Claim: Former San Diego mayor Bob Filner offered to delay development to help Mexican millionaire

Team 10 follows new twist in campaign scandal

SAN DIEGO - An assistant U.S. Attorney stated in open court that former San Diego mayor Bob Filner met Mexican millionaire Jose Susumo Azano Matsura and offered to hold up city development because the millionaire wanted to see San Diego turn into the next Miami.

Federal attorney Timothy Perry made the comments at a hearing for Marco Polo Cortes, a San Diego lobbyist whose clients include entertainment and towing businesses.

Cortes is one of the people charged with illegally funneling money from Azano to local campaigns over the past two years. Azano owns property in San Diego, but he is not a U.S. citizen.

At Cortes' hearing, Perry said he wanted to talk about aggravating factors in the case. That's when he said the foreigner (Azano), and "Candidate 3" (Filner) had a meeting.

"The foreign national had an interest in development here in San Diego," Perry said. "He wanted to turn San Diego into Miami West … he wanted to develop here in San Diego, and he sought political clout to help him in doing so."

Perry also said, "Candidate 3 told him that he did not have jurisdiction over the bay front but that he may be able to help the foreign national by holding up development on the Navy-Broadway Complex in downtown San Diego, so the foreign national could be put in a position to obtain control of that lease."

Cortes' bond hearing was continued until Tuesday afternoon.

In a new twist to the campaign finance scandal, the head of the San Diego Police Officers Association said he heard Filner wanted SDPD Chief Bill Lansdowne replaced -- after Filner allegedly received campaign money illegally from a Mexican millionaire.

Brian Marvel told Team 10 he heard secondhand that Filner was interviewing people for Lansdowne's job, but none of the candidates were from the department.

Marvel said he does not know why Filner wanted Lansdowne out.

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