Investigations of Former Chula Vista City Council Member Mitch Thompson Completed and Dropped

The Reader reported in May and July of this year that Derrick Roach appeared before the Chula Vista City City Council to accuse former interim councilmember Mitch Thompson of unlawful activity. All complaints filed by Roach have now been dropped.

In May, Roach called for Thompson to resign immediately. In July, he called on the council to refuse to seat Thompson on the Mobile Home Rent Review Commission. Roach asserted that Thompson, while sitting on the planning commission in 2009, voted on zoning issues that were within 500 feet of his property. Thompson has maintained that he made a full disclosure of his properties to the City and that he never voted on a change that would enhance his holdings.

In August, the Fair Political Practices Commission dropped the investigation because there was “insufficient evidence of a violation of the Political Reform Act.” In October, the Chula Vista Ethics Commission also dismissed the complaint filed by Roach.

According to Chula Vista city attorney Bart Miesfeld, the ethics commission’s dismissal was based on part of the municipal code that reads, “…complaints concerning unethical behavior must be received within 60 days of the most recent event…”

Miesfeld said that his office had initiated an investigation into the charges against Thompson; however, based on a lack of findings and coupled with the Fair Political Practices Commission report, the inquiry has stopped.

A recent public records request reveals Roach, who recently lost his bid for the 79th state assembly seat, had filed with the City of Chula Vista for the same interim council seat that Thompson was selected to fill.

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Thank you for following through on this lunacy. Roach's far flung allegations were a cheap stunt to gain publicity in his futile run for the Assembly. Nobody in their right mind took him seriously. He should go back to drinking tea -or Kool Aid

I think most of us understand that this was solely a political motivation by Roach so he could get his name out there and be more hopeful for elected office.

Certainly there has been speculation regarding Roach and the assembly race and the attacks on Thompson, but it was surprising to find that he had applied for the same council seat that he was blasting...

The CV code requirement that valid complaints must be submitted within 60 days of the most recent event may be saying a lot about the ethics of the persons who approved that code section in the first place and of those coming into office later who have left it unamended, as if they all had something to protect.

It takes a lot of time and effort to find out facts regarding unethical behavior because that sort of thing doesn't generally happen in the light of public scrutiny. I am fairly certain that most of us as ordinary reasonable persons could not put together all of the elements of a credible complaint in that time without spending for surveillance and document searches to build a proper timely complaint. A timely but premature complaint (lacking enough documentation or other evidence to be credible) only sets up a complaining CV resident for some sort of legal counter-attack like a SLAPP suit.

It helps if the ethics commission allows sufficient time for relevant material discovery after the initial timely complaint is filed and before a hearing or other due process date is set.

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