Copping tickets

In his latest annual financial disclosure statement, filed last month, San Diego police captain Bob Kanaski reported receiving four tickets to the Chargers-Colts game in November of last year worth a total of $900. Kanaski wrote on his disclosure form that the tickets were “provided by a fundraising event. I do not have details of the event as I received the tickets from [Assistant] Chief [William] Maheu.” Maheu was once in line to become chief of police but abruptly left the department in January of this year to go work for cell phone giant Qualcomm; he did not report getting any tickets on his own financial disclosure statement.

The rub for Kanaski is that state law places a $390 limit on gifts from a single source made to public officials during a calendar year — which would seemingly place the police captain’s $900 worth of football tickets seriously over the line. In years past, an exception to the $390 limit has been made for gifts of tickets from nonprofit organizations such as Pasadena’s Tournament of Roses, sponsor of the Rose Bowl. But now the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission, which enforces the rules, is considering doing away with even that exemption.

Reached by phone this week, Maheu said he had obtained the tickets from Patti Roscoe, a convention and meeting planner with close ties to the local Republican Party and the chamber of commerce. She is also a major backer of the reelection bid of Mayor Jerry Sanders. Maheu said Roscoe had purchased the tickets at a charity fund-raiser and had given them to him to be distributed to police officers as a reward for their work during the autumn fires. Maheu, who said he was not aware of the state’s $390 per individual gift limitation, said Kanaski was picked because he had managed the Qualcomm Stadium evacuation center during the fires. Kanaski did not respond to messages, and Stacey Fulhorst, executive director of the City’s Ethics Commission, said she couldn’t comment on the matter.

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The so-called Ethics Commission seems eager to investigate any whisper of impropriety, no matter how remote or far-fetched, against the Mayor's political rivals.

Yet when we see obvious violations like this one, or the whole Tom Story fiasco, the ethics "watchdogs" become sleepy lapdogs.

Former cop Sanders will never allow one of his boys in blue (black?) to be investigated. This is why, for example, the SDPD doesn't test its officers for steroid abuse...even though most agree it's widespread in our local force, perhaps leading to some of the well-publicized "roid-rage" incidents of recent months.

This also recalls the Jeri Stryker exception crafted by Gwinn. She was allowed to accept over-the-limit gifts from John Moores by unilaterally downgrading their value. Casey Gwinn allowed this because otherwise she would have had to recuse herself from voting in favor of the ballpork scam. Although several citizens stood up at the meeting to demand she recuse herself, she refused and the fraud went on.

When we get a new Mayor, I look forward to seeing how the makeup of the Ethics Commission changes. Perhaps we'll find some ethical citizens to serve next time around and see some actual investigations that are worthy of the name.

And the point of this story is what? If it's meant to imply that he KNOWINGLY did something wrong you're way off base. I've known Captain Kanaski for years. There is no individual with higher standards for intregrity and professionalism in both his work ethic and his personal life.

I for one hope he enjoyed the tickects and was able to spend some time with his family. Because I have no doubt in my mind he spent many hours away from them during the fire storm of 2007 coordinating efforts at Qualcomm Stadium. All while his own home and family were in the path of the fire.

If I recall correctly, San Diego received recognition in the world press for the evacuation center efforts, led in part, by Captain Kanaski.

If the San Diego Ethics commission believes he knowingly and intentionally violated a gift limit regulation and decided to fine him. I'll be the first in line to contribute money to pay it.

and the point of the Ethics Commission is what again?

In San Diego, isn't an Ethics Commission an oxymoron?

So the point of this story is to rally our support to help defend Kanaski, right?

"If the San Diego Ethics commission believes he knowingly and intentionally violated a gift limit regulation and decided to fine him. I'll be the first in line to contribute money to pay it."

I'm right behind you.

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