Eduardo Luna, Stacey Fulhorst
  • Eduardo Luna, Stacey Fulhorst
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The administrative regulation that city emails will be saved for only one year is an abomination that — supposedly — Mayor Faulconer will cock an eyebrow at. (There is some skepticism about whether he will block the action.)

To no one's surprise, city attorney Jan Goldsmith signed the document, and his office may have penned it. Goldsmith has much to hide.

But look at the other officials who signed the administrative regulation, dated February 14, 2014: then–interim mayor Todd Gloria; Andrea Tevlin, independent budget analyst; Stacey Fulhorst, ethics commissioner director; and among others, Eduardo Luna, auditor.

The document was procured through a Public Records Act request by Pat Flannery. Says Flannery, "Goldsmith is widely considered a politician, but Eduardo Luna and Stacey Fulhorst should be very protective of records to do their jobs. So, who has such control over these officials?"

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Psycholizard March 10, 2014 @ 6:37 p.m.

This couldn't be more obviously criminal. It's illegal to destroy public records, and the claims this will save money are ridiculous. There isn't a news organisation anywhere that wouldn't gladly store this information for free, and Goldsmith wastes more money in legal fees concealing Emails than it takes to store them.


Don Bauder March 10, 2014 @ 8:03 p.m.

Psycholizard: You can see one of Goldsmith's motivations. He was communicating with others in government -- and with selected members of the press who were on his side, but not others -- during the strategizing for the ouster of Filner. But why Luna? Was somebody holding a gun to his head? Best, Don Bauder


anniej March 10, 2014 @ 6:53 p.m.

Hmmmm I could have sworn the new Mayor promised a new transparent government?


Don Bauder March 10, 2014 @ 8:07 p.m.

anniej: I will never forget a mayoral election in Cleveland. There were six candidates. One was a socialist, or some kind of leftist. At a debate, he got up and said, "Every mayor promises to have an open door and transparent administration. The day he is elected, he closes the door and later leaves office very rich." Everyone knew he was the only one in the debate telling the truth. Best, Don Bauder


patflannery March 10, 2014 @ 7:53 p.m.

The reason I did a PRA request for the document was I wanted to see who signed it. It is worse than I thought. I expected only to see Gloria's and Goldsmith's signatures. That would have been bad enough - that the City Attorney approved and signed an illegal Executive Order.

But now what worries me even more is the ease with which the City Attorney (or people who have control over him) was able to persuade, if not out-and-out order, key officials such as the City Auditor and the Ethics Commission Director to countersign a clearly illegal document.

Why the Independent Budget Analyst was asked to sign is particularly troubling. She is in no way part of the Executive. Her job is to advise the City Council at all stages of the Executive's Budget. Has she lost her way? Why would she get involved in an Executive Order?

It appears we have a hidden government within our City government that can order our City officials what to do and that these powerful insiders do not want us to see what is going on.

We must all redouble our efforts to break through - after all, they work for us.


Don Bauder March 10, 2014 @ 8:13 p.m.

patflannery: Pat, you get the credit for getting this document from San Diego government. You also get the credit for interpreting it correctly...that it is illegal. Why would the auditor sign this document? Why would the independent budget analyst, who is supposed to be a watchdog, sign such a document? What about the head of the so-called ethics commission?

Thanks to Pat Flannery, we have cause for a major investigation -- whether or not those signers will cooperate. Was there a movement at the top of the administration to protect Goldsmith, Gloria, and others who covertly communicated? Best, Don Bauder


eastlaker March 10, 2014 @ 9:23 p.m.

Seems more than a bit turned around. Let's hope better heads prevail.


Don Bauder March 11, 2014 @ 7:58 a.m.

eastlaker: This initiative won't be stopped unless people raise hell. This was designed to protect some of those who signed the order. I don't believe that the council wants the public to know how the City operates behind the scenes. Thus, people MUST put on pressure to get this stopped. Best, Don Bauder


ImJustABill March 10, 2014 @ 10:31 p.m.

