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LA Times Cites San Diego Public Corruption

In a front page story today (Nov. 12), the Los Angeles Times states, "Audits of city finances often cover up serious problems...independent audits that public agencies in California are legally required to obtain frequently fail to flag cases of fraud and mismanagement." The Times goes on, "Many cities that have been troubled by public corruption or mismanagement during the last decade -- including San Diego, Compton and South Gate -- got clean audits."

Says the Times about San Diego: "Four years ago, when some said the city was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, a number of officials, including former Mayor Dick Murphy, resigned after it was revealed that the city had a $1.5 billion deficit in its pension program. An independent investigation led by Arthur Levitt, Jr., a former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, found mismanagement and illegal financial manipulations. And yet, during that period, auditors had given the city a clean bill of health. In 2007, the auditor agreed to pay a $15,000 fine to the SEC for signing off on misleading financial statements."

The article quotes Mike Aguirre, former San Diego city attorney, saying, "The audits of municipal governments in California...are more creative than reality[-based.They come in and help cover up what has been going on in a city so they can issue a clean financial statement, for which they are charging lots and lots of money."

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In a front page story today (Nov. 12), the Los Angeles Times states, "Audits of city finances often cover up serious problems...independent audits that public agencies in California are legally required to obtain frequently fail to flag cases of fraud and mismanagement." The Times goes on, "Many cities that have been troubled by public corruption or mismanagement during the last decade -- including San Diego, Compton and South Gate -- got clean audits."

Says the Times about San Diego: "Four years ago, when some said the city was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, a number of officials, including former Mayor Dick Murphy, resigned after it was revealed that the city had a $1.5 billion deficit in its pension program. An independent investigation led by Arthur Levitt, Jr., a former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, found mismanagement and illegal financial manipulations. And yet, during that period, auditors had given the city a clean bill of health. In 2007, the auditor agreed to pay a $15,000 fine to the SEC for signing off on misleading financial statements."

The article quotes Mike Aguirre, former San Diego city attorney, saying, "The audits of municipal governments in California...are more creative than reality[-based.They come in and help cover up what has been going on in a city so they can issue a clean financial statement, for which they are charging lots and lots of money."

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Someone in LA just now figured this out?

Nov. 12, 2010

No, folks in LA, and all over the U.S., actually, have known about San Diego's corruption for a long time. The only people who don't know it are the voters who live in San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 12, 2010

No, folks in LA, and all over the U.S., actually, have known about San Diego's corruption for a long time. The only people who don't know it are the voters who live in San Diego.

Hhahahah...so true.!

Nov. 12, 2010

Look whom they have elected -- Sanders, Goldsmith, Hueso, ad nauseam. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 12, 2010

Apparently in the pursuit of fraudulent excellence, there is complexity and there is COMPLEXITY.

There have been hints of the complexity involved in what happened leading to the Crash of 2008, and my main complaint since then has been the continued lack of transparency in both the financial and insurance sectors, especially where they overlap over real estate mortgages and robo-signers.

What precisely did very well-paid auditors of the City of San Diego actually audit?

Did any of that very expensive SAP glorified bookkeeping software package help at all?

Years after our current mayor took office, we still have no bottom line figure -- much less any line-by-line breakdown -- for all of the contracts, business improvement districts and similar outfits, redevelopment projects and other things which ordinary reasonable taxpaying citizens can look at and say "Wow. I finally understand." We can't understand what nobody will explain to us and what civic leaders fear having explained to themselves as responsible and accountable politicians.

The failure of Proposition D was no accident because the electors of San Diego do not understand what it is that our City owes and has going on just over the horizon. The failure of the City of San Diego will be no accident either when our civic leaders "do not understand" the workings of a municipal bankruptcy as long as there is any chance to add retirement credits to their records of future public "service".

If the truth does not set us free, then at least we will know what we are in bondage to.

