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Fairly unreported trip to Mexico

Fair chief Fennell flies free for fiesta fun on the far side of la frontera.
Fair chief Fennell flies free for fiesta fun on the far side of la frontera.

Del Mar Fair general manager Tim Fennell will soon be winging his way to balmy Mexico for free, thanks to a favorable ruling from the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission. An October 14 letter to Fennell from commission general counsel Zackery Morazzini outlined the situation: “You have been invited by Luden Entertainment, a non-governmental, nonprofit entity based in Mexico…to be a guest speaker at a Mexican Fairs and Festival conference in Leon, Mexico to be held in January 2014. You would speak at the conference about the organization and operations of the San Diego Fair. Luden Entertainment has offered to pay for all of your travel expenses in connection with this speech. You believe this visit will be not only beneficial to the San Diego County Fair but will also help expand relations with the fair industry of Mexico.” Based on those facts, Morazzini wrote, not only can Fennell accept the sizable gift in travel, lodging, and food, he won’t have to declare it on his annual personal statement of economic interest. The reason, said the lawyer, is that Luden “presumably operates exclusively in Mexico and does not otherwise appear to be the type of organization that would contract or engage in real estate activities” and with the fairgrounds. That said, Morazzini continued, “Although, as explained, it is unlikely that Luden Entertainment will have business before the Association at any point in the future, you must nevertheless be vigilant in the event it does, and disqualify yourself from participation in any governmental decision that would have a reasonably foreseeable material financial effect on that entity.” The opinion doesn’t say how long Fennell’s Mexico tour will last and doesn’t provide an estimate of the gift’s cash value.

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Fair chief Fennell flies free for fiesta fun on the far side of la frontera.
Fair chief Fennell flies free for fiesta fun on the far side of la frontera.

Del Mar Fair general manager Tim Fennell will soon be winging his way to balmy Mexico for free, thanks to a favorable ruling from the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission. An October 14 letter to Fennell from commission general counsel Zackery Morazzini outlined the situation: “You have been invited by Luden Entertainment, a non-governmental, nonprofit entity based in Mexico…to be a guest speaker at a Mexican Fairs and Festival conference in Leon, Mexico to be held in January 2014. You would speak at the conference about the organization and operations of the San Diego Fair. Luden Entertainment has offered to pay for all of your travel expenses in connection with this speech. You believe this visit will be not only beneficial to the San Diego County Fair but will also help expand relations with the fair industry of Mexico.” Based on those facts, Morazzini wrote, not only can Fennell accept the sizable gift in travel, lodging, and food, he won’t have to declare it on his annual personal statement of economic interest. The reason, said the lawyer, is that Luden “presumably operates exclusively in Mexico and does not otherwise appear to be the type of organization that would contract or engage in real estate activities” and with the fairgrounds. That said, Morazzini continued, “Although, as explained, it is unlikely that Luden Entertainment will have business before the Association at any point in the future, you must nevertheless be vigilant in the event it does, and disqualify yourself from participation in any governmental decision that would have a reasonably foreseeable material financial effect on that entity.” The opinion doesn’t say how long Fennell’s Mexico tour will last and doesn’t provide an estimate of the gift’s cash value.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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