San Diego When Amr Ibrahim Elgindy, the financial advisor from Encinitas, was busted by the feds last week for allegedly conspiring with crooked FBI agents to fix stock prices and extort money from companies, District Attorney Paul Pfingst lost one of his biggest campaign contributors. According to campaign-disclosure filings, Elgindy gave Pfingst $5000 during the hotly contested March D.A. primary race. An indictment unsealed in Brooklyn charges that the high-flying Elgindy, who the feds say owns a Bentley, a Jaguar, and a Hummer, paid FBI agents to funnel him information about investigations into criminal activities at various companies, which he then handed over to subscribers to his stock-advisory services. According to the allegations, he subsequently cleaned up by selling the companies short or extorting funds from them. At a hearing here last week, a federal prosecutor also suggested that Elgindy might have had prior knowledge of the September 11 terrorist attacks because he tried to sell $300,000 worth of stock the day before, though his lawyer denied it. Elgindy, who often goes by the first name Anthony or Tony and sometimes calls himself Tony Pacific, made his contribution to
Pfingst on February 25, the same day Pfingst himself also gave $5000. Only a few others gave more, including Alan Viterbi, the son of Qualcomm co-founder Andrew Viterbi, who kicked in $10,000. Alan is a key figure in that controversial red-light camera company. The largest single contribution from an individual donor to the district attorney's campaign was made by Joseph Bruderer-Schwab of Del Mar, who gave $15,000 on February 12. He owns a company called A Step Ahead. According to his website, Bruderer-Schwab's services include "Executive Coaching, Event Hosting, Keynote Addresses, and Team Building. A partial client list includes: U.S. Postal Service, University of California, U.S. Navy, MedImpact, Salk Institute, AMCC and ICS Advent." During a recent telephone interview, Bruderer-Schwab said he had no business connections to Pfingst or the County of San Diego. "Paul is a friend of mine. We met through Indian Princess, a group that involves fathers and daughters," Bruderer-Schwab explained. "He was in the same 'tribe' as I, and we met socially. I got to know him as a father and a person. We see each other once in a while. We surf once in a while. I've seen him in camp-outs where there's 12 girls running around and it's very chaotic, and he's calm and it's honest. We had a little get-together at our house for him. What I want is that Paul gets reelected to serve the community. If you believe in something, you put your money where your mouth is."
Bus stop A plan by San Diego Unified school superintendent Alan Bersin to slash money for providing transportation for students attending the Preuss School, a high-profile charter high school run by UCSD, has generated a tough "Dear Alan" letter from UCSD chancellor Robert Dynes. Claiming that cutting bus money would "violate not only the spirit but the letter of the partnership struck between UCSD and the District" and "put in jeopardy the viability of the entire program," Dynes accuses Bersin of going back on a promise to transport students from poor neighborhoods to the Preuss campus in University City. "We believe that the District cannot break trust with its past commitment to Preuss School students living south of Interstate 8 on that basis. I urge you to reconsider what we believe to be a direct breach of the District's commitments to UCSD." ... General Atomics, the La Jolla defense contractor that makes the Predator unmanned aerial vehicle, is among 13 companies accused by Vermont congressman Bernie Sanders of breaking pension laws by "shifting their pensions from a defined benefit plan to a cash balance plan" and allegedly "shortchanging their employees nearly $199 million annually in pension benefits" ... Chargers consultant Mark Fabiani, who has been holding secret meetings with San Diego mayor Dick Murphy, has been sent a letter by the city clerk, warning him to register if he plans to lobby the city council.
Dog days San Diego ranks fifth in the nation for "dog-bite accidents," according to the U.S. Postal Service, with a reported 76 incidents last year. First was Van Nuys, with 85; followed by Western New York, 82; Colorado/Wyoming, 81; and Northern Illinois, 77. To mark "National Dog Bite Prevention Week" in Van Nuys, "several letter carriers who have survived animal attacks" led a parade, according to a news release. ... Steve Walsh, 46, who attended San Diego State and was the son of pro football coach Bill Walsh, has died of cancer, the Rocky Mountain News reports. He was a TV reporter at the time of his death.
Contributor: Matt Potter