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Superior Court Judge John S. Meyer confirmed today (July 9) his tentative ruling of yesterday. In the matter of Kessler vs. San Diego, Mayor Jerry Sanders must give a deposition. The City argued that the mayor should be exempted, but Meyer said that Sanders had personal factual information on the material issue. Scott Kessler was fired from the City after giving information to the FBI and a San Diego police detective on alleged corruption involving Marco Li Mandri, a political insider, and felon Joe Mannino. The detailed study of corruption put together by the two investigators was handed to the district attorney, who never pursued the case.

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Comments

a2zresource July 9, 2010 @ 1 p.m.

The court shall impose a monetary sanction under Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 2023.010) against any party, person, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion for a protective order, unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust (Cal. Code of Civ. Proc. § 2025.420 at (d)).

Time for the City Treasurer to bust out the checkbook?

If so, when does anyone think Hiz Honor will clue us in as to the amount of the damage, or will it just get folded into the cost of a new City Hall?

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Don Bauder July 9, 2010 @ 1:21 p.m.

Response to post #1: Checkbook: don't count on it. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering July 9, 2010 @ 3:08 p.m.

This is only the beginning of the stall tactics...cases like this are usually measured using geologic time scales.

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HonestGovernment July 9, 2010 @ 3:50 p.m.

"Scott Kessler was fired from the City after giving information to the FBI and a San Diego police detective on alleged corruption involving Marco Li Mandri, a political insider, and felon Joe Mannino."

Not quite right - he was HIRED in 2006, AFTER he had ratted out LiMandri in 2005, when he wasn't a City employee.

You should ask why Kessler willingly became "one of the herd," when he knew that LiMandri and the Sanders/Goldstone/OSB/cabal were tight.

Then there was HUD...if you read the FBI report as it gets into LiMandri's and OSB's CDBG scams, it's like a primer for Kessler; from 2007 through 2008, he helped scam the CDBG monies for his own cronies.

Timeline: Kessler was, in 2000, President of the Greater Golden Hill Community Development Corporation. He brought his friend LiMandri into the community to promote MAD formation. Their efforts failed.

Kessler was CEO of the BID Council, during April-Aug 2005, when he ratted out LiMandri to the FBI and police. While he was stagnating on the powerless BID Council, his old buddy and rival was striking it rich in collusion with the City/OSB.

Kessler was hired by the City in April/May 2006 (from the lawsuit: "Deputy Chief Jim Waring solicited Plaintiff to serve as the City’s Deputy Director of the Economic Development Division.... On or about May 1, 2006, the City hired Plaintiff as the Deputy Director of the Economic Development Division.")

Kessler, in July 2007, answered questions posed by HUD officials related to their investigation of Redevelopment Agency misuse of CDCBG monies. Kessler promised that his department, newly given admin control of the CDBG program, would clean it up.

Kessler initiates Form 1472 for Council approval in October 2007, asking the Council to reprogram CDBG monies. This included reprogramming of $55,750 to the Golden Hill Community Development Corporation for "Planning (MAD Formation) Activity."

Kessler's department, Economic Development, allocated or reallocated, in 2006-2007, CDBG monies to other CDCs or BIDs for "MAD loans," without those groups applying for the CDBG funds.

City Atty Aguirre issues a memorandum in January of 2008 about the HUD findings of CDBG misuse, listing as one of the "serious issues" the "City's practice of using CDBG funds ... [for] the formation of Maintenance Assessment Districts and Business Improvement Districts." A corrective was that departments could no longer allocate CDBG monies if there was no application by a group wanting the monies.

Kessler is fired on November 21 2008.

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Grasca July 9, 2010 @ 4:14 p.m.

Shocked. The Mayor "knows" a felon and a political insider. Does "know" mean acquainted with in its present use or something more sinister. The DA could not pursue this case because she was going after an elderly woman in what I call "Toy Gate."

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Don Bauder July 9, 2010 @ 4:33 p.m.

Response to post #3: Oh yes. This has a very long way to go. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 9, 2010 @ 4:38 p.m.

