woman obiously lacks any sembelance of personal integrity or professional ethics. 14 years on the job and millions of dollars in her pockets let her try to stay out of jail on her own. sue away MS SMITH but we shall hopefully see justice, and you in JAIL!!!! the time for JUSTICE IS HERE!!!!! the money you spread around your cohorts will not help you now!!!! you can not buy integrity it comes from family values and a commitement to jesus christ. he will forgive you but the public will not forget. you are a discrace to your community.

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JustWondering Sept. 3, 2008 @ 9:17 a.m.

This story is STILL UNFOLDING. It's now been revealed the illegal bonuses are being used to calculate contributions into retirement accounts. This is in violation of City ordinances and Charter sections. When will the theivery of the City Treasury stop by those who are supposely in positions of management and trust. I'm just wondering where the fiduciary duty fits into the scheme of one of these hybrid non-profits? Is it to the "corporation" or the City taxpayer who are the deep pocket behind this non-profit?

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a2zresource Sept. 3, 2008 @ 6:36 p.m.

Responding to #1 & #2:

There seems to be an inherent conflict of interest whenever a part of local government is allowed to incorporate, then that corporation's board is not populated with at least some representatives of the local government that allowed it to form in the first place.

This also explains why small cities so much love to have home-owner associations take over the details of maintaining parks and other fixtures in new developments. It's so easy for the local government to say: "We're not responsible for installing this or fixing that! See your HOA!" while local government staffers are busy looking for new fees, penalties and taxes to assess for things government is not really responsible for anymore.

In any case, the brilliant city council members who actually voted years ago to approve of the CCDC/SEDC corporate redevelopment model (that exists nowhere except in San Diego) have yet to be heard from.

I wonder where they are now...

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Fred Williams Sept. 5, 2008 @ 8:21 a.m.

Disgraced former SEDC Chair Owen claimed at his final public meeting that the board is loyal first and foremost to itself, and only secondarily to the public and the city that appointed them.

It's a truism that loyalty cannot be split, so basically the SEDC was run for years on the assumption that they were independent of oversight or scrutiny. This is proven by their refusal to provide auditors with the materials they require, how they have repeatedly and pointedly refused to provide named public records to Will Carless of VOSD, and how the Chair abused standard parliamentary procedure to block motions from new reform-minded board members during his reign.

CCDC and SEDC have become so utterly untrustworthy that they ought to be abolished by the next City Council, followed-up with an independent forensic audit to find where the money disappeared.

Best,

Fred

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a2zresource Sept. 5, 2008 @ 9:28 a.m.

Responding to #5:

You may remember around the time you were a San Diego community college student trustee that there were problems with the Grossmont College associated students corporation as it existed in the governance framework of that other district. The parallels are obvious (compare the paraphrase of then "thanks for the learning experience" with the paraphrase of now "those practices predated me"), but so far, nobody on the SEDC board or its president has been arrested in another state, trying to flee justice by crawling through a bathroom window...

No, I am not reponding to comments, satirical or otherwise, describing Carolyn Smith's attempts at getting through a bathroom window... ;-)

Without making accusations or having conducted a forensic audit on my own, I would suspect that the BCA (www.bcasd.org to see a swell picture of its Imperial Avenue building) and/or the Catfish Club are directly or indirectly familiar with where the money disappeared. Without a Catfish Club endorsement, it is virtually impossible to get elected as a 4th District council candidate (see the published reports of 1960s ethinc balkanization regarding the 4th and 8th districts; it has been published that non-African-American candidates in the 4th are an "affront" to the supposed majority of 4th district voters, or at least to the powers that be here in Southeast San Diego).

Follow the money, and see who has the most to lose by not protecting its current political turf...

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jerome Sept. 15, 2008 @ 5:19 p.m.

what you do with CATFISH: YA SKIN EM THEN YA FRY EM!

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a2zresource Oct. 15, 2008 @ 10:47 a.m.

...but what if we've got a whole school 'o bottom feeders?

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