Family life in the barrio

— National City mayor Nick Inzunza filed an amended personal statement of economic interest after a complaint to the district attorney last fall from local government watchdog Mel Shapiro. Inzunza had failed to list a raft of multifamily units he owns with his wife in his brother Ralph's San Diego city council district. But D.A. Bonnie Dumanisis letting Nick off the hook. "This office has inquired into the matter. The facts and circumstances surrounding Mr. Inzunza's SEI will not support a criminal prosecution," wrote Deputy D.A. Sally Williams in a letter to Shapiro two weeks ago. "The District Attorney's Office will take no further action in this matter. Your letter of complaint will remain on file in our office." Meanwhile, Nick Inzunza's wife Olga, who is said to hail from a wealthy Tijuana family, has kicked in $250 to the campaign of the Inzunza brothers' close ally, Benjamin Hueso, the city redevelopment staffer for Barrio Logan who is running for the school board from that district. Hueso, whose various family members also own considerable real estate in the neighborhood and have contributed to his candidacy, is expected to rely on the extended Inzunza clan's South Bay political organization to ward off what is regarded as a minor challenge from the only other candidate who qualified for the ballot. Write-in plans by at least one of the two women who failed to collect enough qualifying signatures are said to be proceeding, but their chances look iffy to most insiders. The Primacy Group company of Larry Remer shows up on Hueso's newly filed list of campaign vendors. Remer, the onetime '60s radical and friend of Jane Fonda, later morphed into a political consultant catering to the local establishment and ran the school district's successful multibillion-dollar ballot campaign. The Primacy Group also makes an appearance on the vendor list of Miyo Reff, a candidate in North City's district A. One of Reff's opponents is Mitz Lee, wife of defeated teachers' union candidate and self-professed Alan Bersin skeptic Jeff Lee, who has left politics to become a chef. The forthcoming March electoral tussle may raise the stakes for both Bersin and the so-called Commercial Street redevelopment project being considered by the school district. After district staffers recruited two competing development groups -- the nonprofit National City-based Maac Project (with whom the indicted Ralph Inzunza has been affiliated) and another nonprofit, the Bronze Triangle Community Development Corporation -- word on the street has it that both may be rejected by the district in favor of an as yet unnamed private developer.

Gee, thanks, Dick San Diego city auditor Ed Ryan, who abruptly turned in his retirement notice last week, might have been a bit discomfited when Mayor Dick Murphy noted the occasion with a disjointed news release loaded with defensive praise. "This was at his initiation," said Murphy's statement. "There is absolutely no suggestion, hint, or innuendo that this resignation is anything other than his choice. In fact, his retirement is being reluctantly accepted by me and everyone familiar with his outstanding performance. Reports indicating that Mr. Ryan has anything other than a stellar record are false. It would be a great injustice to report anything to the contrary." During his 21-year tenure, Ryan was at the helm during a succession of fiscal embarrassments, including the Qualcomm Stadium contract, the Chargers ticket guarantee, and the retirement system blow-up.

Sure bull Back in the fall of 2001, when ex-mayor Susan Golding joined the board of SureBeam, the Titan, Inc., spin-off that was supposed to popularize the use of radiation to kill bacteria in food and mail, the Union-Tribune's Diane Bell was full of good news. "SureBeam stock dipped below $5 in early October but zoomed up after the anthrax attacks resulted in a $40 million contract with the U.S. Postal Service to sanitize mail. Yesterday it closed at $12.20. Golding, who couldn't have foreseen this most recent demand for SureBeam's technology, seems to possess an uncanny sense of timing. She is a director on the boards of both SureBeam and Titan, and last month a press release went out naming her president of Titan's new Homeland Security Office tasked with finding ways to fight bioterrorism."Last week SureBeam went belly-up. The U-T made no mention of Golding.

Craver trips San Diego Data Processing Corporation president Roger Talamantez, forced to submit his resignation last week after word of prodigious spending on tequila shooters made its way to local media, isn't the only one living high on the government's tab. Members of the regional airport authority have been running up some healthy travel expenses of their own since the board was formed two years ago. Samples: a $207 dinner at fancy Zola restaurant in Washington, D.C., for former Air Force colonel Joe Craver. Says a review in the Miami Herald, "Named for the French novelist Emile Zola, champion of the falsely accused spy, Alfred Dreyfus, the restaurant is filled with subliminal references to intrigue like espionage texts on acrylic panels... Zola carries 300 wines, many of them American, and 18 by the glass."

-- Matt Potter

Share / Tools

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • AddThis
  • Email

More from SDReader


Log in to comment

Skip Ad

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader