Johnnie Perkins, San Diego Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer’s chief of environmental services, has landed on his feet in Washington state.
Johnnie on the run
Johnnie Perkins, the former trash company executive and lobbyist who became San Diego Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer’s chief of environmental services, has landed on his feet in Washington state — but not without controversy. Last month Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward named Perkins to fill the City Administrator vacancy created when her first appointee to the post quit after less than a year. “One former [San Diego] council member who I spoke to called him Johnnie-On-The-Spot,” Woodward told the Inlander, a local weekly. “He was always there to deal with the issue, to help with the problem, to respond.”
Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward hired a former Faulconer flunky.
Then the publication began digging into Perkins and his extensive history with San Diego’s troubled 101 Ash Street building. “Hundreds of San Diego public records reviewed by the Inlander, speak to Perkins’ hands-on involvement with the Ash Street renovations,” according to the report. “During the project’s most pivotal months in 2019 and 2020, one of San Diego’s highest-ranking officials overseeing it was Johnnie Perkins,” continued the April 8 account.
“Speaking with the Inlander on Monday, Perkins was vague about his role in the project, saying only that he was working with the project team on ‘various elements of the tenant improvements’ task.” Added the story: “On December 16, 2019, San Diego appeared ready to unfurl its ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner. As the city began moving hundreds of employees onto the floors of the Ash Street building, Perkins told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the city was ‘on time and within budget’ and that the $30 million worth of renovations since 2018 would ultimately ‘save tens of millions of taxpayer dollars over time.’ But while Perkins and other city leaders celebrated the positive news coverage, they knew that important aspects of the renovation still hadn’t been completed.”
Longtime San Diego politico Toni Atkins, who began her career on the city council here, is now looking to run for lieutenant governor of California in 2026. The Democrat, currently president pro tem of the state senate, has filed with the California secretary of state’s office to raise cash for the race, records show. Meantime on April 5, another Atkins political fund kicked in $10,000 to a committee calling itself Caregivers & Californians United Against the Recall of Gov Newsom, sponsored by the National Union of Healthcare Workers. California Works: Senator Toni Atkins Ballot Measure Committee, made that donation. On October 22 of last year, Bloom Energy Corporation of San Jose, maker of high-tech fuel cells, gave the Atkins ballot measure fund $15,000, state disclosure records show.
As first reported in February by Sacramento-based non-profit CapRadio, Bloom got what ultimately became a $2 million no-bid contract from the state to refurbish ventilators directly solicited by Gavin Newsom in March of last year. From September 2018 through October 2020, Bloom gave Newsom’s campaign a total of $85,000, CapRadio reported.
CityLink Investment Corp president William D. Jones
Keeping up with the Jones
As San Diego Gas & Electric fights to keep its city energy franchise, an ex-city council Democrat currently on the board of directors of SDG&E parent Sempra Energy looks to be an influential ally of the utility giant. William D. Jones has been a Sempra director since 1998, per the company website. “He is the president and chief executive officer and a director of CityLink Investment Corp. He is also a director and board chair of certain funds under management by the Capital Group and Capital Group Private Client Services.”
Los Angeles-based Capital Group has received attention abroad after upping its investment in Ireland’s Kingspan, which according to Kingspan PR man, Douglas Keatinge, "manufactured the insulation that made up 5% of the insulation" for 24-story Grenfell Tower, the London residential high-rise that erupted in flames in June 2017, causing 72 deaths. Jones is set to join the board of pharmaceutical giant BioGen in June. The company is currently lobbying the Federal Drug Administration to approve its anti-Alzheimer’s drug Aducanumab, which was panned by an FDA panel of experts late last year.
According to the announcement of Sempra’s annual shareholders’ meeting, scheduled for next month, Jones got a total of $415,158 in 2020 compensation. Campaign filings show that since 2006 Jones has come up with a total of $20,407 in campaign contributions for city races, including $1000 for Todd Gloria’s mayoral bid, $2700 for City Attorney Mara Elliott’s two electoral campaigns, and $270 for Carl DeMaio’s 2012 council campaign fund.
The ex-fire chief
of Santa Barbara is firing back against a Los Angeles Magazine story accusing retired police chief Lori Luhnow of being absent during that city’s multiple natural disasters. Pat McElroy says that contrary to the magazine’s account, he saw and interacted with Luhnow during 2017’s Thomas Fire and has photos showing her present at other disasters. He noted that Luhnow, a retired San Diego police captain with an annual pension of $159,686 in 2019, according to TransparentCalifornia.com, spent time at her Coronado home while being treated for cancer in San Diego. Luhnow retired as Santa Barbara police chief on February 13 after four and a half years leading the department.
— Matt Potter
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