Thompson is in BIG trouble

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http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/may/12/councilman-accused-in-conflict-of-interest-case/?success
Councilman accused in conflict-of-interest case
Interim official says any violations were inadvertent

By Tanya Sierra, UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 12:05 a.m.

CHULA VISTA — An interim Chula Vista city councilman is being accused of violating state conflict-of-interest laws when he served on the planning commission.

Derrick Roach, a private investigator and 79th Assembly District candidate, says Councilman Mitch Thompson bought property in the city’s redevelopment area while he was on the Chula Vista Planning Commission last year and voted on issues that affected parcels he owns.

Thompson is filling in for City Councilman John McCann, a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve who is serving in Iraq. McCann is hoping to return in the summer.

Thompson said any violations that may have occurred were inadvertent. He also said he provided a list of his property holdings to the City Attorney when he was appointed to the Planning Commission and City Council and kept the City Clerk’s office updated when he bought new property.

“Unfortunately I am not an expert in everything in dealing with a conflict of interest,” he said.

Thompson owns seven properties in Chula Vista. Four of them are in the city’s redevelopment area on the west end of town.

It is against the law for public officials to take votes on issues in which they have a financial interest.

Roach alleges Thompson violated the law on at least five occasions when he either voted on matters affecting his property or buying property within the redevelopment area while he was a planning commissioner.

Three votes between May and July 2009 include rezoning commercial property and making changes to a commercial project.

“This is essentially insider trading,” Roach said. “I think he thinks no one is going to call him on it.”

City Attorney Bart Miesfeld said he is looking into the matter.

Roach, who said he was acting on his own as a concerned resident of Chula Vista, later addressed the City Council on Tuesday afternoon about his concerns. Because the issue was not on the agenda, however, council members could not respond.

Roach said he forwarded his complaints to the state Attorney General’s Office, The District Attorney, the city’s Ethics Commission and the Fair Political Practices Commission.

Thompson served on the Planning Commission from March 3 to Sept. 29, 2009.

Tanya Sierra: (619) 293-1705 ; tanya.sierra@uniontrib.com

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Comments 2

  1. Sounds like Thompson is a fan of George Washington Plunkitt and the Tammany Hall political machine. Of course, when Plunkitt was describing honest graft and dishonest graft the conflict of interest laws were non existent back in the turn of the twentieth century.

    Maybe someone should buy Thompson the more recent California version of how politics should work – as in the California Political Reform Act.

    This isn’t Chicago or New York and we have rules that need to be followed for a reason.

  2. Not only should Thompson resign but so should his “Enabler-in-Chief”, Councilmember Pammy Bensoosan. It was Pammy along with her not so smart Democrat allie Rudy Ramirez that ramrodded the appointment of Thompson in the first place in order to cement the selection of Padilla to the Port. Why was this so crucial?

    Lets connect the dots. Padilla and Thompson were big supporters of Pammy. Padilla helped Pammy win her seat through his warm and fuzzy relationship with the SD-Imperial Labor Council. Without Padilla and labor, Republican Russ Hall would have smoked Pammy in the last election.

    Needless to say a lot of campaign debts of gratitude had to be paid back from Pammy to Padilla and her labor pals. That clearly explains her 180 degree turnaround in mid-July 09 deciding suddenly that McCann’s seat had to be immediately filled. They found the willing stooge in Thompson who is known to have blind amition for any public office he can get into. He made the blood oath promise to back Padilla for the Port. Therefore, the “Three Mouseketeers” were born in Pammy, Ramirez and Thompson. The fix was in and the fix was well known around town to be true.

    So do ya think if the Republicans had pulled something similar had they been in office that Lorena G and her labor pals would have stood for it?

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