Andrew Jones and Bob Filner
  • Andrew Jones and Bob Filner
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Former executive assistant city attorney Andrew Jones likened his run-in with former mayor Bob Filner during a city-council closed-session hearing last year to that of Rosa Parks being ordered to the back of the bus to make room for white bus riders.

“To me it was tantamount to asking Rosa Parks to sit in the back of the bus,” Jones told a television news crew from NBC in April 2013. "I didn't sit in the back of the bus. In fact, I sat at the table."

At the time, Jones’s accusation was, according to the city attorney's office, just another example of Filner's mean streak.

The two had another run-in during a closed-session hearing in April of 2013. On that occasion, Filner ordered officers to remove Jones for what he said was disruptive behavior. The city attorney responded by releasing the transcripts of that secret meeting to reporters from the U-T and 10News. However, when asked for transcripts from the previous meeting, Goldsmith and his attorneys weren't as open. They refused. It has taken one year and a direct order from a Superior Court judge to force them to turn over the documents.

If there were any question as to whether Goldsmith and his top attorneys were using the press to disparage the former mayor, there aren't now.

Transcripts from closed-session meetings from the months leading up to Filner's order to remove Jones from a closed-session meeting indicate the existence of tension between the mayor's office and Goldsmith's office. But what is missing is proof that Filner made racially insensitive statements.

During a February 2013 meeting, shortly after calling the meeting to order, Filner noticed Jones walking around the room.

"Mr. Jones, can you...do you mind taking a seat?" Filner asked. "I don't know what you're doing. You just keep walking back and forth. I don't know if you're going to take the microphone or what. Do you mind taking a seat?"

"Sure," Jones responded.

That was the end of the exchange.

One month later, the two ran into each other at another meeting.

"The March 12 — the March 12 — are you going to stand there the whole meeting?” asked Filner of Jones.

"I'll sit here, Mayor, if it makes you feel better," said Jones.

"Thank you."

"Is this better?" asked Jones.

"Yes, I mean, look, you guys seem to indicate that you can interrupt at any moment. That's not your role, the city attorney's role... You will ask for recognition the way everybody else does. You're not to intrude upon the conversation unless asked and recognized."

Filner then called the meeting to order.

The transcripts come nearly two years after the incident and after tens of thousands of dollars spent by deputy city attorneys devising ways to fight the lawsuit filed by San Diegans for Open Government over access to the documents. Instead of turning them over, the city will be ordered to pay attorneys fees from between $50,000 to $100,000.

Jones has since retired.

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Comments

MichaelValentine Nov. 6, 2014 @ 10:51 a.m.

It's funny cause Filner was a Freedom Marcher and Jones is black but playing the race card against a former Freedom Marcher without any cause.

What's even funnier is the two hundred thousand dollars the City Attorney's office is costing the tax payers to cover it up. The city could have used that for sidewalks and street lights on 37th Street but I don't think I have any banker neighbors in the neighborhood.

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monaghan Nov. 6, 2014 @ 12:35 p.m.

Actually, there's nothing funny about GOP tool City Attorney Jan Goldsmith who routinely misuses his elected office by withholding public documents from the press and others; who causes taxpayers to pay for his obstructionism in this instance and for his mistakes in prosecuting cases like the free-speech "chalker;" and in particular who covertly strategized against former Mayor Bob Filner to assure his resignation in disgrace.

Fortunately, weasel City Attorney Jan Goldsmith is termed-out.

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MichaelValentine Nov. 6, 2014 @ 3:49 p.m.

No doubt the Chamber of Commerce will have a place for Mr. Goldsmith. They pay off loyal former city officials, ain't that right Mayor Sanders?

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Psycholizard Nov. 6, 2014 @ 12:46 p.m.

I find no disgrace in Bob Filner, who made all the right enemies. Eventually, the smug satisfaction will be we wiped from the faces of his persecutors. This won't be the last accusation revealed as fraudulent.

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Bob_Hudson Nov. 6, 2014 @ 12:57 p.m.

Who created the transcripts in the first place and did Filner's office have an opportunity to sanitize them at the time?

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MichaelValentine Nov. 6, 2014 @ 3:41 p.m.

So your theory is that the City Attorney's office was hiding memos from Filner's office that had be sanitized in the first place? That is ... interesting.

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Dorian Hargrove Nov. 7, 2014 @ 10:20 a.m.

Bob_Hudson: Court reporters are hired to be present at every closed session meeting. However, the meetings are not transcribed until requested by city/city attorney. In this case, the city attorney authorized the release of one but refused to release others. Briggs and SDOG says the reason for this is the comments never occurred and instead Jones/Goldsmith were trying to make Filner look bad. Thanks! -dH

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laplayaheritage Nov. 7, 2014 @ 7:18 a.m.

The results of moving former Mayor Filner from office is that City staff, City Attorney Goldsmith, the IBA, and Financial staff liquidated $382 Million in Cash of the Successor Agency to get 21 cents on the dollar for the City of San Diego's General Fund.

http://tinyurl.com/20141021a

In the FY-2015, all City Departments and Agencies had written budgets and Technical Review from financial staff, EXCEPT for the Successor Agency. Therefore in the 3 years of ROPS, $524 million came in in Property Tax Increment (TI) outside of the annual Budget process. Shady.

