San Diego’s city ethics commission, suspected by many insiders of turning a blind eye to the questionable timing of political contributions given elected officials by lobbyists, has slapped its first fine of 2018 on Robert Chávez, an appointed member of the city’s Park and Recreation board.
The chief executive officer of the nonprofit Urban Corps of San Diego, Chávez agreed to pay a $1500 fine for failing to report his salary on his economic interest disclosure forms for 2016 and 2017. The omission occurred despite the fact that the organization provided “goods or services” to the Park and Recreation Department, per a stipulated agreement with Chávez approved by the ethics commission February 8. According to the Urban Corps website, “Mr. Chávez was instrumental in securing a high-profile $1.1 million contract from the City of San Diego for recreational improvements at Chicano Park which is showcasing Urban Corps’ design-build services.”
Chávez, who left the park board last year, subsequently amended his disclosure filings to show he earned an annual salary of greater than $100,000. Federal filings show that the nonprofit paid him a total of $116,992 during the 12-month period from July 2015 through June 2016.