San Diego’s reputation for stealthy relationships between land developers and elected officials got a boost on Tuesday as the source for a leaked memo revealed himself.
At a hastily called press conference, City Councilman Chris Cate came clean, admitting to giving a confidential legal communication to proponents of a proposed Mission Valley development marketed under the name Soccer City.
The press release –sent by a public relations firm associated with the developers of Soccer City– made it seem like this disclosure was no big deal.
Except that it IS a big deal.
Cate’s action served to undermine the attorney-client privilege between the City Attorney and elected representatives (who are supposed to be) acting on behalf of taxpayers.
His statement about not having a position on the matter is belied by a photo and quote appearing on a website advocating for the project.
The Sixth District Councilman is now being investigated by the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit.
I never thought I’d write this sentence: Conservative radio host Carl Demaio has called for Cate’s resignation, as has Jessica Hayes, Party Chair for the San Diego Democratic Party.
From the Union-Tribune coverage:
Cate said he came forward this week because of questions he was required to answer as part of a related lawsuit by attorney Cory Briggs, who is seeking to lift the confidentiality status of the memo.
Cate, who met with Elliott and talked by phone with Mayor Kevin Faulconer before a noontime news conference, said he would not resign but would seek a change in the council’s process of dealing with such documents in the future.
“At most this was a misunderstanding between the city attorney and myself,” Cate said.
Elliott’s spokesman, Gerry Braun, said she continues to believe the memo’s release was an “egregious betrayal of the public trust.”
Former City Councilman Scott Peters took to Twitter to explain the process, saying “…it takes a formal vote of the entire council to waive privilege on behalf of the city; it’s a misdemeanor for a CM to do it on his own.”
Attorney and District 2 Council Candidate Brian Pease went even further on Twitter, “Disturbing a councilmember would do bidding of a developer instead of acting in public’s interest. Also unlawful & betrayal of duty.”
“I was not seeking to undermine the city attorney or the city,” Cate said. “My goal was to seek from the proponents input and clarification regarding the points that were raised” in the memo.
If approved by voters, the Soccer City initiative would authorize the sale of the SDCCU Stadium (formerly Qualcomm Stadium) property, and the construction of a professional soccer stadium, housing, commercial development and a river park on the site in Mission Valley. Council members voted to put the measure up for a public vote.
Last June, after the memo was published by the San Diego Union-Tribune, San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott said the leak of the memo compromised the city’s position in negotiating the sale of the property and undermined the city should a lawsuit be filed over the initiative. She called on the person who released the memo to resign.
I can’t place a great deal of faith in the headlines saying the County District Attorney’s office is investigating Cate.
Bonnie Dumanis’ anointed successor Summer Stephan isn’t likely to annoy the local GOP by taking their rising star to court over a minor matter like selling out the interests of taxpayers.
Cate is considered a likely candidate for Mayor once Kevin Faulconer is termed out.
According to the Daily Caller, alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos’ October 22 speech at San Diego State has been canceled by the University.
The SDSU College Republicans were supposed to receive a price quote for security from campus police, but the cops instead told the group that it could not host the event at all, reported Campus Reform.
“This morning’s agenda was supposed to consist of a quote outlining security costs from Chief Mays,” said Brandon Jones, president of the school’s College Republicans, in a statement obtained by Campus Reform.”Instead, we were blindsided by university leadership with the cancelation [sic] of our event.”
Jones asserted that the meeting was the fourth meeting in four weeks between campus administration and himself in order to plan the Oct. 29 event, one of a slew of college and commercial dates planned for Yiannopoulos’ Troll Academy tour. The SDSU police informed Jones that security for the event would require 20 bomb-sniffing dogs and six hours of work, demands outside of SDSU’s capacity.
Calling the decision “bureaucratic censorship and stonewalling by a left-wing campus administration,” via Facebook, Yiannopoulos claimed campus Republicans have hired an attorney to sue the school.
Blame Las Vegas shootings on the Mexicans, via Vox reporter Tara Golshan:
— Tara Golshan (@taragolshan) October 3, 2017
El Presidente is having a bit of a meltdown this morning over news coverage of his jaunt to Puerto Rico.
Wow, so many Fake News stories today. No matter what I do or say, they will not write or speak truth. The Fake News Media is out of control!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 4, 2017
So I’ll just leave this here:
TRUMP: What a job the Coast Guard has done throughout this whole — throughout this whole ordeal. They would go right into the middle of that — I mean, I don’t know, I wouldn’t want to be doing it, but I want to thank everybody. I want to thank the Coast Guard. They are special, special, very brave people.
And a lot of people got to see the real Coast Guard during this incredible trouble, and especially I think here and in Texas was incredible what they did. So thank you all very much. Thank you very much. We appreciate it. Really appreciate it.
Would you like to say something on behalf of your men and women?
AIR FORCE REPRESENTATIVE: Sir, I’m representing the Air Force.
TRUMP: No, I know that.
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