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Diogenes Nov. 7, 2014 @ 11:11 a.m.

Could you elaborate on this a bit further, laplayaheritage? Much thanks.

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laplayaheritage Nov. 7, 2014 @ 5:12 p.m.

Former Mayor Filner promised to move the annual $180 million in Property Tax Increment (TI), plus the $10-$20 million in Other Funding Sources, and the $908 Million in Assets of the Successor Agency (SA) to the former Redevelopment Agency (RDA) from Downtown San Diego to the neighborhoods. The $908 million in assets includes an existing balance of $26 million in Reserves, and $25 million in Other Funds Account.

Priorities for the annual $180 million in Property Tax Increment Cash would be directed to neighborhood infrastructure, 6 am to 6 pm before- and after-school programs, restoring additional library and recreation center hours, and an end to Veterans and Chronic homelessness by 2015, and all homeless by 2020 using the $228 million in Successor Agency debt from the HUD Office of Inspector General (OIG) Audit to Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program Income.

http://tinyurl.com/20140414a

See Page 209 (or Page 202 of 1596) of the FY-2015 Proposed Budget which give links to 4 of the 5 City Agencies including Civic San Diego, San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC), San Diego City Employees' Retirement System (SDCERS), and the San Diego Convention Center Corporation (SDCCC).

A written Budget that acknowledges the annual $180 million in Property Tax Revenue, plus $10-$20 million of Other Funding Sources, of the Successor Agency does not exist, therefore is outside of the normal budget process.

In addition to Budgets, each City Department and City Agency also receives a Technical Review from financial staff, again, except for the Successor Agency.

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laplayaheritage Nov. 7, 2014 @ 5:29 p.m.

Please try to follow the Long Con and Conspiracy Theory by following the money. Civic San Diego and the City Council Liquidated $382 Million of Cash Residuals in the bank that former Mayor Filner promised to Neighborhoods.

See Video start time 1 Hour and 59 minutes to 2 Hours and 2 minutes.

http://granicus.sandiego.gov/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=3&clip_id=6252

The political frenzies are distractions from financial issues of Civic San Diego's handling of the Successor Agency (SA) assets and Revenue. Mayor Faulconer, the City Council, and the Civic San Diego Board of Directors are not aware that they are being suckered by staff that misinterpret State laws

http://tinyurl.com/20141021a

Due to sabotage by staff, of the $382 million in City Successor Agency cash, the City's General Fund received 21 cents on the dollars = $80 Million in the last 3 years, which balanced the budgets and built up Pension Reserves.

http://tinyurl.com/20140728a

On July 28, 2014, Civic San Diego staff Reclassified $151 million of the $223 million in Federal HUD OIG Audit Debt for CDBG Program Income for the poor as General Inter-Agency Debt. Similar to loans from the City General Fund, Water Department, Sales Tax, etc. that are subject to State laws, and a reclassification of interest rates.

The Results of reclassifying $151 million in Federal HUD OIG Audit Debt as inter-agency City debt, are $46 Million in cash principle has been diverted to the City of San Diego’s General Fund and/or Capitol projects instead of CDBG Program Income. Then Civic San Diego staff erased and deleted the remaining $106 million in HUD OIG Audit Debt to CDBG Program Income for the poor based upon a purposeful misintepretation of State law for the benefit unknown parties. This $151 million in Reclassified Federal debt approved through the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was to be used for Affordable Housing, to end Chronic and Veterans Homeless by the 2015 deadline, and all Homeless by the 2020 deadline.

No Successor Agency budget exists for FY-2013 to FY-2015 because supposedly the Successor Agency is just temporary agency, therefore no written budget or analysis is needed.

The annual $180 million in RPTTF Revenue will be off the City’s budget books for the next 20 to 30+ years that it will take to pay off all $1.67 BILLION in Successor Agency (SA) debt, at the current rate.

http://tinyurl.com/20141021a

The 3 year breakdown of Successor Agency Revenue and Expenses is as follows:

  • $524 million Property Tax Increment (TI) ROPS-1 to ROPS-6.

– $145 million Tax Sharing Pass Through Distribution off the top. – $166 million ROPS Enforceable Obligations (EO) paid from new RPTTF TI. – $202 million in Residual RPTTF Distributions to Taxing Agencies. Goal is always Zero. – $5 million Allowable 3% Administrative Costs. – $6 million Miscellaneous Fees to County and State.

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Sjtorres Nov. 7, 2014 @ 10:30 a.m.

More and more often the screams of "racism!" are akin to the boy who cried wolf.

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MichaelValentine Nov. 7, 2014 @ 11:27 a.m.

On further reflection this was such an insidious accusation. It deflected away from a what should have been an ally, old time civil rights activist, for Mayor Filner because of the baseless racist accusation.

Oddly Mr. Jones said he wouldn't sit in the back of the bus and in fact, "sat at the table.", yet the transcripts show Mayor Filner was the one to ask him to sit. Maybe not funny but hugely ironic.

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monaghan Nov. 7, 2014 @ 3:21 p.m.

In the outrage of the moment, I forgot to say thanks to lawyer Cory Briggs for pursuing the truth and to reporter Dorian Hargrove for telling it. Better late than never. Well done.

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