Response to post #4: I guess I should have said Kessler was fired after Sanders found out he had cooperated with the FBI/police study, had given the study to the Ethics Commission, and cooperated with HUD. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 9, 2010 @ 4:54 p.m.

Response to post #5: I don't know that the mayor knows the felon. I feel certain that the DA didn't pursue the case because it would embarrass her friend and political ally, Sanders, who is also the puppet of the establishment. Has she ever pursued a case that would embarrass the establishment? Best, Don Bauder

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Grasca July 9, 2010 @ 5:01 p.m.

I assume Mr. Bauder's question was rhetorical. I am shocked again to think that our DA is in the pockets of the establishment. Going for blood in Toy Gate case is like shooting ducks in a barrel may be a whole lot safer than bird hunting with Dick Cheney.

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SurfPuppy619 July 9, 2010 @ 5:10 p.m.

The DA could not pursue this case because she was going after an elderly woman in what I call "Toy Gate."

Is this that old lady that was stealing the toys, or was it gift cards, or something, from the foster children she was taking care of??? Currently on trial??? That lady is a devil.

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HonestGovernment July 9, 2010 @ 5:27 p.m.

My reading of the HUD report doesn't indicate that Kessler "cooperated." Rather, HUD just interviewed him as the newly appointed department head who would oversee CDBG $. Of course he promised to clean it up! But there is a paper trail indicating otherwise. Apparently, though, Kessler couldn't be relied on to give up his personal vendetta against LiMandri, even with the payoff of control over CDBG $.

As for why Honest Jim Waring wanted to make Kessler part of the herd, I'll leave it to you to contemplate the angles. But who believes that ex-Police Chief Sanders, and Waring, didn't know in 2005, about Kessler talking to the SD Police about LiMandri/OSB? Or, subsequently, that Meredith Dibden Brown couldn't figure out what the FBI was up to, asking for all of those documents about LiMandri/OSB?

The Liars Club, all of them. Snakes.

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Grasca July 9, 2010 @ 5:42 p.m.

Big victory for the DA in Toy Gate. http://www.10news.com/news/24204057/detail.html

Waiting in the background to be prosecuted, jailed or fined are Nancy Graham, Judie Italiano, Carolyn Smith, Ralph Inzunza, Michael Zucchet, Ron Saathoff and a cast of thousands.

Funny how none of the above are in jail or even fined.

Devil, you say, of the old convicted toy thief ?

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SurfPuppy619 July 9, 2010 @ 6:04 p.m.

Good, they convicted that devil woman.

Who the hell steals toys from foster children-what a witch.

I hope she gets the full 5 years in the slammer.

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Grasca July 9, 2010 @ 7:10 p.m.

According to the article the prosecutor is not recommending jail time. Inzunza's case on been on appeal for several years. The others whom I mentioned are in various states of not being punished. I would like to see justice spread around in a equal fashion. Who knows how much the SEDC's Carolyn Smith stole in terms of bonuses for herself and others ? Certainly her community never saw much in terms of redevelopment but Councilmember Tony Young seems loathe to shut down SEDC. And we all know that CCDC has no expiration date.

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a2zresource July 9, 2010 @ 8:27 p.m.

"Who knows how much the SEDC's Carolyn Smith stole in terms of bonuses for herself and others?"

Probably somewhat less than the $288 million in loan-diverted HUD community block grants (and questionably-acquired subsequent interest) that City Council members wearing their Redevelopment Agency hats want forgiven by our distinguished City Council...

http://sdreader.stickywebs.com

http://www.hud.gov/offices/oig/reports/files/ig0991005.pdf

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Visduh July 9, 2010 @ 9:57 p.m.

It can only be hoped that this deposition will be the beginning of the end of the Sanders saga. But don't bet on that. The whole mess could unravel, Watergate-style, if the press were on the job. How likely is it that the U-T or NCT or even the La Jolla Light will ever really try to expose the scandals? So much for the U-T's new "investigative reporting" style, and its commitment to doing the sort of thing that brought down Cunningham. (That likely would have happened even if the U-T said nothing about it.)

