University auditors have been discovering a host of irregularities regarding travel, food, and entertainment binges at UCSD’s Rady School of Management
Rady’s budget wreck
Taxpayer-financed revelry among UCSD employees is way down in the wake of covid-19 restrictions, but university auditors have been discovering a host of irregularities regarding travel, food, and entertainment binges of previous years. Such are the results of a review of UCSD’s Rady School of Management for the two fiscal years 2018 through 2019. During the period, auditors reported, Rady “had a total of 5,538, or 87% unreviewed transactions out of 6,357 transactions sampled. Because this important fiscal oversight activity is not being completed in accordance with internal control best practices, the risk of unauthorized, unallowable or unsubstantiated transactions is increased.”
Worse yet, the auditors reported, “we noted instances where the entertainment event expense reports submitted for approval did not include all applicable costs, where processing was not timely, and where the activity was misclassified.” The report singles out Rady’s fundraising as a hotspot for abuse. “In striving to establish itself as a self-sustaining organization, [Rady] cultivates relationships with alumni and with the business community in search of potential donors,” the audit says. “Our review of entertainment expenses entailed reviewing 11 judgmentally selected events to evaluate for documentation completeness, allowability, timeliness and authorization.” Errors or omissions emerged “in the reporting of four of the events that were included in our sample, which suggests that controls over this process should be improved.”
In September 2018, for example, a Rady dinner “to support alumni and spouse donor engagement” was reported to have cost $66 a person. However auditors discovered that “the actual per-person cost was approximately $109. Because the actual per-person cost exceeded the limitation set forth in policy ($81 for dinner), this event should have obtained special entertainment approval at a higher organizational level.” The expense of providing free booze was not recorded in the account used for alcohol, as required by policy.
During the audit period, Rady “had cumulative deficits in self-supporting program funds approximating $3.2 million, much of which is attributable to operating losses.” An October 2018 memorandum of understanding between Rady and UCSD’s top management to “clear [Rady’s] operating deficit through June 2018.” But [Rady] has challenged the [debt elimination threshold] as being too low and has been working with campus officials to support their claim since that time.”
Kelvin Barrios suspended his city council campaign in the face of multiple malfeasance allegations.
The cause of Sean Elo-Rivera — the District 9 city council candidate who breezed into office last week after his opponent, fellow Democrat Kelvin Barrios, suspended his campaign in the face of multiple allegations of malfeasance — was aided by two late-coming special interests. Per a last-minute disclosure submitted on election day, November 3, the Committee to Expand the Middle Class political action committee, run by short-term rental giant Airbnb, Inc. of San Rafael, kicked in $5000 on October 24. Similarly, the YIMBY Democrats of San Diego PAC gave $2500 on October 21. State disclosure records show that the YIMBYs took $10,000 from House Democrat Scott Peters of La Jolla on October 13. Cash from both the Airbnb and YIMBY PACs was channeled into an independent expenditure committee calling itself San Diegans who Support Integrity in Public Service in Support of Sean Elo for City Council. Other donors to that committee, set up on September 22 of this year, included Mission Valley landowner Steve Cushman ($1000), lobbying group San Diego Downtown Partnership PAC ($5000), and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce PAC ($2500).
Scott Peters loves those YIMBYs.
As San Diego’s Measure A, a ballot measure to raise property taxes to bankroll subsidized public housing in the city, struggled to clear the two-thirds threshold of voter approval for passage, a San Bernardino law firm was a latecomer to the cause, kicking in $1000 to the campaign November 2, a day before the election. Gresham Savage Nolan & Tilden. The same came from Planned Parenthood Pacific Southwest. Despite a torrent of campaign contributions from a bevy of public housing contractors, the proposition ultimately went down to defeat. Gresham Savage’s motives in giving to the tax hike were unclear. The firm registered as a city lobbyist on the same day it contributed to Measure A, representing. Philadelphia-based Five Below, Inc., a discount retail outlet seeking permits in San Ysidro. Back in September 1996, the law firm — then known as Gresham, Varner, Savage, Nolan & Tilden — agreed to pay a record $420,000 in fines levied by the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission for illegally laundering more than $27,000 in campaign contributions to six San Diego city council candidates and incumbents. This year’s Measure A was declared defeated last week.
— Matt Potter (@sdmattpotter)
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