Nov. 12, 2010

Upon taking office, Mayor Sanders promised transparency and honesty. San Diego has gotten exactly the opposite. Consider Prop. D: Sanders sent his henchmen out to community forums to warn citizens how many services they would lose if they didn't pass Prop. D -- fire and police would be slashed even more, libraries would close, etc. etc. Then, before the election, it came out that the mayor was intimately involved in the late-night, highly-secretive deal to set the stage for a $600 million gift to the San Diego Chargers. Even football fans could figure out what a liar this mayor is. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 12, 2010

That LAT story is mainly about the failure of auditors to uncover mismanagement and corruption and not any sort of expose of CURRENT corruption. It mentions the pension underfunding crisis in San Diego (old news), but not the ongoing corruption of Sanders and cohort. There's plenty more that the LAT (or the Light News for that matter) could reveal about San Diego. Is this a sign that the LAT might be starting to look closely at various municipalities? Don't count on that. It missed the Bell scandal in its own back yard for years.

Nov. 12, 2010

If past is prologue, the LA Times will fiercely cover corruption in other cities, but not in its own market area. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 12, 2010

Finally, the Reader has a reply button!

Now if somebody can just fix the hard-coded narrow display. As it is, by the fifth reply or so it will be down to two words per line!

Nov. 12, 2010

Of course, as part of the upgrade the numbers were removed from the posts for all blogs, not just new ones. That means the reference numbers used to link responses in past blog entries are now meaningless, making it difficult to match a response to a post in any story prior to today.

Nov. 12, 2010

This is a disadvantage, to be sure, but on balance the new system is an improvement. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 12, 2010

Tell it to the Marines. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 12, 2010

This is more proof that the era of U-T's destructive corruption and bankruptcy, that is causing San Diego to crash and burn, must end.

Like Rizzo, Sanders’ has also proven that his only priority is enriching himself and the mafia that controls him by bankrupting San Diego with their larceny.

The biggest outrage by U-T Mafia-Mayor Sanders was his Prop. D larceny threat against the safety of every family, policeman/woman and fireman/woman in San Diego by threatening Draconian cuts in public safety resources that will be so hellacious that police and fire personnel will not have enough backup resources to protect each other much less the families of San Diego.

What we need is for all the voters of San Diego to learn what is really going on by reading Don Bauder and other “Reader” columnists instead of the U-T “Watchdogs” who are really rabid dogs ravaging innocent San Diegans every day.

Nov. 13, 2010

Yes, he threatened massive fire/police/library/what-have-you service cuts unless Prop. D passed, then was a member of the corrupt cabal that paved the way for an insolvent city to give $600 million to the Chargers. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 13, 2010

I think Prop D was the final straw against Sanders in the eyes of the vast majority of San Diegans.

I am still wondering how he could have been so stupid as to try such a stunt on the eve of the Prop D vote-it is absolute stupidity.

Does anyone know if Sanders possesses any education beyond HS? I think he attended SDSU, but don't recall if it was for more than one semester or maybe he even graduated. I'll try wikipedia after this and see what I come up with.

Nov. 13, 2010

Politicians do stupid things all of the time. Nothing surprises me anymore. Look at the result of the November election and the change in congress, it's obvious that once these people get into office they stop listening to you and me and do what's in their own best interest. Then the people vote them out and the cycle begins all over again.

Nov. 13, 2010

Look at the result of the November election and the change in congress, it's obvious that once these people get into office they stop listening to you and me and do what's in their own best interest. Then the people vote them out and the cycle begins all over again.

Oh, you're preaching to the chior, I agree 100%, we are no longer a democracy, but a corporatocracy.

Special interessts run this country.

Nov. 13, 2010

We have returned to the days of the Robber Barons, when owners of railroads, banks, and Wall Street firms controlled politicians of both parties. Also, we have returned to those days in terms of maldistribution of wealth and income: the upper 1% to 2% has a record amount of wealth and income. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 13, 2010

It's my understanding that he dropped out of SDSU but later got a degree from National University. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 13, 2010

SP--Sanders is a grad of National U!

Nov. 13, 2010

SP--Sanders is a grad of National U!

=== Thanks.

I saw on Wikipedia he attended SDSU, it implies he went to work at SDPD after he graduated.