The most likely way it will be exposed is if the US Attorney gets into the fray. Again, don't bet that such a thing will happen. We can only watch from the sidelines while the Reader and Don Bauder cry in the wilderness. but it is still nice to hope that justice could prevail. Just don't bet on it.

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Don Bauder July 10, 2010 @ 7:37 a.m.

Response to post #9: The Toy Gate case got the DA a lot of publicity. That's what she cares about. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 10, 2010 @ 7:38 a.m.

Response to post #10: A devil, or confused, or a bad bookkeeper. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 10, 2010 @ 7:42 a.m.

Response to post #11: Kessler's lawyer should grill Sanders on when he found out Kessler was cooperating with the FBI and HUD. And how close is the mayor to Li Mandri? Mannino? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 10, 2010 @ 7:45 a.m.

Response to post #12: How about looking into Li Mandri, Mannino, Madigan, Moores, etc.? Ain't gonna happen. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 10, 2010 @ 7:47 a.m.

Response to post #13: Will that whole SEDC matter be shoved under the rug -- in the same cozy spot occupied by CCDC/Graham? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 10, 2010 @ 7:49 a.m.

Response to post #13: But is it that important? Was media coverage balanced? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 10, 2010 @ 7:51 a.m.

Response to post #14: We also know that the DA is running unopposed. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 10, 2010 @ 7:54 a.m.

Response to post #16: I read the U-T's coverage of the decision on Sanders's deposition and saw nary a reference to Li Mandri and Mannino. Maybe I missed something, though. Best, Don Bauder

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laplayaheritage July 10, 2010 @ 8:40 a.m.

http://sdcityattorney.com/Significant_Reports/20080125_CdbgLetter.pdf

This issue includes the City misappropriated Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money to fund the formation of Maintenance Assessment Districts (MAD) and the Business Improvement Districts (BID) all over San Diego.

http://www.sandiego.gov/redevelopment-agency/pdf/attachbfy2010redeverafcdbgcitydebtpaymentsrpt.pdf

In relation to the Homeless, the City of San Diego misappropriated Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HUD Loans that are meant to solve our Homeless problem. CCDC leveraged the CDBG funds by subsidizing luxury private condominiums and hotels, instead of spending the Federal money on the poor.

Not only did the Federal Government skewer the City of San Diego for stealing Federal funds 2 years ago, next Tuesday, July 13, 2010 CCDC and the Redevelopment Agency are trying to insinuate that HUD approved the forgiveness of $144 in the same Federal debt that was misappropriating and acknowledged as part of the Federal HUD audit linked above.

http://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B_fHftxFXFhyMzEzNjAxMjgtMTFiZC00MTNhLWJlMzEtM2I1N2Y5MWU2MmFl&hl=en

The City and Mayor Sanders are purposely trying to be the anti- Robin Hood, in that the City is still trying to steal Federal Funds for the poor, to give to new projects including the new luxury Hilton Hotel near the Convention Center.

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CuddleFish July 10, 2010 @ 9:49 a.m.

I wish you all, especially you, a2z, would talk more about SEDC. Although I must say, you would be talking about the past. Carolyn Smith is gone, and most of the people who were at the agency are gone. The new interim president, Brian Trotier, was brought in specifically to clean house and was told that he could not bid for the job when it came time to hire the new President, and I believe that hiring is coming up soon. Trotier has not been loved by the Council or the City, which tells me he may have been a good person to keep at the helm of the SEDC. Trotier also hired a very progressive planner, Nancy Lytle (her daughter graduated out of UCSD in Middle Eastern studies, wants to go and help the Palestinians, as I recall), who is a Chula Vista native and seems to know what the real mission of redevelopment is, or was meant to be -- I think we all forget what redevelopment was meant to do, due to the way it has been misused and abused. I must say, anyone could have known what would happen to SEDC re Smith as long as it stayed in Stevens' area. And what it might become if it comes into Dells Imperial. Another intachable, an untouchable special interest group. Depends on a lot of factors.

