“UCSD did not systematically identify or track candidates for Special Talent Admissions,” according to the auditors, who reviewed undergraduate admission applications from Fall 2016 through Spring 2019
What’s the point of being rich, like Elisabeth Kimmel, if you can’t buy your daughter’s admission to Georgetown?
UCSD, unscathed by last year’s college bribery scandal, still has had its share of problematic admissions practices, says a March 31 report by the university’s Audit & Management Advisory Services unit. “UCSD did not systematically identify or track candidates for Special Talent Admissions,” according to the auditors, who reviewed undergraduate admission applications from Fall 2016 through Spring 2019. UCSD’s athletics department “did not have a process to document the special talent to ensure it was verified and legitimate.”
The school’s coaches were ostensibly responsible for “recruiting for their own sport and verifying athletic ability,” the report adds. But, “testing of 22 special talent applicants for this audit period indicated that six did not have substantive documentation to verify special talent.”
Procedures for the university’s Admission by Exception (AbyE) program, by which up to six percent of the freshman class who fail to mee minimum standards can be admitted based on special talents or need, were similarly lacking. “The rationale for three of 25 sampled students could not be determined because the AbyE code was a general code that did not specify the reason [for exceptions].” In addition, “Approval for four of 25 sampled applicants recommended for director’s review was not documented.” UCSD received over 118,000 applications for the 2019‐20 academic year, the audit says.
Meanwhile, wealthy La Jollan Elisabeth Kimmel, ex-owner of the KFMB broadcasting empire here, continues to await trial next January 11 on federal charges related to her retention of William “Rick” Singer to buy her daughter’s way into Georgetown University with $244,000 allegedly paid to tennis coach Gordie Ernst.
A San Diego non-profit bankrolled by labor unions is among the latest influence seekers to sign up for the city’s COVID-19 lobbying circuit, according to an April 30 disclosure filing with city clerk’s office. The Center on Policy Initiatives says it is seeking “protection of public safety related to COVID-19 responses (rent moratorium, homeless sheltering, increased testing, economic assistance for those who have lost employment, etc.” Meanwhile, AT&T is getting into the coronavirus act, saying in an April 30 filing that it wants expedited permit processing of “small cells wireless infrastructure deployment... due to delays resulting from relocation and COVID.”… Tracy McCraner, the city of San Diego’s financial director and comptroller, has moved up the road to take the same positions in the smaller city of San Marcos. In 2018, according to online data maintained by TransparentCalifornia.org, McCraner got total compensation and benefits of $227,699.
Charges of waste and fraud
are burgeoning at San Diego city hall, per the city auditor’s latest hotline report. “During the third quarter of Fiscal Year 2020 (January - March 2020), we received 74 Fraud Hotline reports. We added 10 new reports to be investigated by the Office of the City Auditor and presented 42 reports to the Intake and Review Committee to be referred to City Departments for investigation and resolution. Of the 108 active reports in our inventory, 80 remain open and unresolved, and 28 were closed.” Specifically, “an allegation of fraud related to a City decision was referred to another government agency for review and possible investigation,” says the April 16 document. In another case, “an allegation of abuse and theft of time by employees visiting a beach on City time was investigated and substantiated. The department took appropriate corrective action with respect to one employee and provided coaching to another employee.” Finally, “an allegation of abuse related to a City department blocking a resident from calling any City extension was investigated and resulted in corrective action. The caller’s number was un-blocked after inadvertently being blocked from calling all City extensions.”
Irwin Jacobs kicked in $100,000 to a relief fund for small businesses.
Cell phone chip-maker Qualcomm came up with $100,000 on April 2 for a COVID-19 small business relief fund at the behest of San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, per a May 1 disclosure of the gift to the Cal Coast Cares Foundation, run by the California Coast Credit Union. “With the help of generous corporate partners and San Diegans alike, we are expanding our Small Business Relief Fund to keep more businesses afloat during these turbulent times,” said Faulconer, who backed the failed Balboa Park development plan of Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs, at an April 13 media event. California Coast donated $100,000 to the same cause at the mayor’s behest on March 25, per his April 23 filing. Over a month earlier, on February 3, the Cal Coast foundation kicked in $2500 to Faulconer’s One San Diego non-profit. Federal disclosure filing for the calendar year 2018 shows that the Cal Coast foundation posted total revenue of $127,522, with expenses of $93,465, including scholarship grants of $88,737. A golf tournament and dinner held by the charity yielded gross receipts of $57,420 but netted just $7327.