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La Vista, a fancy, rotating restaurant atop a hotel in Punta del Este, Uruguay, has been ordered closed, according to the Uruguay newspaper, El Pais. It is scheduled to be auctioned June 27. It is one of a series of Uruguay investments made in recent years by Roque De La Fuente, San Diegan who spends much of his time and money in Mexico. In San Diego, De La Fuente is powerful in auto sales and real estate, among many other investments. In 1998, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) charged De La Fuente with "personal dishonesty" and a "shocking disregard of sound banking practices," recommending that he be banned from banking. At a hearing, De La Fuente called the agency "worse than the Gestapo." At the hearing, the FDIC showed how De La Fuente's holdings were bewilderingly intertwined. U.S. district court ruled that De La Fuente's constitutional rights had not been violated, and the appeals court generally sided with the lower court.

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Comments

Visduh June 9, 2013 @ 9:36 a.m.

My impression is that de La Fuente is a Mexican national. If so, is describing him as a "San Diegan" really appropriate?

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Don Bauder June 9, 2013 @ 9:47 a.m.

Visduh: De La Fuente has won several important lawsuits in San Diego courts. The FDIC case against him was held in San Diego and concerned San Diego County banking infractions. He owns auto dealerships and lots of land and other investments in San Diego. I was reporting heavily on his antics in the late 1990s and to the best of my recollection he was living in San Diego, although I only reached him through an office. It seems to me that his wife was living in San Diego. (I don't know if they are still married.) Since "San Diegan" does not necessarily connote citizenship, I think it's a coin flip. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh June 9, 2013 @ 10:03 a.m.

Agreed. He won a big lawsuit against the city of SD in regard to zoning of industrial/commercial property on Otay Mesa, although I think the award was reduced sharply. That suit may still be on appeal at some level. Old Roque is no credit to either San Diego or to Mexico.

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aardvark June 9, 2013 @ 11:33 a.m.

According to an article on 6/27/08 in Voice of San Diego, Judge Linda Quinn threw out de la Fuente's final case against the City of San Diego. De la Fuente had appealed an earlier reversal of his judgement against the city all the way to the SCOTUS, but in May of '07, that court refused to hear the case. So I assume that case is done.

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Don Bauder June 9, 2013 @ 1:07 p.m.

aardvark: De La Fuente's attorney, Vincent Bartollotta Jr., turned down a $50 million settlement offer. Then Aguirre got the whole thing eliminated. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 9, 2013 @ 1:06 p.m.

Visduh: He won more than one suit. In the early 1990s, he won a judgment against the count for $56 million. He settled for $38 million. In 2001, he won a $94.6 million settlement against the city. But then-City Attorney Mike Aguirre got that judgment reversed, saving the city the money. Best, Don Bauder

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Dave Rice June 9, 2013 @ 10:14 p.m.

My wife attended school with his kids in East County in the early 90s, so at one point he (or his family) must have been local residents.

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Don Bauder June 10, 2013 @ 6:55 a.m.

Dave Rice: I never knew where he lived. Best, Don Bauder

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monaghan June 9, 2013 @ 1:39 p.m.

Let's hear it for former City Attorney Mike Aguirre whose lawyerly skills saved this city a fortune. Aguirre successor Jan Goldsmith might try it -- helping rather than hindering, grandstanding, blocking and whining at every turn.

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Don Bauder June 9, 2013 @ 7:33 p.m.

monaghan: You have it right. Goldsmith prefers showmanship and politics to supervising tough legal work. Best, Don Baude

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Visduh June 9, 2013 @ 8:02 p.m.

Back when "Rogah" Hedgecock was beating up (deservedly it turned out) on the San Diego city government then headed by hapless Dick Murphy, he had good ol' Roque come on his radio show and help him belittle the city administration. That was right after Rogue, oops Roque, had won his big suit against the city. Hedgecock was reveling in the fact that the city had "done Roque wrong" and the two of them had the best old time on air with their jabs, stabs, and innuendo. We can only speculate just how Rog now regards his Mexican plutocrat buddy. I doubt that he's given him much thought in recent years. (Just how much thought Rog has given to anything in recent years is debatable.)

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Don Bauder June 10, 2013 @ 6:58 a.m.

Visduh: Hedgecock has a remarkably selective memory. He may claim he remembers no such interview. Best, Don Bauder

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