Jeff Smith noon, March 8
New Padres ownership raises conflict of interest questions for a CCDC board member
As we reported last month, new Padres owner Jeff Moorad has yet to tell the city all the namesof his partners in the deal to buy the team from divorce-embattled John Moores.
Ex-city councilman Bruce Henderson warned that keeping the names secret was problematic and urged the city to enforce Charter Section 225, requiring a full disclosure of the names. "Council members, the mayor, city staff should know whose economic interests are before them in order to be certain there is no conflict of interest, and the public needs to know the same thing, so if there is a conflict of interest they can blow the whistle on it," he said . A day later, Moorad had a news conference in which he listed 10 names of what he said were 12 partners.
Now the sale is already creating conflict of interest issues for one member of the board of the Centre City Development Corporation. According to an advice letter issued late yesterday by Alison Adema, general counsel to the city’s Ethics Commission, CCDC board member Kim Kilkenny is an employee and officer of OPLP, doing business as The Otay Ranch Company, developer of the big Otay Ranch tract in eastern Chula Vista.
Brothers Al Baldwin and Jim Baldwin each own 50% of the shares of Otay Ranch. In light of the fact that Al Baldwin is among the new Padres partners so far identified, Kilkenny asked the ethics commission whether he had a conflict of interest when voting at CCDC on issues affecting downtown’s Petco Park and related development. The answer: It depends.
“The conflict of interest provisions in the Ethics Ordinance preclude you from participating in CCDC decisions that are substantially likely to have a material financial impact on your economic interests, which include OPLP and Al Baldwin. Although the Padres are not a source of income to you, and do not otherwise represent one of your economic interests, you should be aware that CCDC decisions involving the Padres could still raise disqualification concerns.
"More specifically, if it is reasonably foreseeable that a CCDC decision relating to the Padres (or to any other entity) will affect Al Baldwin’s income, investments, or other tangible or intangible assets or liabilities by $1,000 or more, you will be disqualified from participating in that decision.”
Concluded Adema: “The conflict of interest provisions in the Ethics Ordinance preclude you from participating in CCDC decisions that are substantially likely to have a material financial effect on your economic interests. Thus, if it is substantially likely that a CCDC decision relating to the Padres (or any other entity) will affect Al Baldwin’s income, investments, or other tangible or intangible assets or liabilities by $1,000 or more, you will be disqualified from participating in that decision."