Well, I certainly think this is clearly unethical. I would argue that city emails should never be destroyed - the cost of disk space / IT to manage it isn't really that much. But if you're going to set a time frame I would think something like 5 years would be a reasonable minimum period.


Don Bauder March 11, 2014 @ 8:01 a.m.

ImJustABill: This is more than unethical. It is illegal, and its sponsors know it. Public emails as well as private emails to and from public officials should be saved, and for more than five years. Best, Don Bauder


danfogel March 11, 2014 @ 10:06 a.m.

The guidelines for local government records retention are governed by the California State Government Code. I'm sure that someone who has an interest in this situation could take the time to peruse the Code online. That said, I recall a case a couple of yrs ago up here in Orange County, Anaheim I believe, in which employees were told to destroy emails and other certain public records that could be embarrassing to public officials. As I recall from then, the state Government Code requires cities to retain all record, including electronic records for at least two years and that some must be retained indefinitely.


Don Bauder March 11, 2014 @ 12:44 p.m.

danfogel: It's worth looking up that Orange County case. Why don't you do it, and then give it to us? Best, Don Bauder


danfogel March 12, 2014 @ 10:48 a.m.

What is it that you would like me to look up?? A few days after this episode in Anaheim came to light, someone on the city government, the mayor, I believe, put out a statement that there was some kind of misunderstanding, that no records were to be destroyed and that Anaheim's record keeping policy was in line with state law's. Now if you're referring to the California State Government Code, as I said, I'm sure that someone who has an interest in this situation could take the time to peruse the Code online. I have no interest in the situation. I was simply providing the info that the State law governs local government records retention, and no local government, be it Anaheim or San Diego, can go off on it's own and do what it wants. Although from the outside, it sure seems as if San Diego thinks it can, especially over the last 10-15 yrs or so.


Don Bauder March 12, 2014 @ 11:23 a.m.

danfogel: I'm sure someone in San Diego will look that up. I would, but I am swamped with something else right now. Best, Don Bauder


danfogel March 12, 2014 @ 2:02 p.m.

Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm in the middle of a kitchen/batthroom renovation at one of my properties in Az. But I have found, at least in my experience, that when you don't have to work for a living, being "swamped" seems to be directly related to how much you don't want to do something else, not how much you have to do.


Don Bauder March 12, 2014 @ 3:59 p.m.

danfogel: Lecture absorbed. Best, Don Bauder


danfogel March 12, 2014 @ 9:11 p.m.

I was indicating that I don't get the meaning of your "Lecture absorbed." comment.


Don Bauder March 12, 2014 @ 10:40 p.m.

danfogel: I know that's what you meant. You were telling me that rather than being swamped with other matters, I really didn't want to pursue the question. The exclamation marks were my response. You are probably right. Best, Don Bauder


Duhbya March 13, 2014 @ 11:19 a.m.

It looked okay until just after I hit "enter".

Ellipsing out now



Don Bauder March 13, 2014 @ 3:41 p.m.

Duhbya: We may be discovering a new language here. Best, Don Bauder


ImJustABill March 10, 2014 @ 10:36 p.m.

I've worked at companies that have had email destruction policies - although certainly nothing this drastic. The reason given was always that there could be a big legal / IT expense to do data mining through a lot of data if there were a subpoena - but I always figure that the bigger reason was to protect any executives who had done something wrong.

But besides the moral / ethical issues involved, policies like this make it harder for everyone to do their job. A lot of old discussions / data / information is stored in emails and if you force people to destroy it that information is lost.


Don Bauder March 11, 2014 @ 8:07 a.m.

ImJustABill: The cost of storing emails is not a factor. Faulconer, who said he would weigh the cost versus obligations of open government, knows full well that cost is not a factor. There are bombshells in those emails, and he might have sent or received many of them. San Diego discovered the importance of saving emails during the pension deficit investigations early in the century. Best, Don Bauder


HonestGovernment March 11, 2014 @ 8:17 a.m.

As Norma Damashek recently wrote in her Numbers Runner blog, "there are too many years of inbreeding" in this city.