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Don Bauder July 10, 2010 @ 1:03 p.m.

Response to post #25: First, I want to congratulate you for all that you and your husband do for the homeless. Yes, San Diego is trying to use money intended for the indigent to subsidize upscale development such as hotels. You are correct on that. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 10, 2010 @ 1:07 p.m.

Response to post #26: Redevelopment was originally intended to help restore blighted areas. Now it has become a money machine for wealthy developers. The concept of blight has become a joke. The money is used to subsidize upscale projects in areas that are hardly blighted. It is a disgrace. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 July 10, 2010 @ 1:28 p.m.

I think we all forget what redevelopment was meant to do, due to the way it has been misused and abused. I must say, anyone could have known what would happen to SEDC re Smith as long as it stayed in Stevens' area. And what it might become if it comes into Dells Imperial. Another intachable, an untouchable special interest group. Depends on a lot of factors.

By CuddleFish 9

Cuddles, these so called redevelopment arms of muni government need to be shut down. They are nothing more than extensions and cronies of deep pocketed campaign donors and gov insiders(as in John Moores, Malin Burnham, Nancy Graham, Carolyn Smith and the rest of the usual, and connected, suspects).

Their budgets are so far out of line in relation to the value they bring that it is simply a scam-nothing more. And that is never going to change IMO.

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Don Bauder July 10, 2010 @ 2:19 p.m.

Response to poste #29: The city council is supposed to be the redevelopment agency. But CCDC leads the council around by its nose. Best, Don Bauder

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CuddleFish July 10, 2010 @ 4:22 p.m.

The Council allows itself to be led. :)

Anyway, we are talking about SEDC, not CCDC. Or at least I am.

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Don Bauder July 11, 2010 @ 8:32 a.m.

Response to post #31: I know you were talking about SEDC but I couldn't resist the opportunity to remind people that CCDC's usefulness is in the past -- if it ever had any. As to SEDC: there are a lot of questions regarding its role in its area. Is it good for Southeast SD? Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 July 11, 2010 @ 12:41 p.m.

Is it good for Southeast SD?

The real question to measure SEDC by is does the ROI add up. Something every business abides by but no one in government understands or has a clue about, much less the ability to analyze if there is a postive ROI.

That is an unqualifed NO WAY.

SEDC probably spends $10 for every $1-$2 in business or improvment they bring in.

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CuddleFish July 11, 2010 @ 2:37 p.m.

That's only half of the equation, SurfPup. The question is, would the businesses or improvements have happened without SEDC? Highly doubtful. Southcrest and other areas have definitely been improved, and there are more improvements to come; I see that the entire area is coming up, led by those improvements. I think that's where the actual value, or some of it, comes in. Investment seems to draw investment, morale builds upon morale. It is a slow but steady process for the better.

Just take Southcrest Trails Park. That was a piece of land that was meant to be part of a new freeway, which the community opposed; the land stayed barren for years. Now SEDC is paying for that park to be built, AND, since it sits alongside Chollas Creek, they are preserving and enhancing the Creek as well. You think the City would ever have done this project?

The redevelopment system is not perfect. But it is a far better system than no system, or [in some/many ways,] the open market system. You all love to slam CCDC, but I ask myself this question: Where would downtown San Diego and the East Village be now without it? And where will be in the future?

I live very close to downtown San Diego and travel through it at least a few times a week. Is there a question in anyone's mind that downtown San Diego has been revitalized?? -- and will improve more when the permanent homeless shelter comes on line.

Of course the city's economic situation is horrific. As SurfPuppy rightly points out, a lot of that is due to the pension situation, a lot of that is due to the economic collapse, and then there's the fact that our fair citizenry refuses to tax itself in any way, shape or form. Can you blame CCDC for any of that? Doubt it.

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Don Bauder July 11, 2010 @ 4:47 p.m.

Response to #33: If true, that would indeed be a lousy return. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 11, 2010 @ 4:59 p.m.

