Saturday, August 28, 2010

What does Lorie Zapf do for a living?

Aug 27, 2010
What does Lorie Zapf do for a living?
City Council candidate’s small business was dissolved months ago
San Diego City Beat
By Dave Maass

Back in March, each candidate for San Diego City Council filed with the City Clerk a Form 700, or “Statement of Economic Interests.” Among other disclosures intended to reduce conflicts of interest, the candidate is required to list all sources of income.

District 6 candidate Lorie Zapf listed only one business interest: “Zapf & Associates, Inc.,” a corporation engaged in “consulting, creative, sales” activities. She listed herself as the president and CEO.

CityBeat has learned that Zapf & Associates Inc. has gone out of business.

According to records on file at the California Secretary of State’s office, the corporation was dissolved on April 6, 2010, which means it no longer exists. The corporation had been registered to Zapf’s home address in Clairemont—the same address against which a bank filed a “notice of default” in March that said she and her husband, Eric, were behind on their mortgage payments by several months.

Zapf, a Republican, and her Democratic opponent, Howard Wayne, emerged from the June primary election with the most votes and will face-off in the November election.

On the campaign trail—and on the ballot—Zapf describes herself as a legal advocate and a small-business owner. However, it is unclear what happened to her small business and what, exactly, she now does for a living.

Zapf has also publically described herself as the regional director for Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, a non-profit organization that advocates for tort reform. This position was not disclosed on her Form 700 (as is usually required) and instead Zapf listed CALA as one of her company’s sources of income.

Records with the San Diego Treasurer’s office indicate that in 2008 the couple applied for a Business Tax Certificate, the required document one needs to run a business in San Diego, for Eric Zapf & Associates, Inc.. However, the real estate business (also listed to the Zapfs’ home address) has not yet received the certificate. The treasurer’s office tells CityBeat it has requested more information, though declined to say what information was requested and when the request was made.

Meanwhile, the Zapfs seem to be operating at least one other business under a fictitious name. Eric Zapf claims to be the founder of Wet Kiss Creative, which distributes items such as Slapitz—a “slap on” bracelet-style device that is used to display stuffed animals. He also seems to be marketing a magnetic wall mount under the name Air-Pin.

Companies operating under fictitious names are required to register with San Diego County. Wet Kiss Creative is not listed in the county’s database.

Both Eric and Lorie Zapf are featured on the web site for Eric Zapf Homes & Estates, which provides “full brokerage services.” The website says it is currently being upgraded.

The Zapf campaign refused to respond to inquiries regarding anything related to these issues. Instead, campaign spokesman Matt Donnellan wrote via e-mail:

“You and CityBeat have adopted the role of advocates and agents of former Assemblyman Wayne's City Council campaign. It is absurd to think that we would respond to this thinly veiled inquiry by our opponent.”

Donnellan is referring to investigative reporting published in CityBeat that revealed that the Zapfs had defaulted on a mortgage on their home in Clairemont and that Eric Zapf had defaulted on a second home in Nevada and was delinquent three times on his taxes. Our reporting also uncovered that Zapf had falsely described herself on official forms as holding a master’s degree in business. On top of that, we also published anti-gay e-mails sent by Lorie Zapf and dug into the numerous lawsuits she and her husband have filed even while advocating against frivolous lawsuits.

While Wayne has used some of the reporting to attack his opponent, for the record, none of the information originated with the Wayne camp. The campaign did lend CityBeat a DVD recording of a public forum that featured Wayne and Zapf; it did not result in a story.

The newspaper did not endorse Wayne in the primary—it endorsed Steve Hadley—and has not yet endorsed a candidate for the general election.


Dave Maass said...

Please note that I erred in describing the Slapitz device and have since corrected it.

Maura Larkins said...

Thanks for the correction, Mr. Maass. I've changed my post. For curious readers, the correction is simply this: the device was originally described as having a suction-cup, but apparently it has some other means of attachment.

Dave Maass said...

Thank you, Maura. And thanks for spreading the article. Drop me an email sometime.