The hidden government Pat F correctly cites is not all that invisible, largely thanks to Pat and The Reader. Pat documented many intermarriages, as well as vicious battles among city personnel, when they didn't go along with the status quo. On 6/25/2008, Stacey Fulhorst, involved in supporting Sanders in his managed-competition contract give-aways, is described by Pat, in BlogofSanDiego, as "Casey Gwinn-trained and establishment-compliant." Surprise! You cannot have an independent, honest ethics officer in Our Town.

Luna survived attack in fall of 2012 from within Sanders' circle when his audits on building permits and DSD came too close to the truth. Enter well-known players named Broughton and Goldstone. Luna, of course, used Sanders' nemesis Aguirre as his attorney! And of course, as the UT wrote, "The investigations have apparently been spearheaded over the past six months by some combination of the Mayor’s Office and the City Council’s Audit Committee, which is chaired by City Councilman Kevin Faulconer." Luna seems to be getting along just fine, now.

Inbreeding can lead to extinction after long periods of decline, in the animal world. If only.


Brian Peterson March 11, 2014 @ 8:42 a.m.

Thanks for mentioning Norma Damashek’s recent blog post. That’s exactly what I was thinking! It is especially disappointing to see the signatures of the IBA, Auditor and City Clerk on this document. Not surprising, of course, to see Goldsmith’s. It seems like the City Attorney’s job description is to advise the City on how to break the law (e.g. Grantville money transfer, among other things) and get away with it. The City Attorney’s advice to others evidently was that it is ok to destroy public records after one year, whereas the minimum standard is keeping records for two years. I tell you what: if I were on city council, I would have my own attorney on staff, just to get independent legal advice.


Don Bauder March 11, 2014 @ 9:20 a.m.

Brian: Goldsmith has compelling personal reasons to want emails killed after one year. He sent out emails in the city system, and used his own private account, as he and others in San Diego government were debating how to oust Filner, manipulating local media in the process.

They finally settled on sexual harassment, but there were two actual reasons: 1. Filner's prickly personality and 2. Filner's refusal to bow and scrape to the corporate welfare crowd, for whom Goldsmith is a puppet. There were several others besides Goldsmith involved in this, as the emails should reveal, unless they are heavily redacted. Best, Don Bauder


Psycholizard March 11, 2014 @ 12:30 p.m.

I shared this belief six months ago, but the Balboa Park fiasco, this Email conspiracy, and other escapades, make me suspect that some feared that active criminal conspiracies might be revealed if Filner's team remained in place. Note that they fired everyone immediately, even though the Temporary Mayor still pretends to share parties with those he fired, and the Mayor's staff was supposedly the victim of the allegations.


Don Bauder March 11, 2014 @ 12:49 p.m.

Psycholizard: I would not be surprised if Filner has documents, including emails, that could put some people behind bars, or at least open to public scorn. When the timing is right, he should release them. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder March 11, 2014 @ 9:14 a.m.

HonestGovernment: Faulconer's transition team and inner circle are exactly as Norma's excellent commentary describes: a bunch of old hacks who have been hanging around City Hall for decades. Most are lackeys for the corporate welfare crowd.

Pat Flannery gets much credit, too, for exposing this inbreeding, just as he was the one who came up with the document printed above.

Ethics in San Diego? Come now. As auditor, Luna has done some excellent things in the past, but now he has some explaining to do. Why did he sign a document that will make his job much harder? Best, Don Bauder


patflannery March 11, 2014 @ 9:21 a.m.

Don, I have today put in another PRA request for the last five Administrative Regulations so that we can all see who normally signs these things. Like most San Diegans I had never seen one before.


Brian Peterson March 11, 2014 @ 9:43 a.m.

Comment from my wife about all of this: "Thank God Pat Flannery is out there!"


Don Bauder March 11, 2014 @ 10:10 a.m.

Brian: Thank God for your wife's perceptive observation. Trouble is, Pat and his wife take trips to Ireland. San Diego's in-group will plot all its mischief while they are on vacation. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder March 11, 2014 @ 10:06 a.m.

patflannery: Pat: great idea. Check these past administrative regulations. San Diegans should also ask WHY this attempt to dodge the law was made through an administrative regulation, rather than by democratic means. Best, Don Bauder


patflannery March 11, 2014 @ 9:55 a.m.