Response to post #34: Yes, downtown San Diego has been revitalized, although there are few people in so many of the condos and hotels. But if it has been revitalized, why is it considered blighted? Best, Don Bauder

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Robert Johnston July 11, 2010 @ 5:53 p.m.

Jerry Sanders has to give a deposition? Yeah, that's rich--look for him to stall the subpoena into the middle of 2015. Or, better yet, have the San Diego Sheriff's Department drag Sanders kicking-and-screaming out of City Hall to force him to give that deposition (too many friends left on the SDPD to get them to do the deed).

One thing that Mr. Sanders should have learned in his tenure with the San Deigo Police Department was that no one was above the law. Perhaps he forgot--or chose to forget--this simple, basic lesson?

Is there term limits on the SD Mayor's job? If so, there might be hope for SD yet (don't make me laugh, Meatwad). If not...the egress gates from Political Hell are still so far away--and still padlocked!

--LPR

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ronaldi27 July 11, 2010 @ 8:11 p.m.

Hopefully, Kessler's attorney will expose all the relationships in regard to the Mayor and his subjects. It would be nice if Kessler could ask some questions about the Sunroad building too.

In any case, Sanders needs to be exposed if he is truly unethical. I think he plans to run for the Senate in 2012 when Dianne Feinstein's term is up. He will likely run as a person who can save the state money by outsourcing everything. This is why he is vigorously persuing outsourcing at this time.

The problem is that while he will have time to outsource, he will not be around to take the fall for the messes left behind.

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SurfPuppy619 July 11, 2010 @ 9:52 p.m.

You all love to slam CCDC, but I ask myself this question: Where would downtown San Diego and the East Village be now without it? And where will be in the future?

I think a strong case can be made the DT development would have happened with or w/o CCDC. Horton Plaza didn't need CCDC to make the magic happen. Petco Park didn't, all the high rise condo's didn't either, nor the new city hall and library if they get green lighted.

Your question is fair-but open to speculation from all sides and we will never know the answer.

My money says that the SEDC and CCDC do not bring value relative to their enourmous costs.

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SurfPuppy619 July 11, 2010 @ 9:58 p.m.

It would be nice if Kessler could ask some questions about the Sunroad building too.

Oh please, let Jerry babble all he can about Sunroad, and tighten that noose around his political neck-please!!!!!!!

.

.

In any case, Sanders needs to be exposed if he is truly unethical. I think he plans to run for the Senate in 2012 when Dianne Feinstein's term is up. He will likely run as a person who can save the state money by outsourcing everything. This is why he is vigorously persuing outsourcing at this time.

JFC Sanders said he was going to outsource when he was elected Mayor-still hasn't happened. So if he runs on his ability to outsource, his senate run will be over faster than Susan Goldings was-IF that is even possible.

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Don Bauder July 12, 2010 @ 11:09 a.m.

Response to post #37: No one is above the law in San Diego? In re term limits: yes, there are term limits in San Diego and Sanders faces them. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 12, 2010 @ 11:29 a.m.

Response to post #38: Sanders's deposition will be limited to certain topics. I doubt if the Sunroad scandal will come up. Outsourcing can work very well in a city that is not corrupt. That eliminates San Diego. It may also eliminate California. Best, Don Bauder

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a2zresource July 12, 2010 @ 11:56 a.m.

RE "Sanders's deposition will be limited to certain topics. I doubt if the Sunroad scandal will come up":

Because Hiz Honor has had this semi-formal policy in place where no news emits from the City unless Hiz Honor's ofice had a chance to clear it for public consumption, the situation appears to be that Judge Meyer's lack of formal deposition limits would allow Kessler's attorney to raise questions about the well-guarded normal order of City practices regarding contacts with all sorts of developers, contractors and other vendors in an attempt to discovery how much mayoral involvement there normally is in how City workers interact with those vendors, etc.

Judge Meyer did refuse to grant City's motion for mayoral protective order on the ground that Hiz Honor has facts that cannot be obtained from any other source, facts germane to Kessler's allegations. Judge Meyer did instruct the City Attorney's office that it had the opportunity to raise objections if it felt the questioning strayed too far away from relevancy, where Judge Meyer would later rule on sustaining the objection or not.

Clearly, Hiz Honor's news release prior-clearance policy does make him a unique source of facts not otherwise obtainable by Plaintiff... and evasive mayoral answers may only result in more depositions of lower-level city personnel as they are implicated by Hiz Honor's testimony or lack of it.

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laplayaheritage July 12, 2010 @ 3:15 p.m.

http://docs.sandiego.gov/citycharter/Article%20XIV.pdf

Please ask Mayor Sanders why City Charter section 225 (page 5) is ignored.

Many contracts with the City are with Delaware LLCs, that would show Conflicts of Interests if the City Chartered Section 225 was followed and the owners of the Delaware LLC were identified.

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SurfPuppy619 July 12, 2010 @ 6:45 p.m.

Many contracts with the City are with Delaware LLCs, that would show Conflicts of Interests if the City Chartered Section 225 was followed and the owners of the Delaware LLC were identified.

Don't LLC's have to identify who the owners are?????

I don't see how someone can get around conflict of interest issues by simply doing business under an LLC. There must be some sort of disclosure for LLC's and corps.

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paul July 12, 2010 @ 7:56 p.m.

laplaya,

I have sneaking feeling that the interpreted meaning of City Charter Section 225 has been badly bastardized to the point of being meaningless.

The charter says that no contract may be entered into: "unless the person applying or bargaining therefor makes a full and complete disclosure of the name and identity of any and all persons directly or indirectly involved in the application or proposed transaction and the precise nature of all interests of all persons therein."

However, it also says that: "For purposes of this Charter section, the term “person” means any natural person, joint venture, joint stock company, partnership, association, firm, club, company, corporation, business trust, organization or entity."

I'll bet they simply replace all instances of "person" with "company" (or even "Delaware LLC") and claim they are in compliance. Try making that substitution in the charter paragraph cited above, and watch transparency disappear!

That interpretation must be correct, otherwise the City Attorney or the Ethics Commission would have put a stop to doing business with anonymous Delaware LLC's (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), right? (Say no more)

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Don Bauder July 12, 2010 @ 9:47 p.m.

Response to post #43: That's the key: the judge doesn't want the questions to stray far from relevancy. That means Kessler's situation, as I interpret it. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 12, 2010 @ 9:49 p.m.

Response to post #44: Delaware is a bit like the Cayman Islands or Switzerland. Utah and Nevada are, too. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 12, 2010 @ 9:50 p.m.

Response to post #45: Some sort of disclosure, yes. But.... Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 12, 2010 @ 9:52 p.m.

Response to post #46: Why do you suppose corporations overwhelmingly incorporate in Delaware? It is business-friendly and fraud-friendly. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 12, 2010 @ 9:54 p.m.

Response to post #47: That charter section has been broken many times even when Delaware is not involved. Best, Don Bauder

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laplayaheritage July 13, 2010 @ 7:47 a.m.

Both Liberty Station and the Navy Broadway Complex use Delaware LLCs to hide the names of the owners. Many believe that City employees and leaders push projects through specifically so they can personally make money.

McMillin's ongoing lease contract with the City is not valid because McMillin NTC is a Delaware LLC. Almost all contracts for both large and small Development projects use separate Delaware LLCs.

http://www.blogofsandiego.com/Issues/NavyBroadway/Who-owns-NTC.pdf

In Point Loma each new condominium complex is built by separate Delaware LLCs as affordable apartments. A contract is signed for at least 10 percent affordable housing between the Delaware LLC and the City. Then the apartments are subdivided into luxury condominium converstion and no affordable housing is ever built.

http://laplayaheritage.com/Documents/CITY_OF_SAN_DIEGO/Condo_Conversion_20070612.pdf

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Don Bauder July 13, 2010 @ 12:32 p.m.

Response to post #53: It may be averse to BOTH the letter and spirit of the law. Best, Don Bauder

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