Susan Luzzaro 2:30 p.m., Sept. 19
City Threatens to Sue Promote La Jolla BID
The city attorney's office has notified Promote La Jolla, a business improvement district which has been accused of accounting irregularities and misuse of funds, that it will sue for recovery if it doesn't get $112,070 by by May 10. Rick Wildman, who took over the operation after the financial troubles hit, believes that insurance may cover the sum, but the chances of getting the money before May 10 are "slim and none." The insurance carrier may not accept the claim "without the actual lawsuit being filed," says Wildman. The group has a million dollars of insurance. Deborah Marengo, Resa Ghasemi, and Tiffany Sherer would be named in the suit if it is filed. Sherer is now head of the City of San Diego's Business Improvement District Council. Marengo is still on the board of Promote La Jolla.
On June 29 of last year, the city auditor filed a report that was a response of a hotline investigation. Its report outlined the inappropriate and misused funds to the tune of $112,070, including $46,747 of "prohibited and duplicative expenditures." The threatened lawsuit is based on those findings.
According to the La Jolla Light, "The action follows a vote by the [Promote La Jolla] on April 14 to talk to a bankruptcy attorney at their next meeting to discuss filing for liquidation under Chapter 7."
Overall, Wildman blames "sloppy record-keeping."