Friday, May 21, 2010

Ethics Official Says Nancy Graham's Actions Had 'Appearance of Corruption'

Perhaps Gil Cabrera wasn't the right person to head the San Diego Ethics Commission. He has made a career defending those accused of white-collar wrongdoing. Now that he's gone, the Commission is at last going after real corruption rather than small mistakes in reporting campaign finances.

* San Diego news, analysis and conversation.
* Government

Ethics Official Says Graham's Actions Had 'Appearance of Corruption'
May 20, 2010
Voice of San Diego

Sitting a few feet from Nancy Graham, one of her former bosses testified Thursday of how hard the former Centre City Development Corp. president worked in San Diego. Came in early, CCDC chairman Fred Maas said. Stayed late.

When first raised questions in 2008 about Graham's undisclosed financial ties to developers doing business downtown, Maas gave Graham the benefit of the doubt, he told the San Diego Ethics Commission at a daylong Thursday hearing. She was the agency's president, he said, and he held a "kinship" with her.

Maas recalled asking Graham directly about the financial relationship: Did she know where her past business venture's income came from?

"I was told absolutely not," Maas said. So he stood up for her.

Then VOSD reported that Graham earned more than $3 million from a Florida development deal. Lennar Corp., which paid her from that deal, owned land in downtown San Diego, the site of a proposed hotel that Graham was negotiating about.

Graham never reported receiving those millions on her annual conflict disclosure forms here. If she did, she would've had to recuse herself from negotiations designed to clear the way for a hotel on the land adjacent to Petco Park. If the hotel had been built, Lennar and another developer would've made about $100 million...

No comments: