Crooked city employees, Susan Davis beats Trump to Helsinki

LA Times steals Comic-con turf

"Charge of employee parking at a restaurant for extensive time periods on a daily basis was substantiated."
  • "Charge of employee parking at a restaurant for extensive time periods on a daily basis was substantiated."

Bums away

Kept under wraps at city hall are punishments meted out to miscreant employees caught by complaints to the city auditor’s hotline. “An allegation regarding a City employee parking at a restaurant for extensive time periods on a daily basis was investigated and found to be substantiated,” says the July 5 quarterly hotline report without further detail. “The Department took the appropriate corrective action with respect to the employee.” In another case, “an allegation regarding inappropriate access to City facilities and data by a non-City employee was investigated and found to be substantiated. Department management changed the door code to access the facility, reminded staff of City policies, and took the appropriate corrective actions with respect to the identified employee and supervisor.”

In still one more case, “an allegation regarding abuse and unethical behavior related to a hiring process was investigated and resulted in corrective action. In the future, the department’s Appointing Authority will check against potential conflicts of interest or any perceived mismanagement of the interview and selection process.”

Missing city money also came up, but no mention as to how much. “An allegation of theft of petty cash was investigated and resulted in corrective action. The Department will conduct regular monthly Petty Cash Fund reconciliations, staff were provided with training materials and will undergo additional training, and appropriate corrective action was taken with respect to the identified employee.”

To Helsinki with liberals

Pierre Omidyar, Susan Davis

Pierre Omidyar, Susan Davis

The month before president Donald Trump hit Helsinki, Finland for his summit with Russian chieftain Vladimir Putin, a well-traveled House Democrat from San Diego dropped into the city on an all-expense-paid visit for a more militant parse of the Russia threat. Susan Davis, whose prior travel freebies have taken her to vacation spots around the globe, including Vienna, Tokyo, Barcelona, Canada’s Whistler Resort in British Columbia, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, departed May 28 for a six-day excursion to Helsinki and Tallinn, Estonia, courtesy of the Aspen Institute, run by ex-House Democrat Dan Glickman. The purpose of Davis’s $8430 international jaunt with husband Steve was said on her June 8 disclosure filing to be a need for “meetings with foreign affairs experts to facilitate national interests and national security.”

Per an attached itinerary, “Washington accuses Moscow of meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, attempting brazen attacks on U.S. and European targets, and undermining peaceful resolution of the Syria and Ukraine conflicts, and the North Korean nuclear standoff.” One pregnant question in the program: “Are our current formats for official, second-track, and unofficial engagement adequate? Are other arrangements needed to manage this relationship?”

Monetary support for the excursion was supplied by the Democracy Fund, financed by e-Bay billionaire Pierre Omidyar, a Trump foe who has been called out by the conservative website InfluenceWatch.org for funding “liberal journalism.”

Comic interlopers

The Los Angeles development outfit that has conducted hush-hush negotiations with the office of San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer over the future of downtown’s dilapidated Horton Plaza mall has picked up a new high-dollar lobbyist. Allen Matkins Leck reported July 16 that its client, Stockdale Acquisitions, LLC is getting the law firm’s “assist with project entitlements for redevelopment of Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego.” Stockdale, run by Steven and Shawn Yari, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, has already been using the influence peddling firm of Southwest Strategies, records show, to obtain “Horton Plaza land use entitlements related to redevelopment of the site.”

Documents regarding the project requested of the city of San Diego have yet to be provided, but downtown real estate insider Jason Hughes — whose employees have given Republican Faulconer a total of $23,000 since 2011, according to city records — has blogged that “the mall either gets a minimal facelift–or a massive re-entitlement/redevelopment to transform to today’s success standard. I’ll keep everyone updated as escrow evolves–but fingers crossed for complete redo!”…How quickly is the Los Angeles Times under L.A. billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong moving to grab control of its little sister to the south, the San Diego Union-Tribune? One foreboding sign cited by concerned locals is the L.A. paper’s takeover of part of the Comic-Con beat, long a U-T sacred cow, which the paper hypes as the reason for expanding the downtown convention center with public money. “Wouldn’t it be great to have Comic-Con more than four — or counting preview night, five — days a year? Soon that dream will become a reality with the Comic-Con Museum officially in the works at Balboa Park — and the Times has a first look at what fans can expect from the new venue.”

The glowing dispatch is not the product of the usual U-T suspects but by Jevon Phillips, identified in the Times online staff box as a former Variety staffer who covers “topics ranging from comic books to hip-hop dance to TV fairy tales.”

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What's with Susan Davis and all the great, free vacation trips?!?!

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