City attorney to investigate developer's $100K donation for mayor's projects

Mayor Bob Filner asked to retain all documentation

SAN DIEGO - San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith confirmed Monday that his office is investigating the $100,000 donation made by developer Sunroad Enterprises to the city for two of Mayor Bob Filner's pet projects in exchange for land at a construction site.

Filner signed off on the land deal, which gave the private company city property in Kearny Mesa so development of an apartment complex could be completed. In exchange, the developer donated $100,000 to the city to be used for two of the mayor's causes -- a memorial for veterans in Ocean Beach and a daylong event to promote bicycling.

Last week, Filner said he would give back the $100,000 from Sunroad Enterprises, but he stated he never knew the money was meant to influence him.

"I thought it was donations and I took it as that," Filner said last Friday.

However, a voicemail obtained by Team 10 tells a different story.

"We have reached an agreement with the mayor's office," Sunroad Enterprises Vice President Tom Story said in a voicemail left for City Councilman Kevin Faulconer on June 7. "We have paid him the money that was requested."

On Monday, Team 10 asked Goldsmith if that's legal.

"From a municipal standpoint, no, it was not legal," Goldsmith said.

Filner has blamed his former deputy chief of staff Allen Jones, whom documents show quarterbacked the deal on behalf of the mayor. Jones has said the mayor knew every detail.

"One of them is not telling the truth," Faulconer said. "But I have no reason to doubt Allen Jones."

No one beside the city attorney would confirm an investigation. The state attorney general and U.S attorney have the ability to investigate quid pro quo violations.

Sunroad Enterprises still has the land -- a three-foot easement on each side of the building.


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