Thanks HonestGovernment but I think the following link works better because it goes directly to the blog entry from which you quote that Stacey Fulhorst is a "Casey Gwinn-trained and establishment-compliant". That she is.

I also like this quote: "San Diego City is a nice little "Ministerial" family". That it is.

One other thought from that 2008 blog: Grant Thornton is the foremost fixer of government privatization contracts worldwide. Sadly I have encountered them in Ireland to my dismay. Their MO is readily apparent. They infiltrate national and local government departments (often through wives and relatives) and "influence" government contracts.


Don Bauder March 11, 2014 @ 10:15 a.m.

patflannery: Your 2008 blog is stil relevant and piercingly descriptive. Isn't it interesting how nothing has changed since 2008? Once Filner was out of the way, the in-group was right back in power. And even Filner was crumbling toward the end of his short-lived administration. Best, Don Bauder


laplayaheritage March 11, 2014 @ 10:27 a.m.

The IBA, Financial staff, the City Attorney and all who signed the Purge are also in collusion with regards to the plundering of the $908 million in Successor Agency assets for the benefit of the City's and County's General Funds, instead of justice for the poor.

There is also ongoing manipulation of the City Council as it related to Civic San Diego and their unfunded $20.4 Million in Administrative costs from our General Fund Reserves that they all agreed to erased and write off in the FY-2013 CAFR as part of the total $211 Million Write Off based on bad legal advice by the City Attorney.

Just last month on February 10, 2014 as Item S404 ROPS-6, due to purposeful misdirection by staff, the City Council approved another $4,073,823 in unfunded Administration costs for 6 months of Civic San Diego staff and unknown outside consultants.


Don Bauder March 11, 2014 @ 12:17 p.m.

laplayaheritage: I think we should all thank God for laplayaheritage, or Katheryn Rhodes, too. Best, Don Bauder


Ponzi March 11, 2014 @ 10:51 a.m.

Save money? This isn't 1980. They could backup 1,000 years of email on inexpensive DVD's, terabyte disk drives or secured cloud storage for under $10,000. Citing storage cost as a reason is a lie.


Don Bauder March 11, 2014 @ 12:57 p.m.

Ponzi: Yes, as soon as certain officials, including Faulconer, began talking about the storage expense, people pointed out the obvious prevarication. Liars abound at City Hall, and the same gaggle of them has been around for decades. Best, Don Bauder


Ponzi March 11, 2014 @ 1:43 p.m.

I found a story where the officials with the city say "One time costs to replace our Nearpoint system range from $400k – $500k." So is Nearpoint a sole-source vendor? Why not bid out this requirement and get the value in line with storage cost reality. These overpriced IT contracts have been a persistent problem with the city for years either from incompetence or corruption. Plain and simple, storing data does not have to cost that much, just look at the private sector. .


Don Bauder March 11, 2014 @ 2:45 p.m.

Ponzi: I would guess that the case you describe was corruption disguised as incompetence. Best, Don Bauder


Psycholizard March 11, 2014 @ 12:56 p.m.

Now the NSA backs up everyone's Email, somehow that's not too expensive. During the Filner matter, they never found a salacious Email to his accusers, even though they wouldn't need a subpoena, or porn on his computers, though this can't really be erased without destroying or removing hard drives. Of course they might have concealed this out of a sense of decency......OK, I thought we all might need a laugh.


Don Bauder March 11, 2014 @ 2:46 p.m.

Psycholizard: Yes, thanks for the chuckle. Best, Don Bauder


Dennis March 11, 2014 @ 2:55 p.m.

The County of SD has had a policy for several years to purge emails over 60 days old. I never understood how they got away with it. Perhaps because no one outside of the County was aware.


Don Bauder March 11, 2014 @ 4:31 p.m.

Dennis: I believe you nailed it. The County gets away with its policy because no one has been looking. Best, Don Bauder


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