Nov. 13, 2010

I am quite sure he never graduated from SDSU. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 13, 2010

bauder said We have returned to the days of the Robber Barons, when owners of railroads, banks, and Wall Street firms controlled politicians of both parties. Also, we have returned to those days in terms of maldistribution of wealth and income: the upper 1% to 2% has a record amount of wealth and income. Best, Don Bauder

truer words were never spoken Don...

in these kind of situation in history anarchy and citizen revolution reared their distressed heads :-{{

Nov. 13, 2010

We have returned to the days of the Robber Barons, when owners of railroads, banks, and Wall Street firms controlled politicians of both parties

I agree with both Don and Nan.

We have a one party system, both dems and repugs are bought and p[aid for with special interest money-and today there is no shame in it.

The Robber Barons line is very true IMO. You have huge corps, ususally a handful of 3-4, who can form an oligarchy and manipulate the markets. Oil is a good example-Standard Oil in 1911 was busted under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act into 39 different companies, and they have all basically been merged back together into 4 major companies today, right back to where we were in 1911 (almost anyway).

I think grocery stores are another example, as are banking and cummunications.

These are parasites and right now the host-the middle class- is on life support and may die.

Nov. 13, 2010

In his book, Alan Greenspan says he fears that the huge wealth and income disparity in the U.S. may lead to physical violence. Some think it could lead to revolution; in my own opinion, the economy would have to sink much further for that. If Congress stops extending unemployment benefits to the long term unemployed, there could be a huge Washington march, possibly leading to violence. Unfortunately, we don't have a Teddy Roosevelt now. And the populace is not poor enough to get aroused. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 13, 2010

I read yesterday that Philadelphia is going to run out of pension funding in 2014-3 years.

Nov. 14, 2010

You can name a bunch of other cities with similar deadlines. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 15, 2010

Robber Barons, when owners of railroads, banks, and Wall Street firms controlled politicians of both parties

a game was named after this kind of skullduggery...Monopoly!!!

social programs for "back to work" ala the other Roosevelt should be implemented and soon to counteract "out sourcing"

think of all the work that's needed around this country...i know the pay wouldn't b as much initially...but important lost trades could be relearned...artistic endeavors could be accomplished and the general malaise in the underemployed middle income group could be assuaged

a finger in the dike of the impending disaster is better then no action at all

as a small child i remember FDR...when he died everyone in our neighborhood came out of their houses and cried together because of his efforts to rebalance the economy amongst other of his programs...he was much loved for his willingness to step up to the plate and keep swinging

old ideas r still good ideas sometimes ;-D

Nov. 14, 2010

I wish President Obama would have poured money -- and political time and capital -- into rebuilding the nation's infrastructure before going after healthcare. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 15, 2010

and bauder i think the populace is aroused..they r like wood tender ready to burn and need only the spark from some zealous political firestarter to set off the blaze

Nov. 14, 2010

i think the populace is aroused..they r like wood tender ready to burn and need only the spark from some zealous political firestarter to set off the blaze

You may be closer to the mark than you know.

Nov. 14, 2010

A wise leader can convert this into an engine for positive change BEFORE it goes critical and explodes. Personally, I am encouraged that a sitting Attorney General is our new Governor. It is the Office of the Governor that has authority if there is a determination that any part of the state has overshot political zeal for reform and ended up in a state of lawlessness. A city charter provision granting emergency power to a strong mayor does not trump the California Constitution as to the Governor as commander in chief of the militia. The Governor has wide latitude to act both under state law and the National Response Framework.

Nov. 14, 2010

Yeah, but would the media give any space and time to the zealous political firestarter? Right now they are not paying much attention to economists such as Joe Stiglitz and Dean Baker who are pointing out the truth. Oh, Frank Rich and David Cay Johnston get some space, but largely the topic is ignored, mainly because of the economic concentration of the media. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 15, 2010

u betcha pupster!!

Nov. 14, 2010

Nan and SP can lead the revolution -- be the first to storm the Bastille. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 16, 2010
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